A guide to watch auctions: the best 4 auction sites

All about watch auctions

Antiquorum (Switzerland)

Established in Geneva in 1974, Antiquorum has carved its own unparalleled niche in the auction world by cultivating a thriving collector’s market for timepieces worldwide and consistently obtains the highest prices for timepieces, auctions timepieces with exceptional provenance and rarity and has set many world records.

A perpetually innovative source for collectors, in the early 1980s Antiquorum pioneered the sale of wristwatches at auction, creating a new and exciting market. Next came the thematic auction devoted to a single subject, the first of which was the Art of Patek Philippe held in 1989, the 150th anniversary year of that prestigious watchmaking firm. Antiquorum regularly offers thematic sales at which enthusiasts may enrich their collections and, through Antiquorum’s authoritative and informative catalogues, acquire invaluable knowledge on each specific subject.

In 2005, the historic thematic auction “The Quarter Millennium of Vacheron Constantin” achieved a total of US$ 15,110,000 (SFr. 18,123,069). A record for Vacheron Constantin, this was also the second best result, after Patek Philippe, for a single-brand sale. Among the world records: the “Tour de l’Ile”, at US$ 1,564,000 (SFr. 1,876,250), set a world record for a contemporary wristwatch and the “King Fouad I”, at US$ 2,755,000 (SFr. 3,306,250), achieved the highest price ever paid for a Vacheron Constantin watch.

(description from Antiquorum’s website)

Sotheby’s (various sites)

On 1 April 2019, Sotheby’s launched Watches Weekly, a rolling calendar of online sales with a new selection of watches being unveiled every seven days. Responding to the confidence and desire of collectors looking for important pieces to purchase online, this series provides a fast and dynamic way to buy and sell watches and has attracted collectors from around the world. Many of the buyers in the first sales were new to Sotheby’s (54%) and under 40 (40%). The sales have already set new benchmarks for online watch auctions, including a record for a watch sold in an online sale for the Patek Philippe Nautilus, ref. 5711 in platinum with blue jeans dial, circa 2014 which sold for HK$ 3,750,000 (US$ 484,000).

2019 proved a record year for watch sales at Sotheby’s, achieving $109 million globally, the highest annual total in the company’s history, and a 22% uplift on 2018. Offering the finest timepieces ranging from the 16th century to the modern day, including the most sought after modern and vintage clocks, pocket watches and wristwatches, Sotheby’s Watch department showcases the thriving and international nature of this category, frequently achieving world record breaking results in all of Sotheby’s selling locations. 

Forming and maintaining strong relationships with the world’s collectors and connoisseurs is paramount to the service provided. With a truly global presence, the department holds sales in London, Geneva, Dubai, Hong Kong and New York with a specialised team in each location whose passion for watches is matched only by their unparalleled knowledge and experience. The market is one of constant change and as such, the worldwide team is dedicated to keeping abreast of the latest trends and developments. Our specialists recognise – and take pride in – the fact that constant learning and the sharing of knowledge both within and outside the industry, is as essential as in any other academic genre or category.

The watch auction department has consistently achieved benchmark prices, including $24 million for the Patek Philippe Henry Graves’ Supercomplication – a longstanding auction record for a timepiece – and the George Daniels ‘Space Traveller I’ which set the highest price for both an English Watch and an Independent Watchmaker at $4.6 million in 2019. Clocks also achieved record prices last year: a contemporary clock by Cartier sold for $1.03 million in Hong Kong, a clock by Vacheron Constantin realised $667,467 in London and a Cartier Comet Clock achieved $350,000 in New York.

Online sales continue to grow rapidly with 56% of all lots sold online in this category in 2019 and 80% of bidders participating online. The top watch sold online in 2019 set an auction record for a Millennium wristwatch by George Daniels, selling for $289,800 in Hong Kong in April. 

Demonstrating the breadth and extent of its collective knowledge and expertise, the department has been entrusted with and sold numerous ground-breaking pieces and collections. Following the success of the first two sales from the Masterworks of Time collection of watches held in London & Geneva in 2019, already surpassing the low estimate for the entire collection when they sold for a combined $15.8 million, Sotheby’s will offer the final two sales from the series in New York in June and Geneva in November 2019.

