Deconstructed: Rolex 'Red' Submariner

Christie's
May 5, 2014 6:16PM

The affectionately-dubbed Rolex “Red Sub” is, as Christie’s International Head of Retail for Watches, Reginald Brack, puts it, designed to “take you from diving right out into the elegant, sophisticated world of martinis and smoking jackets.” Brack breaks down exactly what makes this model with all-original parts and all its original accoutrements so special.

Rolex has been making different variations of Submariner since the fifties. But this model was the first Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner that included a date function. Until this model arrived, Submariners were just used to tell time and to keep track of a diver’s time underwater using the bezel. So this watch still has all of the attributes of a professional diver’s watch, but it also includes the date wheel. We can tell by the font on the date wheel that it’s the correct original.

In the dozen or more years this model was made, we believe it was only during the first six to eight years that they made these so-called “Red” Submariners, with the Submariner text printed in red on the dial. After that, they switched to white text. This is a 3.3 million serial number, which dates the watch to approximately 1974, so this is one of the final variations on the “Red” dial.

Read more on the deconstruction of the Rolex ‘Red’ Submariner here, and check out the Christie’s Watch Shop to browse and buy the world’s best vintage and pre-owned watches online.

(Image Courtesy of Christie’s)

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