Rolex has the reputation of being unhurried at releasing new watches - slower than a snail on horse tranquilizers. But Rolex, more than simply about releasing new products, is about staying with trends and making better their existing models. One can say that the giant watchmaker is just being careful. Most of their "good" designs are over 40-60 years old. This shows that sometimes, it is quite impossible to have good design partnered with comfort. For instance, the new Rolex Date-Just has undergone an incredible change... by growing to 41mm (but retaining the 36mm for those who like the traditional smaller size). And this year, the basic Rolex Submariner Ceramic Bezel line has featured a few changes - and this made me an incredibly big fan of this classic.
The new case shape is a bit more angular and squared than before, and it does work well. To an extent, it's a more retro look than the out-going Submariner model. Also, the watch is taken to a new level of appeal because of several good modifications to it. First, is the Rolex Submariner Ceramic Bezel. The outgoing model utilizes an aluminium insert - this is scratched too easily and is beginning to look cheap. The new high tech ceramic bezel has molded in numerals (that wil not scratch off). Plus the bezel itself shall retain the shine without getting dull and will not scratch either. This kind of bezel, first seen on the new GMT Master and the DeepSea Sea-Dweller, is now applied to the Submariner. Better yet, the various Rolex diving watches are starting to have characters unique from one another. It used to be that the Submariner as well as the Sea-Dweller were clones to most people's perception, save for the helium escape valve and the lack of magnifier lens on the Sea-Dweller. But today, both models of diving watches are easily distinguishable.
The case has a number of changes as well. It seems like the hands are fattened up even more, which constitutes a good look. Rolex uses a silly name for it "Maxi-dial." Case size is still medium for the era, at about 42mm, but it looks good. On this two-tone model, the gold accents on the Rolex Submariner Ceramic Bezel and dial look truly striking with the gold center link on the bracelet. All Submariner watches have gold hands as well as indicators on the face. The all-steel cased versions have white gold on the face instead of yellow gold.
The story with the lume is different too. Out with the green, in with the blue! Blue glowing lume are placed on the hour marker and hands - this makes them more visible and more suitable underwater. And as in the SeaDweller, the lume on the Rolex Submariner Ceramic Bezel is placed in a little case to prevent it from wearing off. To keep things looking serious, Rolex provides a healthy portion of the case with a brushed finish, while other parts get the polished look.
Rolex's in-house movement has always obtained top marks for being precise and hardy, and nothing has changed there. Still, each model is a certified Chronometer. I've been told by several watch repair people that they prefer working on Rolex movements for being simple and easy to get parts for. Indeed, nothing beats Rolex in making a world-class mass produced movement and watch.
UPDATE. Recently got word that the new Rolesor (mix of steel and gold) Rolex Submariner Ceramic Bezel watch pictures will in fact, have the glidelock deployments of the new DeepSea Sea-Dweller watches. Great news! It was just a few years ago that Rolex ultimately got rid of the outer pin holes on the lugs. I really hated some of the older bracelet deployments, but with the new system of the DeepSea Sea-Dweller, Rolex proved that if it put its mind to it, it could come up with the best bracelet deployment in the industry. To reiterate, the new Rolex Submariner Ceramic Bezel watches will now use better and upgraded bracelets.
Enthusiasts of the Rolex Submariner Ceramic Bezel can go on and on singing praises about this watch. The real power of the Submariner, no matter the color, style, presence of gold, or similar - is that it's truly the most versatile watch in the world. For starters, this watch looks good on anyone, on any outfit. With its high value retention and widespread appeal, and a design that keeps getting (incrementally) better. And since it's a Rolex, then this will never let you down - you can depend on its staying power. This makes me wish for having one for myself someday.