Rolex Predictions 2024: Submariner 70th Anniversary

Rolex Predictions 2024: Submariner 70th Anniversary

This year is the 70th anniversary of the Rolex Submariner. . . kind of. While the watch went into production in 1953, it wasn’t officially released until Basel Watch Fair in 1954. Regardless, we didn’t see an anniversary Submariner last year, or any new Submariners for that matter, which leads me to believe that we’ll see something at Watches and Wonders 2024. What might a new Submariner – perhaps a 70th anniversary Submariner – look like? Today, we each give our thoughts on the matter, written in our own words.

Theresa - Platinum Rolex Submariner

White Gold Submariner

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When I think of anniversaries, I often think of marriages, and how anniversaries are a symbol of strength, longevity, and a continued commitment to love. Starting in the early 1900s, anniversary gifts for each year of marriage were established, and are now widely used to commemorate such momentous occasions. For example, year 1 is paper, year 5 is wood, year 20 is china, year 50 is gold, year 70 is platinum, and so forth. What do marriages have to do with Rolex? Given that the 70th wedding anniversary is traditionally associated with platinum, I believe we might see the incorporation of this material into the Submariner for its 70th anniversary. It could be fully platinum, feature a platinum bezel insert, or incorporate other platinum features throughout. This nod to the “platinum anniversary” not only aligns with Rolex's commitment to using premium materials, but also imbues the Submariner with a sense of timeless elegance befitting such a significant milestone. In a marriage, the platinum anniversary symbolizes a strong, precious, and rare love that few can achieve. In Rolex, the use of platinum may symbolize the strength, endurance, and rarity of a watch that has maintained its popularity for over 70 years, and doesn’t show any sign of stopping soon.

Mike - Platinum Submariner w/ Green Bezel

Starbucks Submariner

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When it comes to Rolex’s anniversary models, they seem to go hard on precious metals. In 2003, Rolex released the Rolex Submariner 16610LV, with a new set of hands, a more robust dial, and a green bezel insert to celebrate the 50th year of the watch. The case and bracelet, however, were in steel – not precious metal. When released in 2003, this anniversary model was not very appreciated, but is now one of the most sought-after Rolex models ever made (especially the early-run “flat 4” references). I believe that Rolex will iterate upon the current version of this green bezel and black-dialed model in the current collection. I feel they will utilize platinum for the case and bracelet while using the black dial and green bezel already in production. I feel this is something that Rolex may offer for only two or three years. Rolex seems to love quietly killing off models, even with incredibly popular references.

Submariner Green models

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One more point to note is that, last year, Rolex updated the green bezel on the LV variation of the Submariner (a bit of a brighter green). This may have been their way of simply noting the 70th year of the Submariner without overtly celebrating the model. The mystery of what Rolex is doing adds to the charm of the brand.

Skyler - White Gold ‘Hulk’ Submariner

Submariner Hulk

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Green is the color of Rolex and, appropriately, it’s the color they use to mark anniversaries. Just look at the 60th anniversary Day-Date, 50th anniversary Submariner, or 50th Anniversary GMT-Master: all incorporate green to celebrate a special landmark. I agree with Mike that Rolex will iterate upon the current LV Submariner, but to spice things up for the 70th anniversary, I believe they’ll bring back the green dial a la 2010 ‘Hulk’. As with many predictions, this may just be wishful thinking; I truly believe that the 116610LV ‘Hulk’ has one of, if not the most stunning dials Rolex has ever produced. 

While Rolex is no stranger to platinum, they typically reserve the material for watches with blue dials. As such, I expect an anniversary Submariner to come in either steel or white gold. In all honesty, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a display caseback on an anniversary Submariner, which makes me lean toward white gold over steel: Rolex has yet to use a display caseback on a non-precious watch. Of course, only time will tell what Rolex decides to do. Some predictions will be on the money, and some will be entirely wrong, but one thing is for certain: Rolex will certainly surprise us this spring in Geneva.

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