I have to start this off by paying tribute to the discontinuation of what is my favorite watch: The 116619LB. It’s not the most expensive, the showiest, the most complex, or any number of other superlatives out there, but in my opinion it was the perfect watch. It combined the Submariner design, the most iconic watch of all time, and its history with a blue dial and bezel that couldn’t be beat. The blue of both the dial and bezel matched and were the perfect shade. Rolex had used the same blue colour dial on their 116613LB and 116618LB models for a brief period of time in 2013, but promptly (and very unfortunately) switched back to the sunburst blue dials when there was some backlash about the dial change. The “flat blue” dial, as it was known, continued to grace the dial of the white gold blue Submariner, and that just made that model even more special compared to the sea of sunburst dials offered throughout the rest of the Submariner lineup. There was something so great about wearing a tool watch that was made in a solid precious metal (and had the weight of it), while the rest of the world would just assume it’s steel. This watch, for me, will always go down as not only the best Rolex, but the best watch.
Moving on to the new release, Rolex has released a new white gold Submariner with a blue ceramic bezel and a black dial. All Rolex Submariners are now offered exclusively in 41mm case sizes. The watch now has the “2” designation as the second digit in the reference number and a Rolex crown at the bottom of the dial in between “SWISS” and “MADE” to refer to the updated 3235 movement that it houses. The COSC-certified 3235 comes with a 70-hour power reserve and is rated to +2/-2 seconds per day.
Many had hoped for a stainless steel Submariner with a blue dial and/or bezel. Like the white gold Pepsi released a few years back, we could possibly still see a blue steel Sub released in the next round or two of releases, so there’s still a chance. Personally, I wouldn’t have wanted a blue steel Submariner, because it would have undoubtedly come with a sunburst dial had it had a blue dial. Talking now about the watch at hand, I’m not overly impressed… Especially when it’s trying to replace my favorite watch. Maybe I’ll feel more positively about it after seeing it in person, but right now this is a very obvious step down from what it replaces.
The new Rolex 126619LB 41mm White Gold Blue Submariner is priced at 39,650 USD.