A timeless dive: why a vintage Rolex Submariner is the perfect pool watch

It’s true that a Rolex Submariner is designed for the professional diver. A few lengths of the deep end are hardly stretching its famous capabilities. That said, for poolside credibility, a vintage ‘Sub’ is hard to beat.

And, lounging by the side of the hotel pool, it has its practical uses. Other than keeping an eye on the time of the appointment with the tennis coach, or exactly when the happy hour drinks party will kick off, of course. It will survive the inevitable “I’m so hot!” midday plunge with ease.

That has been the case since 1954, when the very first Rolex Submariner – a ‘professional watch’ – was introduced.

A modern-day Submariner, all silky surgical steel and highly luminous dial, is an impressive timepiece. But if you want to truly stand out from the crowd you need a vintage example, one with the famous domed ‘plexi’ glass and a subtly aged dial. From 1959 onwards the company introduced crown guards to the model, in reference 5512 watches. The principle was that the winding crown is protected from impact when deep under the waves. They make for a more balanced look, but the older (‘naked’) models are the ones most sought-after.

Ultimately, it’s your choice. New or old, there’s a Rolex Submariner for everyone.

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