Rolex Submariner
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Rolex Submariner

There are vintage watches, there are modern watches, and then there's the Rolex Submariner Reference 14060. 

More than anything, the Rolex Submariner was intended to be a robust tool watch, and many collectors look to the no-date references produced from the 1950s to the 1970s as the purest expression of the model. Their no-frills appearance (a clean, matte black dial with hour plots and no date) was the hallmark of sub-aquatic form-meets-function design, able to be read in the murky depths. After all, a dive watch was a tool, as vital to the diver as his regulator, and it needed to be easy to read.

The matte-dial no-date Reference 5513, which ran from 1962 until 1989, is singled out by many collectors as the ultimate Submariner. While the Submariner was fitted with a date window in the late 1960s, the Reference 5513 was the lone, date-less holdout. When the 5513 was retired, Rolex launched the Reference 14060 to take its place, with examples becoming available on the market in 1991. 

The Reference 14060 is the Crown's answer to the purists' complaints: "Why should a dive watch have a date window? Why are 'new' Submariners so big? Who likes Luminova anyway?"

Being the successor to the Reference 5513, the 14060 eschews the date window, giving the dial a symmetry that was lost with the Reference 1680 and 16800. Since the Reference 14060 was released prior to the 2000s, when Rolex achieved COSC certification for the Calibre 3130, the language usually seen on modern Submariners ("Superlative Chronometer, Officially Certified") is missing as well. Another plus is the presence of tritium (less than 25 mCi, as denoted by the T < 25 below 6 o'clock), since Rolex--along with much of the Swiss watch industry--switched over to Luminova after the 14060 was released.  

And the case, though sacrificing nothing when it comes to water-resistance, has the same proportions as the Submariners of yore. At only 39mm, it's thinner than the Submariners that followed, with lug holes that the date-model Submariners no longer have. The drilled lugs give the watch a utilitarian feel--a holdover from the days when you could pop out the bracelet with a pushpin, slip the watch on a Tropic strap, and dive headfirst into the ocean without having to fuss with specialized tools.

Holding it all together is the Reference 93150 bracelet with 501B end links, easy to put on and take off and imminently comfortable to wear. 

And yet, because it's a newer watch, you can wear it without worrying if it gets splashed by a few droplets of rain. That's the beauty of a Rolex watch from this period. The 14060 is a seamless blend of old and new, with vintage looks and modern technology, a watch that you can wear everywhere--what a Submariner was meant to do in the first place. 

Details

SKU: AS01979

Stainless steel Oyster case is approximately 39mm (excluding crown). Rolex Submariner Reference 14060. Rolex Calibre 3035 Self-Winding Movement. Circa 1997.

Overall Condition: Stainless steel Oyster case is in very good condition with minimal signs of use and wear consistent with age, including some faint scratches on the sides of the case. Rotating bezel is in excellent condition with crisp printing. Black gloss dial is in likewise very good condition with crisp printing. Luminescent elements have started to take on traces of a faint patina due to age. Rolex Trip-Lock crown. Rolex case back retains its sticker.

Includes one 20mm Reference 93150 bracelet with 501B end links. Bracelet is in very good condition with some signs of stretching due to age and faint signs of "desk-diving" due to wear.

Also includes inner and outer boxes, booklet, and papers dated 1997.

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