The Top Nine Rolex Submariner Alternatives
Rolex introduced the Submariner in 1953 to great fanfare. It set a new, historic standard for divers’ watches at the time—waterproof to an astounding depth of 100 meters. Rolex has continued to innovate in the years since then, and today’s Submariner is waterproof to a depth of 300 meters. It is, truly, the ultimate divers’ watch. However, because of skyrocketing global demand and speculation, the ability to get your hands on a Submariner puts it out of reach for many divers and sport aficionados. There are, however, excellent alternatives. Here are our top nine choices.
Tudor Black Bay
Strength, reliability, and precision, all in the service of rugged individuality. That’s the hallmark of Tudor, a watch company created by the founder of Rolex. The Tudor Black Bay is 60 years of diving history distilled into one iconic watch. Like many past models in the brand’s heralded history, the watches of the Black Bay collection feature a domed dial and crystal, angular “Snowflake” hands, and a prominent winding crown. Cases are available in stainless steel or a combination of stainless steel and yellow gold. Dial features include a date indicator (except on the BB Fifty-Eight) and luminescent hands and hour markers. The timepiece boasts water resistance up to 200 meters. Matching straps are available in stainless steel, stainless steel and yellow gold, fabric or aged leather.
OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean
The Seamaster collection was first launched in 1948 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of OMEGA. The Seamaster was then, and is now, a chronometer of strength, style and sophistication designed after the waterproof watches of the British military. In fact, the Seamaster is so iconic that it adorned the wrist of James Bond in several movies. The Planet Ocean watches are an integral part of the Seamaster collection with cases of steel, black ceramic or titanium. Case features among the different models include a helium escape valve, liquidmetal diving scale, screw-in crown, unidirectional rotating bezel, transparent caseback and more. The numerous color and strap combinations are sure to excite everyone from diving enthusiasts to international spies. And with its signature orange accents, the Planet Ocean is just one of two Seamasters that made our list of Submariner alternates.
Glashütte Original Spezialist SeaQ Panorama Date
State-of-the-art modern German watchmaking, the ultimate confluence of quality, precision and design excellence—that is the essence of Glashütte Original. The Spezialist collection was designed with creators and adventurers in mind. The SeaQ Panorama Date watches are worthy additions to the Spezialist family, with stainless steel cases and sapphire crystals. Features such as a scratch-resistant rotating bezel and Super-LumiNova hands and indices for easy-to-read brightness in the dark of the deep make this a worthy dive watch. Dials are available in galvanized blue or black and straps in stainless steel, synthetic grey or blue, or black rubber. The SeaQ Panorama is a tool watch that also has style and sophistication to spare.
Seiko Prospex SNR029
Seiko is world-renowned for technical sophistication and brilliant design expertise, and the Prospex collection certainly lives up to the Seiko name. With the Prospex collection, Seiko has pushed the envelope for professional and recreational divers, and sports lovers of all kinds, bringing them greater reliability, safety and style. This timepiece offers water resistance to 300 meters for saturation diving. Additional features include a titanium case with super hard coating, sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, screw caseback, screw down crown and a unidirectional rotating bezel. Features of the sleek black dial include Lumibrite on hands and indexes, 30 jewels, a date display, a power reserve display and a stop seconds hand function. The titanium strap has a three-fold clasp with a secure lock and push button release.
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms
Many watch companies have long and storied histories so the fact that Blancpain is indisputably the world’s oldest means something important, as does their tagline and fundamental guiding principle: “Innovation is our tradition.” When Blancpain debuted the Fifty Fathoms collection in 1953, they had spent years working with divers, scientists and underwater photographers with just one goal in mind—to develop the world’s first modern diver’s watch. The Fifty Fathoms watches today are rugged, innovative tools for the diver’s wrist, but also stylish, sophisticated timepieces in both men’s and unisex models. Case materials include 18K red gold, 18K white gold, black ceramic, grey ceramic, satin-brushed black and blue ceramic, gold, steel, stainless steel, and titanium. The matching dial colors—sunburst blue ceramic, luminescent black, meteor grey and more—are a dazzling accompaniment. Dial features include a date pointer, flyback chronograph functions, a month and day window display, a moon phase display and a small seconds sundial. A timepiece for any diver or any true watch aficionado.
OMEGA Seamaster 300M James Bond 007 “No Time to Die” Edition
An OMEGA Seamaster first appeared beneath the cuff of James Bond’s tuxedo in Goldeneye in 1995. 26 years later, Bond is still licensed to kill and he’s still wearing an OMEGA, the “No Time to Die” edition. Like all Seamasters, this is a world class diver’s watch with a screw-in crown and a unidirectional rotating bezel on a lightweight case crafted from titanium. The model boasts anti-magnetic, helium escape valve complications, water resistance to 300 meters and a 55 hour power reserve. The rich brown dial features luminescent hands and hour markers. The piece is finished with a titanium mesh strap.
Some watches exist to look good on the wrist and some to look good and perform other useful functions. The watches of the Tudor Pelagos collection do all that and more…they are the ultimate all-in-one tool watch. Yes, these timepieces have style and sophistication to spare, with Tudor’s signature angular “Snowflake” hands set in dials of black or blue. For adventurers and divers, the Pelagos is waterproof up to 500 meters, with a helium escape valve, unidirectional titanium bezel and white luminescent graducations. Offered with a titanium strap with Tudor’s patented steel folding clasp with auto-adjustable spring mechanism, plus an extra rubber strap.
Breitling SuperOcean Heritage
The intersection of science, sport and technology is where Brietling has found its sweet spot in watchmaking since 1884. First skyward, in their close association with the world of aviation and then down deep with dive watches. The updated, upgraded SuperOcean Heritage collection continues the sterling legacy of technologically advanced Brietling dive watches with water resistance up to 200 meters. Cases of steel or black DLC steel feature a screwed in caseback and a unidirectional ratcheting bezel. Dials of black, blue or green feature chronograph counters, a day and date indicator, gold tone hands and hour markers and more.
Ulysse Nardin Diver
When one can wear a watch for a stylish Friday night on the town, a Saturday morning deep ocean dive and a Sunday afternoon 10k run, chances are it’s a timepiece from the Ulysse Nardin Diver collection. These precision diving instruments and all-around sport watches feature a unidirectional rotating bezel and water resistance to 300 meters plus at-a-glance readability. Choose from case materials such as 18K rose gold, titanium and stainless steel. The dials, in colors from sand-blasted black to blue, grey and mother-of-pearl, are ornamented with chronograph counters and date indicators. Rubber straps come in complementary colors with titanium elements.
Discover these and other Rolex Submariner alternatives at Feldmar. Browse our online store or stop into our flagship location.