It’s been 15 months since the release of the Submariner 41 and you’re upset at the fact that you still haven’t gotten “the call” from your authorized dealer. We totally get it. The current Rolex market is on fire and for most of us the path that leads to the timepiece we want is filled with frustration and disappointment. For many, it ends with having to pay thousands over retail from a trusted grey market seller. The good news is that there are lots of other great brands and watches when you think outside of the crown. Today, we’re going to drop the hype and take a look at some fun (and not so obvious) alternatives to the new Rolex Submariner 41.
1: OMEGA SEAMASTER 300M
Much like the Submariner, the Seamaster is considered an iconic watch. Making its debut in 1957, the Seamaster has continued to evolve and become one of Omega’s most popular collections.
The Seamaster 300m gained popularity back in 1995 when Pierce Brosnan wore it on the silver screen as James Bond in Golden Eye. Since then, Omega has tied itself into the Bond universe by releasing limited editions alongside new film releases
Why we like it: Iconic. Great design dive watch design. METAS certified. James Bond!
2. PANERAI SUBMERSIBLE
Unapologetically oversized, clean symmetrical designs, and rich military history-Panerai is an icon in its own right. It’s recognizable styling immediately catches your eye when you spot one on someone’s wrist. To top it off, they’re incredibly versatile with tons of strap options for every model.
Designed for the Italian Frogmen during World War II, many Panerai models come with 300m water resistance and a robust design. Today, Panerai has a dedicated dive watch collection under the “Submersible” moniker. Submersible models can be seen on the wrists of Sylvester Stallone, The Rock, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Do you need any other reason to want one?
Why we like it: Military history. Super cool design. Incredibly versatile with lots of strap options.
3. TUDOR BLACK BAY 58/41
What Submariner alternative list would be complete without a little love for Tudor? Tudor was created by Hans Wilsdorf as a price friendly option for watch enthusiasts of his time. Today, Tudor is known as Rolex’s more adventurous sibling that's on its way to carving its own path in the world of luxury watches.
While still under the Rolex umbrella, Tudor watches are a lot easier to find at retail. The Black Bay 58 and 41mm Heritage models are great options for a collector who wants something that shares similarities to a vintage Rolex. The Black Bay 58 is one of our favorite Tudor models because it's essentially a five digit Submariner with some modern features like a sapphire crystal and solid link bracelet. And it costs thousands of dollars less than any modern or vintage Rolex dive watch!
What we like: Vintage design elements. Rolex-ish reliability and build quality. Priced well.
4. ORIS AQUIS
Oris has been making Swiss watches since 1904. Today, they're widely known for being a brand that focuses strictly on mechanical movements, being privately owned, and uses their branding to help bring awareness to the environmental issues that affect earth’s oceans.
The Aquis collection offers a variety of dive watch options for even the most particular collector. You’ll find varying case sizes, different dial configurations, bracelets, rubber straps, and added complications. Feel like testing whether your body can withstand the pressure at a depth of 1000m? The 49.5mm AquisPro has you covered!
What we like: Lots of options. The rubber strap smells like vanilla!
5. MONTA OCEANKING
MONTA was established in 2016 with the release of their first watch, the Oceanking. Since then, MONTA has quickly become a household name in the world of microbrand watches. Their fresh take on classic watch designs are packed with technology, built with quality materials, and offer buyers way more bang for their buck than watches two to three times their price.
If you’re shopping for a dive watch, the Oceanking is likely going to check off all your boxes. The entire watch is built with the collector in mind with extreme attention to detail. One feature that stands out is the articulating bracelet. Each center link has the ability to swivel making it one of the most comfortable and silky smooth wearing experiences possible.
What we like: Packed with modern features. Great attention to detail. Comes in many different dial colors and varieties. Extremely comfortable wearing experience.
All images curtesy of the respective brands above (Oris, MONTA, Panerai, Tudor, and Omega)