(description from Sotheby’s website)

Christie’s (various sites)

Featuring the world’s leading names in watchmaking such as Patek Philippe, Rolex, Breguet and Vacheron Constantin, Christie’s watch auctions attract a wide audience of collectors and record-breaking prices for the finest vintage and modern timepieces.

Christie’s holds sales in Dubai, Geneva, Hong Kong and New York throughout the year. At Christie’s we also recognize that collectors are often looking for a specific watch, or are seeking to buy or sell a timepiece outside of the watch auction season.

(description from Christie’s website)

Koller (Switzerland)

More than half of the luxury watches sold in the world today come from Switzerland, and the principal brands nearly all proudly display the “Swiss Made” label. As the largest Swiss auction house, it naturally follows that Koller organizes dedicated auctions for rare wristwatches and pocket watches. Men’s wristwatches from major brands from the 40s, 50s and 60s are by far the fastest-growing category in these sales, led by Patek Philippe, and closely followed by vintage Rolex, Vacheron Constantin, A. Lange & Söhne, Audemars Piguet, IWC and Breguet watches, all of which are regularly featured in our auctions.

(description from Koller’s watch auctions website)


Watch straps

A watch strap (also called watch band, watch bracelet or watch belt) is not only the watch part that straps your watch onto your wrist.

It can also be a great part of your watch design and choosing a good combination of strap and watch case/dial will add style to your watch. Therefore it can be regarded as a fashion item, serving both a utilitarian and decorative function.

Where to buy watch straps

These are some popular destinations to choose the prefect strap for your watch, be it a leather trap, a NATO strap or any other type.

Watch band materials

Watch straps can be manufactured using leather, metal, plastic, cloth fabric or rubber, or even a combination of different materials. Some metal watch straps may be plated with or even in some rare cases made of precious metals.

Watch straps may close with a folding clasp or a buckle. Expanding watch straps are designed to expand elastically, often by the use of metal springs in a segmented design, and may be slipped on like a bracelet. Attachment points for the strap to the watch are largely standardized, with a spring bar used to anchor the watch strap to holes in a bracket that is integral to the watch case, allowing worn watch straps to be replaced or swapped with new straps for fashion purposes.

NATO straps

NATO watch straps, or simply “NATO Straps”, were developed by the British Ministry of Defense for wartime usage. It is a one piece strap slid through the spring bar of the watch case and then slid into the appropriate notch, and then folded back to secure excess strap and prevented from sticking out of the main watch strap portion. The nylon composition of the strap prevents metal from touching the skin of the wearer and provides stability while wearing it. The durability of the strap prevents moisture from wicking away on the skin, as well as remaining on the wrist of the wearer even if the spring bar of the wrist were to pop out.

Following the popularity of the NATO Strap being used in James Bond movies, the NATO strap became a staple of watches produced by Omega, including releasing limited edition versions of the strap in their watch collections.

NATO straps are known for being relatively inexpensive. Most straps are made of nylon and stainless steel fasteners that guide the strap through the formation of the watch. NATO straps are also known for being easy to clean and swap around for daily use. NATO straps are available in different sizes, lengths and designs to accommodate a wide variety of designs and watch composures. NATO straps are also used amongst deep sea divers and water-sports. Your current watch may be able to use a NATO strap, if it has removable spring bars, a straight strap connection, and doesn’t use quick release bars.

Special anti-allergy NATO watch straps which shield the skin from exposure to metal parts, are available for sufferers of specific types of dermatitis.

Watch groups

Watch groups: who owns which brands?

Although many watch manufacturers remain independent and family owned, in the last decades many other brands have been consolidated into big conglomerates. In this post we take a look at the largest watch groups in the world and which watch brands they market. 

Binda Group
Based in Milan, Italy, Binda is a privately held italian watch and jewelry company that focuses on fashion brands. In 2008 Binda acquired the American company Geneva Watch Group.

Watch brands owned and marketed by Binda Group: Breil, Freestyle, Hip hop.

