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Black Rolex Submariner

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About the Black Rolex Submariner

The black Rolex Submariner is one of the most recognizable editions of the famed diver. When it came to market in 1954, the Submariner was only available in stainless steel and with a black dial and bezel. While the series has seen numerous upgrades over the past 70 years, including green and blue dials, the black Sub remains one of the most iconic and enduring options.

Its popularity among collectors is a true testament to the black Submariner's timelessness as many Rolex collectors, not just professional divers, choose the Submariner outfitted with a black dial and bezel as their go-to luxury watch. It looks sophisticated tucked under a tuxedo cuff yet is waterproof enough to wear over a wetsuit.

The Submariner Date

In the 1960s, Rolex released the Submariner with a date fixed to the dial via ref. 1680. It's successor, ref. 16800 was a transitional model of sorts because it introduced the series to a higher-beat cal. 3035 movement. It also swapped the acrylic crystal for sapphire and was the first Submariner waterproof up to 300 meters.

During this era, Rolex released the black Submariner in all-gold and two-tone, all of which are still in production with black dials and bezels today.

The Modern Black Submariner

In the late 1980s, the modern Submariner as we know it today began to take shape via ref. 16610. The lume was now trimmed in white gold, and the calibre 3135 powered the watch. Around 2010, the long-running black Sub ref. 16610 was discontinued and replaced with ref. 116610, complete with a black Maxi dial and Cerachrom bezel. New for 2020 is a brand-new generation of Rolex dive watches equipped with a larger 41mm case and the cal. 3235 movement under the following reference numbers:

  • 124060 - Stainless Steel
  • 126610LV - Stainless Steel
  • 126610LN - Stainless Steel
  • 126619LB - White Gold
  • 126618LN - Yellow Gold
  • 126613LN - Stainless Steel/Yellow Gold

The James Bond Connection

Sean Connery famously donned a stainless steel Submariner, complete with a black dial and bezel, in the first James Bond flick Dr. No. The famous secret agent was no stranger to the finer things in life as he was often portrayed wearing the finest clothes and driving expensive cars. So, it seemed only natural to spot the iconic black Submariner on his wrist.

Buying Pre-Owned vs. New

There are benefits to buying a new Rolex. You will be the first person to wear it, and the question of the watch's authenticity is not a factor. However, at Bob's watches, every watch is certified pre-owned by an independent third party. You can rest assured that the Rolex you are purchasing is genuine if you buy a Rolex from our website. Every watch is also serviced and restored as close to like-new condition as possible. You will also net the best price as every Rolex watch listed on our site is priced to fair market value.

Vintage vs. Modern

The Black Submariner has been in production since the 1950s, which means that there are countless vintage options available on the market today. What makes shopping for a vintage Rolex so appealing to many collectors is the history that each vintage watch holds, from the movement that powers the watch to the slight wear of the case and bracelet. The hunt for the perfect watch configuration, whether it be the patina on the lume or the way the dial has faded over time, is what compels so many collectors to choose vintage over modern.

Modern Rolexes, on the other hand, bring a different aesthetic to the brand's portfolio, featuring lustrous ceramic bezels, larger Maxi displays, and slightly more robust cases. They also boast the latest and greatest in Rolex technology. What it ultimately comes down to when choosing between vintage and modern is personal taste.

It is said that the color black pairs well with everything, and never goes out of style. Similar statements have been made about Rolex legendary dive watch, and it comes at no surprise that black is the classic color of the Rolex Submariner.

Black Rolex Submariner Video

Black Sub Dive Watches

Although Rolex now offers the Submariner in several different colors, black was the original (and only) color available when Rolex first released the now-legendary dive watch in 1954. For well over half a century, black has remained a hallmark of the Rolex Submariner and there has not been a single year in which the Submariner was produced that it did not have the option of a black dial and bezel insert. If you'd like to view additional watches head over to our used Rolex Submariner watches for sale.

While certainly more understated than the blue or green counterparts, the Rolex Submariner in black is instantly recognizable, and can easily be dressed up or down to suit the occasion.

Rolex has firmly asserted itself as an international symbol of personal success, and as a result, many more people are wearing their Submariners with suits and formal attire than they did back in 1954, when the Submariner was primarily a diving instrument, rather than a luxury timepiece.

A black Rolex Submariner is easier to dress up for black tie events than those with other dial and bezel insert colors. When worn on a nice leather strap, a black Rolex Submariner can easily be paired with any suit or tuxedo for even the most formal occasions.

While Rolex only produces the green Submariner in stainless steel, and blue dial variants are only manufactured in Rolesor (two-tone) and solid 18-karat gold, prospective buyers have their choice of purchasing a black Submariner in whichever metal configuration they prefer.

Black goes well with everything, and it never falls out of style. Given the timeless deign of the Submariner, it seems fitting for black to be the original color in which the legendary dive watch was offered. Few other watches have the ability to seem as natural in the boardroom as they do beneath the ocean surface; and this unparalleled level of versatility has enabled the Submariner become a true classic.

For over half a century, the Rolex Submariner with a back dial and bezel insert has been a constant among Rolex offerings. Although it has now become quite a common sight, the Rolex Submariner in black is a classic pairing that has certainly endured the test of time.

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Bob's Watches is an independent watch dealer and is not sponsored by, associated with and/or affiliated with Rolex S.A., Rolex USA, or any other brand listed on its website. Bob's Watches only sells pre-owned watches and provides its own warranties on the watches it sells. The brand names and associated model names for Rolex, OMEGA and other manufacturers are the trademarks of their respective owners.