24 March 2011

On The Wrist: Rolex Submariner

The day ends. A writing desk seems the perfect location to enjoy a glass of red wine in Stubbs & Wootton slippers and reminisce in vignettes. I shall keep this tale brief, as I have a cocktail appointment in mere minutes. Three years ago, right before my first marriage to an Arabian beauty, I sold my first Rolex Submariner watch. The reason was to help fund the proceedings, I told family and friends, but really--and be sure to keep this between the two of us--it was because I had heard through the Young Fogey network that Rolex were due to release an updated version of the Submariner in two or three years' time. I had to have it. And I (almost) always get what I want. So I invested the funds, as any prudent chap would do, and by the time the new watch hit the market I had saved more than enough; much more, in fact, than the cost of the original watch. Until, that is, I happily spent the dosh on a new and improved Rolex Submariner in totenkopf black face. Photos to come. The new timepiece is slightly larger and bulkier than the previous model, with a ceramic bezel, puffed-up lug, and solid steel bracelet, but without appearing like the absurdly over-sized men's watches--such as those made by Panerai-- currently favoured by under-sized Asian bankers and their under-sized admirers. It hits that balance between the jumbo timepieces currently in fashion with the bourgeois crowd, and the slim retiring watches from houses such as Patike Phillipe worn by the shy, elderly, and infirm. The new Rolex Submariner takes pride of place beside other Rolex pieces in the AC collection, where, like its owner, it stands as magnificent testimony to Teutonic engineering. Now I really must be going.

6 comments:

Mike said...

I hope you did the right thing selling your old Sub. Personally, I don't really like the new look. Way too bulky and far from elegance and understatement if you want my opinion. But it's still a Rolex. But does this justify a 50% price rise?
I'll try to buy an old one and put it in my safe.

Reggie Darling said...

One also has a weakness for the watches of the House of Rolex. I have three of them. A stainless steel Submariner for when I'm feeling sporty, a gold and stainless monster of a Daytona for when the IBanker in me growls, and finally a gold vintage Presidential for when I am feeling sleek and smug (there's nothing quite like a solid gold Rolex to say "Fuck You!"). But one cannot live on Rolexes alone, one still requires a discrete gold watch with a lizard strap for when Bling is simply not done. And that is when a severely plain Patek-Phillipe is, in fact, the ne plus ultra.

A.E.F. said...

Admiral, rather like that watch. There's nothing subtle about a Rolex so pointless to pretend. Reggie makes an excellent point. My ex-husband had a wafer thin solid gold Patek Phillipe engraved on the back with name of the Derby winner that funded the purchase. He lost it when he forgot which bar in London he'd left it in as co-lateral for his tab...

Ian from Downunder said...

I bought my sub in 1977 for $460.00after I saw Sir Roger wearing one in Live & Let Die. It cost $930.00 to have it serviced last year. Worth every cent. I think they're still the only watch that is certified against an atomic clock and in spite of what some say, I think they are extremely elegant.

David said...

I must also protest the 116610, but only because I think they should have either made the strap wider or tapered off the lugs in a sleeker fashion. I really prefer the late 80s/early 90s subs, I told myself that if I get accepted into a JD/MBA program I'll buy one as a reward.

Having seen a bunch of Pateks, I still think of Rolex as a superior watch (except the super high end Henry Graves-esque Pateks). In fact my uncle recently traded a vintage Patek to his friend for a Ref. 1680 red sub. I think he made the right choice.

Anonymous said...

I bought my Rolex Submariner on the Rue de Royal in Paris for $100 USD in 1965.