Watch brands marketed by Binda Group under a license agreement with the brand owner: Chronotech, Gametime, Kenneth Cole, Kenneth Cole Reaction, Moschino, Sperry Top-Sider, Ted Baker London, Tommy Bahama, Zoo York.

Citizen Group
Citizen is a publicly traded Japanese group. It was founded in 1930 by both Japanese and Swiss investors and until the Second World War the company relied on Swiss technology.  Citizen also owns Miyota, the movement manufacturer.  

Watch brands owned and marketed by Citizen Group: Alpina, Bulova, Bulova Accu Swiss, Campanola, Citizen, Q&Q.

Citychamp Group
Citychamp Watch & Jewellery Group Limited is a public Hong Kong based company and watch brands owner. It was formerly named China Haidian. Citychamp has a relevant market position in the Chinese and asians markets. Recently Citychamp Group has acquired several international brands including the Swiss brands Eterna (acquired in 2011) and Corum (acquired in 2013). In 2014 Citychamp acquired the Swiss Dreyfuss Group and all its brands, including the Rotary watch brand.

Watch brands owned and marketed by the Citychamp Group: Codex, Corum, Dreyfuss & Co., Ebohr, Eterna, J&T Windmills, Rossini, Rotary.

Festina Group
Festina Group is a spanish private company based in Barcelona, Spain. Most of its brands including Festina are in the middle price range. Two of its brands (L. Leroy and Perrelet) are targeted to the luxury segment. The Festina Group owns Soprod, a movement manufacturer for many Swiss brands, as well as MHVJ the high-horology complications maker.

Watch brands owned and marketed by Festina Group: Candino, Festina, L.Leroy, Lotus, Perrelet.

Watch brands marketed by Festina Group under a license agreement with the brand owner: Calypso, Jaguar.

Fossil Group
Fossil Inc. is a publicly held company based in Richardson, Texas, USA. Although being a fashion group most of its revenue comes from watch sales, mostly fashion watches. Most of the Fossil Group’s movements are Japanese quartz, but Fossil has also has entered the “Swiss-made” market with the introduction of Fossil Swiss, a line of Fossil watches with quartz and mechanical movements produced in the Ticino canton in Switzerland.

Watch brands owned and marketed by Fossil Group: Fossil, Michele, Relic, Skagen, Zodiac.

Watch brands marketed by Fossil Group under a license agreement with the brand owner: Adidas, Armani Exchange, Burberry, Diesel, DKNY, Emporio Armani, Emporio Armani Swiss Made, Karl Lagerfeld, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Tory Burch.

Franck Muller Group
Franck Muller Group is a privately owned Swiss luxury watch manufacturing and marketing group headquartered near Geneva in the town of Genthod. The Franck Muller brand is the original brand of the group and its biggest seller.

Watch brands owned and marketed by Franck Muller Group: Barthelay, European Company Watch, Franck Muller, Martin Braun, Pierre Kunz, Rodolphe.

Watch brands marketed by Franck Muller under a license agreement with the brand owner: Pierre Michael Golay, Roberto Cavalli, Smalto Timepieces.

Watch brands marketed by Franck Muller in joint venture with the brand owner: Backes & Strauss.

Kering Group
Paris based luxury group, Kering S.A., formerly known as Pinault-Printemps-Redoute (PPR) is another french luxury brand conglomerate that has steadily built its watch brands portfolio. François-Henri Pinault is President and CEO of Kering since 2005. In March 2013 PPR changed its name to Kering. In 2019, the group’s revenue reached €15.9 billion.

Watch brands owned and marketed by Kering Group: Bottega Veneta, Boucheron, Girard-Perregaux, Gucci, Jean Richard, Qeelin, Ulysse Nardin

French luxury goods groups Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH) is based in Paris. The company was formed in 1987 when Louis Vuitton and Moët Hennessey merged into the current publicly traded company. It is the largest luxury retailer owning some renowned watch brands like Tag Heuer which is one of top-selling Swiss brands. LVMH controls around 60 subsidiaries that each manage a small number of prestigious brands, 75 in total. The subsidiaries are often managed independently, under the umbrellas of six branches: Fashion Group, Wines and Spirits, Perfumes and Cosmetics, Watches and Jewelry, Selective Distribution, and Other Activities. The oldest of the LVMH brands is wine producer Château d’Yquem, which dates its origins back to 1593.

