This is one of the most coveted watches on the market. An icon that laid the foundations for all diving watches as we know them today, and one of the most emblematic models from the brand with the crown. For your pleasure (and ours), we spent a week with the Rolex Submariner 126610LV alias Kermit 2.
Submariner: a diving icon
We’ve already recounted its history, which we’ll summarize for you today. While the Oyster case was unveiled in 1923, a milestone in the history of water-resistant watches, the first true diver’s watch appeared in 1936 thanks to Panerai and its Radiomir, used by the Italian navy. But it wasn’t until 1953 that the first diver’s watches saw the light of day. That year, three brands made their mark at the Basel Fair: Rolex with its Submariner, Blancpain with its Fifty Fathomsas well as Zodiac with the Seawolf (which is all too often overlooked), all of which boast a 100-meter water resistance.
The Submariner made its mark when it accompanied Auguste Picard to 3,150 meters on board the bathyscaphe Trieste7 years before the famous 10,916-meter descent into the Mariana Trench, this time with a model specially designed for the occasion, the Deep Sea Special. A decisive shift for the Swiss industry, positioning their watchmaking creations not just as ornamental objects but as genuine professional tools. But while divers were quick to adopt it, it was thanks to Sean Connery the Submariner won the hearts of the general public. With its legendary status, the Submariner has evolved only subtly over the decades, improving technically and mechanically, and being fitted with the Cyclops in 1965. The first Kermit her, with a green bezel insert, will see the light of day in 2003 to celebrate the model’s fiftieth anniversary. The Hulk will take its place in 2010.
A subtly revisited design
While many subtleties have punctuated the evolution of the Submariner through the ages, reference 126610LV marks history in its own way. Launched at the 2020 edition of the now defunct Baselworld, it is part of the new wave of Submariners in the world of watchmaking. redesigned case with a diameter increased to 41mm from 40mm until now. An evolution applied to the no-date version as well as to the 7 variations of the Submariner Date, which surprised enthusiasts, at least at first glance. This expansion has enabled Rolex torefine the lugs which had become more muscular (like the bezel) over time, making it ultimately aesthetically closer to the historical models. More vintage, if you will.
Strangely, its small stoutness doesn’t affect his wrist presenceIn fact, the opposite is true. While this little extra millimetre has created controversy, the rest of the case has undergone a subtle slimming down. The size of the bezel is virtually identical – a few tenths of a millimetre at most – and its thickness is identical, as is its horn-to-horn length. The crown guard has been refined and is more streamlined. Overall, at the wrist, it is even easier to weara little more elegant. Technically, it retains all its flagship attributes: Oystersteel steel, water resistance to 300 meters with triple Triplock sealing system on the crown, Cerachrom bezel insert (whose color does not fade in contact with UV rays or water) with PVD-coated platinum graduations, as well as a Chromalight-studded bezel on the triangular marker. At the same time, why change the ingredients of a winning recipe?
Another positive point of this famous millimeter is a larger dial opening, and therefore better legibility. Once again, everything is so subtle that you almost have to get out the electronic ruler to tell the difference. A lot of impressions turn out to be right, but always under the influence of hesitation. The applied indexes retain theapplication of Chromalight which, unlike SuperLumiNova, doesn’t create that ultra-bright effect at first: its effect is more linear and, above all, longer. Is it really worth describing the indexes, the timer scale or the hands? Nothing will ever change in this respect, and so much the better. We love the cardinal point markers, the imperfect white texture in the middle of the indexes, and above all the magnifying effect of the cyclops, which hits the nail on the head. It’s thearchetypal classic display which doesn’t try to do too much.
While everyone has been busy arguing about its new dimensions, the real great evolution of this Submariner 126610LV lies within its case. It’s not not a revolution on Rolex’s scale because this new movement, the caliber 3235The Sea-Dweller 126600 had already been available for several years. Thanks to its spiral in ParachromIt remains more precise despite shocks and now displays a 70-hour power reserve. It continues to benefit from double COSC and Superlative Chronometer with a daily deviation of just -2/+2 seconds. In short, the brand is catching up with the competition…but 10 years later! Even so, this movement repositioned Rolex for the future, since this kind of innovation doesn’t happen every decade; it’s easy to see why the brand with the crown prefers to take its time.
Unsurprisingly, this Submariner retains its iconic three-link Oyster braceletbrushed with polished sides, as for the case middle. The enlarged case makes for a more compact design. inevitably widerbut with a difference of less than a millimeter. Rolex announces that this has a positive influence on comfort and stability. It retains all its technical features: the Oysterlock safety valve introduced in 1969, but also its Glidelock system allowing micro-adjustment in a matter of seconds, albeit over a distance of almost two centimetres. To use the Glidelock, simply remove the watch from your wrist, pull on the last link to unhook it and then push to slide it off. A highly useful function for adjusting the size of your bracelet as the seasons change.
Our opinion on this Rolex watch
If the Submariner has dominated the market for nearly 70 yearsand not for nothing. Even if its evolutions are subtle, they are not superficial either. Rolex sets a stone in the direction of perfection and reiterates an icon as per the rules of the art. On the other hand, it invests in the past and responds, perhaps for the first time, to public criticism by skilfully correcting the design. This new line probably represents the biggest step forward since the arrival of sapphire crystal and ceramic inserts. And even if we like this Kermit 2, Cermit or Starbucks, we regret the disappearance of the 116610LVthe Incredible Hulk, which had more cachet and stood out from the traditional black-backed models. The problem of availability which has hit the market hard for several years now. Even 5 years ago, you’d have seen a reference like this in the shop window, but now you have to wait 5 years to (maybe) get it, which is so frustrating that some people are turning their backs on Rolex. In any case, weeks like this are a real pleasure, even more so for us diving enthusiasts. The Submariner is dead, long live the Submariner!
Rolex Submariner watch reference 126610LV / Features
- Case : Oystersteel steel / Brushed & polished finish
- Width : 41mm
- Length : 48.1mm
- Thickness : 12.4mm
- Lug spacing : 20mm
- Photoluminescence : Yes / Chromalight
- Glass type : Flat sapphire glass / Cyclops magnifier
- Case back : Full
- Movement: Automatic / Rolex Caliber 3235
- Power reserve : 70 hours
- Bracelet : Oystersteel / Brushed & polished finish
- Buckle : Oysterlock deployant with Glidelock
- Water resistance : 30 ATM / 300 meters
- Warranty : 5 years