Does a Rolex Submariner Hold its Value?

Launched in 1953 during the “Golden Age” of sports watches


The Rolex Submariner is a timeless classic that has long been regarded as a sound investment. As Rolex's quintessential sports watch, the Submariner has consistently held its value over the years, making it an attractive option for those looking to purchase a luxury timepiece.

A Rolex Sea-Dweller Submariner 2000 

Sold for £31,500


Launched in 1953 during the “Golden Age” of sports watches, the Submariner was developed specifically for the emerging recreational sport of diving. Rene-Paul Jeanneret was a celebrated underwater explorer, conservationist, and filmmaker, as well as an enthusiastic diver. As a close friend of Rolex’s Public Relations Director, Jeanneret would be a driving force behind Rolex’s tool watch concept.

Initially featuring a black dial with luminescent indices, steel strap, screw-down crown, and rotating bezel to monitor dive/decompression times, the Submariner would evolve to become the blueprint for underwater timepieces for the remainder of the 20th century. It was the first waterproof wristwatch to achieve a depth of 100m, 8.55m deeper than Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms released a few months earlier.


A Rolex Submariner Bi-metal Blue dial

Sold for £7,200


The model has endured decades of technical refinements and modifications to achieve perfection. Noteworthy changes include an increase in the case size, the addition of crown-guards, and adjustments to the bezel so it would slightly overhang the side of the case, making it easier to turn.

When Sean Connery played world-famous superspy James Bond in the first 007 film Dr. No, he wore a Rolex Submariner. A glamorous association that would continue for many years and no doubt stimulate the popularity of the model.

One of the key factors that contributes to the Submariner's enduring value is its reputation for quality and craftsmanship. Rolex is renowned for its meticulous attention to detail and the use of only the finest materials, and the Submariner is no exception. With its robust construction, superior components and precise accuracy, the Submariner is built to last, ensuring that it retains its value for generations to come.


A Rolex Submariner stainless steel wristwatch

Sold for £6,800


Furthermore, the Submariner's timeless design together with its status as a symbol of luxury and success have made it a highly desirable item among collectors and enthusiasts. As demand for the Submariner remains high, the resale value of these watches has remained strong, with many models appreciating in value over the years. Indeed, the limited editions and discontinued models, such as rare colour combinations like the green “Kermit”, have attracted a cult following as they become harder to come by.

Ultimately, the Rolex Submariner is a wise investment for those looking to purchase a luxury timepiece that will hold its value and potentially appreciate over time. As one of the most recognisable Rolex models, the unparalleled quality, iconic design, and enduring popularity of the Submariner make certain that it remains a sought-after item for years to come, especially on the secondary resale market.


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Do you have a Rolex Submariner you are thinking of selling?

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