Watch brands owned and marketed by LVMH: Bulgari, Chaumet, Fred, Hublot, Tag Heuer, Zenith.

Movado Group International
Movado Group is a watch group based in Paramus, New Jersey, USA. It targets primarily two market segments: affordable luxury watches and fashion watches.

Watch brands owned and marketed by Movado Group: Concord, Ebel, ESQ by Movado, Movado.

Watch brands marketed by Movado Group under a license agreement with the brand owner: Coach, Hugo Boss, Juicy Couture, Lacoste, Scuderia Ferrari, Tommy Hilfiger.

Compagnie Financière Richemont SA, also known as Richemont, is a Swiss luxury goods holding group owning many well known watch brands. The group was formed in 1988 by Johann Rupert as a result of a spin-off of international assets of the Rembrandt Group Limited of South Africa.  Rembrandt was founded in the 1940’s as a brand owner in a wide variety of industries.  It is publicly traded as CFR on the Swiss Exchange and the JSE Securities Exchange.

Watch brands owned and marketed by Richemont: A. Lange & Sohne, Baume & Mercier, Cartier, IWC Schaffhausen, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Montblanc, Officine Panerai, Piaget, Roger Dubuis, Vacheron Constantin, Van Cleef & Arpels.

Watch brands marketed by Richemont in joint venture with the brand owner: Ralph Lauren.

Seiko Group
Seiko Holdings Corporation (セイコーホールディングス株式会社, Seikō Hōrudingusu Kabushiki-gaisha), commonly known as Seiko is a Japanese holding company that has subsidiaries which manufacture and sell watches, clocks, electronic devices, semiconductors, jewelries, and optical products. The Seiko Group was founded in 1881 by Kintaro Hattori. It’s a large japanese conglomerate with some very interesting watch brands under its management.

Watch brands owned and marketed by Seiko Group: Alba, Credor, Grand Seiko, Lorus, Orient, Pulsar, Seiko.

Swatch Group
The Swatch Group Ltd is a Swiss manufacturer of watches and jewellery. Swatch group is based in Bienne, Switzerland. The company was founded in 1983 by Nicolas Hayek from the merger of Allgemeine Gesellschaft der Schweizerischen Uhrenindustrie (ASUAG) and Société Suisse pour l’Industrie Horlogère (SSIH), in order to cope with the quartz crisis and save the Swiss watchmaking industry.

The Swatch Group is currently the largest watch groups in the planet. As of 2016 it employs about 35,700 people in 50 countries.

The group own 18 brands, a number that is very likely to grow in the following years. The brands cover all segments, from high end luxury watches like Blancpain or Breguet to niche popular brands like Flik Flak.  The Swatch Group is a publicly traded company.  In addition to the watch brands, Swatch also owns ETA the largest Swiss manufacturer of movements. 

Watch brands owned and marketed by The Swatch Group: Balmain, Blancpain, Breguet, ck Calvin Klein, Certina, Endura, Flik Flak, Glashütte Original, Hamilton, Harry Winston, Jaquet Droz, Leon Hatot, Longines, Mido, Omega, Rado, Swatch, Swiss Timing, Tissot, Union Glashütte.

Timex Group
The Timex Group is based in Middlebury, Connecticut, USA. Its main brand, Timex, is one of the largest sellers in the watch mass-market. It also makes brands under license agreements covering even the luxury segment with some of them. The company is privately held.

Watch brands owned and marketed by the Timex Group: Timex.

Watch brands marketed by the Timex Group under a license agreement with the brand owner: GC, Guess, Nautica, Opex, Salvatore Ferragamo Timepieces, Versace, Versus.

More info on Wikipedia.


Omega Launches Speedmaster Silver Snoopy Award 50th Anniversary

Commemorating the “Silver Snoopy Award” received in 1970 by Omega from the astronauts at NASA, recognising the brand’s unique contributions to space exploration, as well as the Speedmaster’s vital support during the rescue of Apollo 13, the legendary swiss watchmaker is launching a special timepiece.

