The NEW Rolex Submariner 2020 model reference guide

The NEW Rolex Submariner 2020 model reference guide

04 September 2020 | Rolex , Diving Watches

The 2020 Rolex Submariner was undoubtedly under the spotlight during the 1st of September reveal of the 2020 new Rolex watches. The video teaser "Rolex Out of the Blue" released a few days earlier was somehow misleading; most enthusiasts thought of a new Oystersteel Rolex Submariner Blue to be also introduced. Despite most Rolex fans being disappointed with the new Submariner collection, the 2020 Sub has been consistently upgraded. It confirms the Submariner as a benchmark among luxury sports diving watches.

The NEW Rolex Submariner 2020 model reference guide

After three days of tons of posts and plenty of forum threads, let's try and summarize what makes the 2020 Submariner collection genuinely different from its predecessor. Afterward, we'll collect all the newcomers in a single picture, eight against the four new references the brand has promoted via ad and social media campaign.

1953 - 2020: the Submariner is about to turn seventy

In 2023 the Rolex Submariner will celebrate its seventieth anniversary; let's expect the brand to launch a commemorative edition. However, we hope the current life cycle to last at least as long as the now-discontinued collection (ten years). If you want to look at the Submariner's storyline so far, click the picture below and enlarge it.

The NEW Rolex Submariner 2020 model reference guide

Along its journey, the Submariner has turned from a simple, unrefined diving watch to the most wanted luxury diving sports watch, with sticker prices steadily growing year after year, from one generation to another. The six product models pictured above and officially released by Rolex do not include all the Sub options so far but prove how this collection has evolved and radically changed.

Rolex Submariner 2020: product specification

The new collection introduces a new case design and steps up from a technical standpoint. Rolex's approach in upgrading its collection reminds me of what Porsche does with each new 911 generation; it's a matter of constant product evolution rather than revolution.

The NEW Rolex Submariner 2020 model reference guide

At first glance, here are the upgrades: 

  • a 41mm case size replaces the long-standing 40mm's 
  • the 2020 Rolex Submariner welcomes a new generation of mechanical movements 
  • the Rolex Hulk is discontinued; please welcome the 2020 Rolex Kermit
  • the 2020 Rolex Submariner Smurf replaces the old Rolex Smurf 

The first outcome of the 2020 Submariner's reveal is that the phased-out Rolex 114060 and Rolex 116610LV's prices keep growing. The Sub No Date 40mm, for instance, has increased an unbelievable five percentage points on Chrono24, in less than three days.

Rolex Submariner 41mm: the design

The case grows 1 millimeter in diameter, although most people thought Rolex to release, according to the leaks that flooded the Internet, a 39mm Oyster Perpetual Submariner. Not only the new Sub is 41mm across, but a 39-large Oyster Perpetual has also (almost) disappeared from the brand's catalog.

The NEW Rolex Submariner 2020 model reference guide

The lugs showcase a new design, making each new Submariner an homage to some vintage Rolex references, at least by looking at my Rolex 5513. A comparison between old and new models allows us to identify better what sets the new one apart from its old sibling.

Submariner 2020 vs. Submariner 2019: the comparison highlights the differences between old and new Sub

If we place in a single picture old Submariner 114060 and new Submariner 124060 head to head, it's easier to identify how and where they are different, although we expect to get our hands on the new one anytime soon.

The NEW Rolex Submariner 2020 model reference guide

Here are our assumptions: 

  • as a result of the 41mm case size, we assume the bezel being larger 
  • the thinner and longer lugs are the result of an increased lug-to-lug width (from 20 to 21 millimeters - let's expect Rubber-B, Everest Band and others straps suppliers to upgrade their Rolex replacement rubber straps offerings soon) 
  • the Rolex logo placed inside the Swiss Made lettering, at six 
  • the crown protectors look sharper, less squared

The new Rolex 3230 caliber and the Rolex 3235

From a technical standpoint, the new Submariner welcomes the new caliber 3230 and Rolex 3235. They power the 2020 Submariner 124060 and Submariner Date 126610LN, respectively. The 3235 equips the entire collection, including Submariner Rolesor and Yellow Gold. There's no comparison between old and new movement; the new one outperforms the old one in every aspect. We described most of the features common to Rolex's new generation calibers when we reviewed the Datejust 41.

The NEW Rolex Submariner 2020 model reference guide

From a consumer's perspective, the power reserve grows from 48 to 70 hours, which means a 45%+ power reserve increase. The new movements also feature the patented Chronergy escapement. Here are just two specs that make this caliber much more refined (and better finished) than the outgoing one.

Rolex Submariner 2020, price list and product references

2020 Rolex Submariner in Oystersteel

With the 2020 new Rolex Submariner collection, Rolex confirms the No Date Submariner has not been discontinued.

The NEW Rolex Submariner 2020 model reference guide

The 2020 Sub No Date replaces the Submariner No Date 114060 and comes as reference 124060. It is the quintessential luxury diving sports watch: no-frills, rugged, reliable and upgraded, the 2020 Submariner No Date retails for 7,750 Euros, not a huge price increase considering aesthetic updates and, above all, the new caliber 3230.

The NEW Rolex Submariner 2020 model reference guide

The Submariner Date 126610 keeps coming in two options: black dial and black ceramic bezel, or the much-coveted variant with a green ceramic bezel that replaces the iconic "Hulk" and draws inspiration from the hot 50th-anniversary celebratory timepiece, the Rolex Kermit. The new Kermit with green ceramic bezel has been nicknamed "Rolex Cermit" or, as I read somewhere on the Internet, Rolex Starbucks. I guess it has also to do with Howard Schultz, founder, and CEO of Starbucks, being a vintage Rolex collector. The reference 126610LN retails for 8,750 Euros, the Submariner Date 126610LV for 9,150 Euros.

2020 new Rolex Submariner, the whole collection

Before moving up to Rolesor and Yellow Gold options, here is a family portrait showing the new eight references available as of the 1st of September 2020:

The NEW Rolex Submariner 2020 model reference guide

Again, the Full Gold Submariner comes exclusively in Yellow Gold. If you're looking for an Everose Gold Oyster Perpetual, please upgrade to a GMT-Master 2 Root Beer or Full Gold.

New 2020 Rolex Submariner in Steel and Yellow Gold Rolesor

In addition to the hot references in steel, here are the updated steel and gold new Submariner. The two-tone Submariner Rolesor 2020 references are as follows:

  • reference 126613LB with Royal Blue sunray dial and ceramic bezel
  • reference 126613LN with black dial and bezel.

They both retail for 13,700 Euros, a 200 Euros increase over their predecessors.

New 2020 Rolex Submariner in Yellow Gold

The Rolex Submariner 2020-2021 product range also includes two references in yellow gold:

  • reference 126618LN with black dial and bezel
  • reference 126618LB with Royal Blue dial and bezel

Both cost 35,400 Euros each.

New Rolex Submariner 2020 in white gold with black dial and blue bezel

Finally, the top-end Submariner is the 2020 new Rolex Smurf, in white gold with the blue bezel (and black dial). This model is marked as reference 126619LB and retails for 38,000 Euro. For additional information, please visit www.rolex.com.

(Photo credit: courtesy of Rolex, Google)

Francesco Falcone @Horbiter®

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