The origin of the Rolex Oyster Perpetual dates back to 1926 when the Rolex Oyster was unveiled as the first waterproof wristwatch in the world. Improvements and innovations would follow, when in the early 1950s Rolex further reinforced the watch case's waterproofness with the introduction of the Twinlock winding crown, its next generation of patented screw-down crowns. Featuring two separate synthetic seals for double waterproofness, this system kept the watch dry even when the crown was not screwed down onto the middle case.
The Origin of the Rolex Oyster Perpetual
Rolex has long pursued the development of the waterproof wristwatch to accompany man into the waters, and this relentless effort has yielded various defining innovations over the years. The story can be traced back to 1926's Rolex Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch in the world. This feat was achieved by developing a new case construction with the case back and winding crown all screwed down into the middle case to create a sealed case.
It was dubbed Oyster because it was hermetically sealed like an oyster shell and could survive under water. In addition, a new patented self-winding (automatic) Perpetual rotor mechanism meant the wearer no longer needed to unscrew the winding crown every day, ensuring the waterproofness of the Rolex timepiece, and incidentally henceforth giving rise to the "Oyster Perpetual" official name across different Rolex collections. Read More
It was then in 1953 that the Oyster Perpetual Submariner would be born. It was Rolex's first professional diver's watch waterproof to a depth of 100 metres, and included features such as a rotatable bezel with which one could measure elapsed dive time.
Over the past six decades and counting, the Swiss manufacture has refined the timepiece, including the improvement of the watch's tolerance to 300 metres deep, upgrading the movements, as well as incorporating Cerachrom into the bezel insert amongst several aesthetic and functional augmentations.
An In-Depth Look at Cerachrom : Rolex's Exclusive Ceramic Creation
Rolex has created Cerachrom, its own exclusive and patented ceramic that's currently used in specific professional models. Its name is derived from a contraction of the word “ceramic” juxtaposed with the suffix “chrom” from the ancient Greek word for “colour”, and reveals the approach Rolex has taken.
Cerachrom was introduced by Rolex in 2005 as a significant upgrade to the material it replaced: aluminium. Aluminium had been the material of choice for bezel inserts in its Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master and GMT-Master II watches for close to five decades, beginning from the late 1950s. The metal offered the best balance between various properties – it was tough enough for daily wear, but could be machined, and also accepted colour coatings readily. However, aluminium bezel inserts could be scratched, and their coatings' colours would fade over time due to UV light degradation. Read More
The New Oyster Perpetual Submariner and Submariner Date
In 2020, Rolex has updated the Submariner and Submariner Date, both now in a slightly larger 41 mm case. The sides of the watch cases are also brilliantly reflective, thanks to a new polishing method used by the Swiss manufacture. The bracelet has also been remodelled, most significantly with a broader centre link.
The Submariner is powered by calibre 3230, unveiled by Rolex this year, whilst the Submariner Date with both time and date functions are driven by calibre 3235, utilized in the Submariner range for the first time.
The Submariner in Oystersteel with a black dial and rotatable bezel with matching Cerachrom insert.
The black-and-black option is also available in the Submariner Date.
The Submariner Date in "two-tone" Rolesor combining Oystersteel and 18 ct yellow gold,
with a royal blue dial with a rotatable bezel and a blue Cerachrom insert.
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.
Rolex and Rolesor
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.
The Submariner Date in Oystersteel with a black dial and rotatable bezel with green Cerachrom insert.
The Submariner Date in 18 ct white gold with a black dial and rotatable bezel with blue Cerachrom insert.
As is the case with all Rolex timepieces, the new Oyster Perpetual Submariner and Submariner Date carry the Superlative Chronometer certification, and the status is symbolized by the green seal that comes with every Rolex watch and is coupled with an international five-year guarantee.
The Rolex Superlative Chronometer Certification
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.