Exactly 50 years later, the Speedmaster “Silver Snoopy Award” 50th anniversary watch has been created in the occasion’s honour combining animation with watchmaking art. In 1969 the Omega Speedmaster was the first watch worn on the moon.

Speedmaster “Silver Snoopy Award” 50th Anniversary
Speedmaster “Silver Snoopy Award” 50th Anniversary. Image by Omega.

The Snoopy character plays a prominent role within the timepiece, first appearing as an embossed silver medallion on the blue subdial at 9 o’clock. Snoopy is shown wearing his famous spacesuit, in the exact style of the silver pin that NASA astronauts give to award recipients.

The dial itself is also silver and laser-engraved with Ag925. It includes two more blue subdials, as well as blue PVD angle-shaped hour markers and hands.

On the caseback Snoopy has gone into orbit, thanks to his animated black and white Command and Service Module (CSM) on a magical hand. When the chronograph seconds hand is in use, Snoopy takes a trip around the far side of the moon – just like the Apollo 13 crew – with the lunar surface being decorated on the sapphire crystal using a unique micro-structured metallisation.

In the distance, a vision of Omega’s home is included. This Earth disc rotates once per minute, in sync with the watch’s small seconds hand, and symbolises the precise rotation of the Earth. The iconic quote, “Eyes on the Stars”, is included within the black universe.

The NAIAD LOCK keeps all caseback engravings in the correct, upright position, including the date in 1970 that OMEGA received the Silver Snoopy Award, as well as a tribute to the imperilled Apollo 13 mission that same year.

The watch’s blue nylon fabric strap matches the other blue elements of the watch, and even features the trajectory of the Apollo 13 mission, embossed on the lining. This strap is attached to a 42 mm case in stainless steel, which is inspired by the 4th generation Speedmaster style. The tachymeter scale, with the iconic “Dot over Ninety”, is shown in white enamel on a blue ceramic [ZrO2] bezel ring.

The Speedmaster “Silver Snoopy Award” 50th Anniversary watch is driven by the OMEGA Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 3861. This ground-breaking movement has taken the legendary Moonwatch calibre to new standards of excellence, with anti-magnetic innovation, as well as Master Chronometer certification from the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS).

The timepiece comes with OMEGA’s full 5-year warranty, and will not be a limited production. Eager fans will receive the watch in its own Apollo 13 presentation box, with a microfiber cleaning cloth, a brochure, and a magnifying glass.

Source: Omega Press Release


The new Apple Watch Series 6 and SE unveiled

On september the 15th Apple unveiled the Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE, as well as the first fitness experience built for Apple Watch that brings significant developments in health and wellness features to iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.

Apple Watch Series 6: Blood Oxygen Sensor and App

Apple Watch Series 6 expands the health capabilities of previous Apple Watch models with a new feature that measures the oxygen saturation of the user’s blood, so they can better understand their overall fitness and wellness. Oxygen saturation, or SpO2, represents the percentage of oxygen being carried by red blood cells from the lungs to the rest of the body, and indicates how well this oxygenated blood is being delivered throughout the body.

Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Series 6: Always-on Altimeter

The next-generation always-on altimeter provides real-time elevation all day long by using a new, more power-efficient barometric altimeter, along with GPS and nearby Wi-Fi networks. This feature allows for the detection of small elevation changes above ground level, up and down to the measurement of 1 foot, and can be shown as a new watch face complication or workout metric.

Family Setup

For the first time, Apple Watch can be set up through a parent’s iPhone with Family Setup, so kids can connect with family and friends through phone calls and Messages, stay motivated with personalized Activity goals, and express their creativity through custom Memoji. Parents have the ability to approve all contacts, so kids can safely use the communication features of Apple Watch.

Apple Fitness+

Apple Fitness+ intelligently incorporates metrics from Apple Watch for users to visualize right on their iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV, offering a first-of-its-kind personalized workout experience. When a workout is selected and started on any of those devices, the correct workout type will automatically start on Apple Watch. During the session, the metrics from Apple Watch are shown on the screen and come to life for moments of inspiration.

