Rolex: New Submariner 41mm 202010 September 2020
IF THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS, THE NEW ROLEX SUBMARINER IS DEVILISHLY
“Intanto Dustin Hoffman non sbaglia un film” (meaning “Meanwhile, Dustin Hoffman never fails a film”) is the debut album of my fellow citizen Luca Carboni, published a lifetime ago – to be precise it was the prehistoric year 1984. A title that is also well suited to the Rolex production in recent years which, since the presentation of the new Daytona in 2016, never fails the public with its models, or rather its “hot references” – as the most wanted watches of the crowned house are called.
In fact, with the Daytona with Cerachrom bezel, the waiting list phenomenon exploded again – indeed, the deflagration is comparable to that of the atomic bomb – and was later fed, with strategic wisdom, with other models representing “erotic dreams” for fans around the world: first, it was 2018, with the GMT-Master II Ref. 126710BLRO, also known as “Pepsi”; then, the following year, with its cousin with super powers: the “Batman”. For a compelling ripple effect – for today customers face a six-month waiting time even to get a steel Datejust 41 – the international demand now exceeds Geneva’s productive-distributive will.
THE NEW SUBMARINERS: A PERFECT RESTYLING FOR THREE REASONS
For the presentation of the “Model Year 2020” line, the CEO of Rolex Jean-Frédéric Dufour was expected to play another trump card: the update of the legendary Submariner, causing insiders, enthusiasts and, inevitably, speculators spasmodic expectations. The presentation of the new models took place, a bit surprisingly it must be said, on September 1st after it was postponed due to lockdowns (and Rolex’s farewell to Baselworld for a new type of partnership with the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, coinciding with the Watches & Wonders 2021 in Geneva) with products ready to be delivered, or almost.
And thus it was, for a restyling – which, let’s say it right away, for us at “Watch Insanity” was absolutely felicitous – that showed us at least three decisive aspects. And none of these could be taken for granted.
I: SUPER PERFORMING CALIBERS 3230 AND 3235
The first is that Rolex, among the major players in the high-end watchmaking market, is not content with maintaining its dominant position but continues to push the accelerator in terms of total quality. How? Specifically, with the in-house chronometer-certified movement now included on the entire Submariner range, i.e. on the Reference 124060; the (very clean) “No data” (the same movement also for the new Oyster Perpetual, colorful and aesthetically successful) – Caliber 3230 – and the Date (Ref. 126610LN) – Caliber 3235. In addition to a 70-hour power reserve, as a company policy the watch can be overhauled by the same manufacturer even ten years after purchase, for a performance that places this caliber on the top step of high-end mass-produced automatic mechanical movements.
II: SUPER HARMONY BETWEEN CASE AND BRACELET
The saying “the devil is in the details” fits the second aspect. If the proverb is true, Rolex is simply devilish because the millimetric restyling of the case, which reached 41 mm in diameter (40.8 mm to be exact), and bracelet offers an overall picture that is much more balanced than the previous version – which had the lugs too pronounced compared to the bracelet’s width. Same is true for the collection’s two probable rock stars: we are referring to the new “Green Bezel” (Ref. 126610LV) and the equally unpublished “Blue Bezel” (Ref. 126619LB). Respectively, they replace with a very successful minimal elegance the steel Hulk and the white gold Smurf, the dials in tone with the bezels being replaced by a classic black dial more in touch with the professional philosophy of the model.
III: A STRATEGY ALWAYS IN LINE WITH THE HISTORY OF ROLEX
The third aspect revolves around the consistency of Rolex in renewing its models with the sacred respect due to products that represent the history of the entire watchmaking industry. This has been happening for some years now in terms of both aesthetics and technique. Consistency that some competitors instead very often do not have, unfortunately, distorting products, not renewing the movements, perhaps bringing back to light collections suspended years earlier but without any major novelty, in the tacit admission of them trying their luck in catching a distracted or uninformed customer.
IN CONCLUSION: FEEDING THE LEGEND SERVES THE WHOLE MARKET
That being said, here are our final considerations regarding official prices. It is (almost) useless to mention them, above all those of the steel models. Those who will buy them at list price – in any form, even in the version “Only Time” – will have made the investment of the year. While everything else serves to feed a legend that has been feeding itself with great skills since 1953, the year of the first Submariner’s presentation. And that, all things considered and for the audience relevance it has, is good for the entire sector.
By Michele Mengoli