Source: Apple


New Rolex Submariner 2020

The Oyster Perpetual Submariner and Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date, professional divers’ watches par excellence, are unveiled with a redesigned and slightly larger, 41 mm case. They are equipped respectively with calibre 3230, launched this year, and calibre 3235.

Rolex is introducing the new generation of its Oyster Perpetual Submariner and Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date, watches that exemplify the historic links between Rolex and the world of diving. Both timepieces now feature a redesigned, slightly larger 41 mm case – whose profile is highlighted by the light reflections from the case sides and lugs – and are fitted on a remodelled bracelet. They are equipped with movements at the forefront of watchmaking technology – the Submariner with calibre 3230, unveiled by the brand this year, and the Submariner Date with calibre 3235, offering both time and date functions, and used in the Submariner range for the first time.

True to its aesthetic heritage, the new Submariner in Oystersteel has a black dial and rotatable bezel with matching Cerachrom insert. A yellow Rolesor version (combining Oystersteel and 18 ct yellow gold) of the Submariner Date presents a royal blue dial with a rotatable bezel and a blue Cerachrom insert.

Two versions of the Submariner Date, one in Oystersteel and the other in 18 ct white gold, bring original colour combinations, with the dial and Cerachrom insert in different hues. The first watch blends a black dial with a green bezel, while the second proposes a black dial and a blue bezel.

Like all Rolex watches, the Oyster Perpetual Submariner and Submariner Date carry the Superlative Chronometer certification, which ensures excellent performance on the wrist.


The creation of the Submariner is closely linked to the development of deep-sea diving. In the early 1940s, the exploration of the deep marked a significant turning point with the advent of scuba diving. At the time, Rolex played an important role in the development and manufacturing of waterproof chronometer wristwatches, thanks in particular to the Oyster case, patented in 1926. As the brand wanted to create a watch that met divers’ practical needs as closely as possible, in the 1950s it began an experimental process that involved many successful collaborations with diving pioneers. The experiments carried out and subsequent technical advances led to the introduction in 1953 of the Submariner, the first divers’ wristwatch waterproof to a depth of 100 metres (330 feet).

Just a year after its launch, the waterproofness of the Submariner was increased to a depth of 200 metres (660 feet). The watch was soon fitted with other technical innovations, such as a luminescent disc on the hour hand to clearly distinguish it from the minute hand, and a crown guard.

In 1969, Rolex unveiled the Submariner Date, adding the date function. Its waterproofness, then guaranteed to 200 metres, was extended in 1979 to a depth of 300 metres (1,000 feet). The waterproofness of the Submariner achieved the same depth in 1989.

Over time, the appeal of the Submariner and Submariner Date has extended well beyond the marine world. With their proven performance, these tool watches have become archetypes of the action watch on land as underwater.


When diving, being able to read the time with absolute certainty is a matter of survival. Therefore, the dial of the Submariner and Submariner Date is designed to be clean and unambiguous. The hour and minute hands, clearly differentiated in size and shape, and the hour markers in simple geometric forms – triangles, circles and rectangles – enable instant and reliable reading, preventing any risk of confusion underwater.

The Submariner and Submariner Date also feature a Chromalight display: the hands and hour markers are coated or filled with a luminescent material that emits a long-lasting blue glow in dark conditions. On the bezel, the triangular zero marker is also visible in darkness thanks to a capsule containing the same luminescent material.


Rolex played a pioneering role in the development of special ceramics for creating monobloc bezels and bezel inserts. Not only are these materials virtually scratchproof, their colours are also of a rare intensity and are resistant to environmental effects. Rolex has developed exclusive expertise and innovative manufacturing methods that grant it complete independence in the production of these ceramic components.

On these versions of the Submariner and Submariner Date, the unidirectional rotatable bezel is fitted with a 60-minute graduated Cerachrom insert in black, green or blue ceramic that allows divers to confidently monitor their dive times. The moulded, recessed graduations and numerals are coated with platinum or yellow gold via PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition). The bezel’s knurled edge offers excellent grip, to comfortably set dive time even when wearing gloves.


Rolesor, the combination of 18 ct gold and Oystersteel on a Rolex watch, has been a signature feature of the brand since 1933, when the name was registered. It is a meeting of two metals: one, noble and precious, attractive for its lustre and stability; the other, known for its resistance to corrosion, ensures strength and reliability. All of these qualities perfectly mirror the elegance and performance that come together in a Rolex watch.

On the yellow Rolesor version of the Submariner Date, the bezel, winding crown and centre links of the bracelet are in 18 ct yellow gold, while the case and outer links of the bracelet are in Oystersteel.


A paragon of robustness and reliability, the Oyster case of the Submariner and Submariner Date is guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 300 metres (1,000 feet). Its middle case is crafted from a solid block of Oystersteel, a particularly corrosion-resistant alloy, or from 18 ct white gold. The case back, edged with fine fluting, is hermetically screwed down with a special tool that allows only Rolex watchmakers to access the movement. The Triplock winding crown, fitted with a triple waterproofness system, screws down securely against the case and is protected by an integral crown guard. The crystal is made of virtually scratchproof sapphire and, on the Submariner Date, is fitted with a Cyclops lens at 3 o’clock for easy reading of the date. The waterproof Oyster case provides optimum protection for the watch’s movement.


The new-generation Submariner and Submariner Date are equipped respectively with calibre 3230 – launched this year – and calibre 3235, movements entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. At the forefront of watchmaking technology, these self-winding mechanical movements led to the filing of several patents, and offer fundamental gains in terms of precision, power reserve, resistance to shocks and magnetic fields, convenience and reliability.

Calibres 3230 and 3235 incorporate the Chronergy escapement, patented by Rolex, which combines high energy efficiency with great dependability. Made of nickel-phosphorus, it is also insensitive to magnetic fields. The movements are fitted with an optimized blue Parachrom hairspring, manufactured by Rolex in an exclusive paramagnetic alloy that makes it up to 10 times more precise than a traditional hairspring in case of shocks. The blue Parachrom hairspring is equipped with a Rolex overcoil, ensuring the calibres’ regularity in any position. The oscillator is fitted on the Rolex-designed and -patented high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers, increasing the movements’ shock resistance.

Both calibres are equipped with a self-winding module via a Perpetual rotor. Thanks to their barrel architecture and the escapement’s superior efficiency, the movements’ power reserve extends to approximately 70 hours.


These versions of the Submariner and Submariner Date are fitted with an Oyster bracelet. Developed at the end of the 1930s, this three-piece link bracelet is known for its robustness.

The Oyster bracelet on these new versions is equipped with a Rolex-designed and -patented Oysterlock folding safety clasp, which prevents accidental opening. It also features the Rolex Glidelock extension system, designed and patented by the brand. This particularly inventive mechanism comprises a rack located under the clasp cover and a toothed sliding link that locks into the chosen notch. The Rolex Glidelock on the Oyster bracelet has 10 notches of approximately 2 mm, allowing the length of the bracelet to be adjusted easily, and without tools, up to some 20 mm.

On the 18 ct white gold version of the Submariner Date, the Oyster bracelet includes ceramic inserts inside the links to enhance its flexibility and longevity.

In addition, a concealed attachment system ensures seamless visual continuity between the bracelet and case.


Like all Rolex watches, the Oyster Perpetual Submariner and Submariner Date are covered by the Superlative Chronometer certification redefined by Rolex in 2015. This exclusive designation testifies that every watch leaving the brand’s workshops has successfully undergone a series of tests conducted by Rolex in its own laboratories according to its own criteria. These certification tests apply to the fully assembled watch, after casing the movement, guaranteeing superlative performance on the wrist in terms of precision, power reserve, waterproofness and self-winding. The precision of a Rolex Superlative Chronometer is of the order of −2/+2 seconds per day, or more than twice that required of an official chronometer.

The Superlative Chronometer status is symbolized by the green seal that comes with every Rolex watch and is coupled with an international five-year guarantee.

Source: Rolex press release