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Rolex Submariner Price Guide

It has been said many times before, but only because it’s true: the Rolex Submariner is the world’s most famous diver’s watch. Born in the 1950s as a tool watch for scuba divers and eventually evolving into a must-have status sports watch, the Submariner is often imitated, but never duplicated.

The Submariner’s popularity has resulted in a booming market for these highly coveted Rolex dive watches—both at retail and in the secondary market. Considering the number of different Submariner models Rolex has made over the last 65 years and model’s thriving demand, determining how much to pay for a Submariner can be challenging. As such, we have compiled a Rolex Submariner Price Guide as a handy resource should you be in the market for one.

Brief History and Evolution of the Rolex Submariner

Rolex first introduced the Submariner in 1953 with a host of features to cater to needs of scuba divers. For instance, the watch was constructed from durable stainless steel, came fitted with a rotating bezel to measure dive times, included plenty of luminescence on the dial for optimal legibility, and most importantly, was water resistant to 100 meters.

The earliest models of the Submariner were time-only watches until the late 1960s, when Rolex debuted a Submariner Date model. Since then, Rolex has continued to make Submariner Date models and no-Date Submariner models. The Submariner has always run on automatic mechanical movements and its water resistance has evolved from 100 meters to 300 meters today.

For about 15 years after its initial launch, the Rolex Submariner was exclusively made in stainless steel. This all changed in 1969 when Rolex introduced the first yellow gold Submariner. In 1983, Rolex presented the very first two-tone yellow gold and steel Submariner. Fast forward to 2008, Rolex unveiled the very first white gold Submariner model. Today, you can find stainless steel, yellow gold, white gold, and two-tone yellow gold and steel Submariner Date watches. On the other hand, Rolex has only ever made the no-date Submariner models in stainless steel.

Along with different metal options, Rolex has also made different bezels throughout the years. It is important to note that Submariner bezels were initially bi-directional. Rolex introduced the unidirectional bezel to the Submariner Date in 1979 and to the no-date Submariner in 1990.

For most of its history, the steel Submariner was only offered with a black aluminum bezel insert. Then, on the 50th anniversary of the Sub, Rolex presented a steel Submariner Date with a green aluminum bezel. Conversely, the yellow gold and two-tone Submariner watches were always offered with a choice of black or blue aluminum bezels. The biggest change to the Submariner bezel came in 2008 when Rolex switched from aluminum to ceramic bezels. Today, Rolex makes the yellow gold and two-tone Submariner Date watches with a black or blue ceramic bezel, the white gold Submariner Date watch with a blue ceramic bezel, the stainless steel Submariner Date with a black or green ceramic bezel, and the stainless steel no-date Submariner with a black ceramic bezel.

Current Rolex Submariner Models Price Guide

Below you will find a table outlining the Submariner models that Rolex currently produces along with retail price and average price range in the secondary market. As you’ll see, some models have a higher value in the secondary market because demand outpaces supply at the retail level.

TypeReferenceMaterialBezelRetail Price (US$)Secondary Market Value
No-Date Submariner114060Stainless SteelBlack Ceramic$7,500$7,700 – $10,500
Submariner Date116610LV “Hulk”Stainless SteelGreen Ceramic$9,050$12,500 – $17,500
Submariner Date116610LNStainless SteelBlack Ceramic$8,550$8,700 – $13,000
Submariner Date116613LNYellow Gold & Stainless SteelBlack Ceramic$13,400$11,000 – $14,000
Submariner Date116613LBYellow Gold & Stainless SteelBlue Ceramic$13,400$11,800 – $14,000
Submariner Date116618LNYellow GoldBlack Ceramic$34,250$27,000 – $30,000
Submariner Date116618LBYellow GoldBlue Ceramic$34,250$27,000 – $30,000
Submariner Date116619LB “Smurf”White GoldBlue Ceramic$36,850$26,000 – $34,000

Discontinued Rolex Submariner Models Price Guide (late 1980s – 2000s)

Below is a table outlining the now-discontinued Submariner models that Rolex made from the late 1980s until the new generation appeared in the 2000s.

TypeReferenceProduction YearsMaterialBezelSecondary Market Value
No-Date Submariner140601990 – 1998Stainless SteelBlack Aluminum$6,000 – $8,500
No-Date Submariner14060M1998 – 2012Stainless SteelBlack Aluminum$6,200 – $9,500
Submariner Date16610LN1988 -2010Stainless SteelBlack Aluminum$6,500 – $9,000
Submariner Date16610LV “Kermit”2003 -2010Stainless SteelGreen Aluminum$11,500 – $18,000
Submariner Date16618LN (Black) 16618LB (Blue)1988 -2008Yellow GoldBlack or Blue Aluminum$18,000 – $25,000
Submariner Date16613LN (Black) 16613LB (Blue)1988 -2009Yellow Gold & Stainless SteelBlack or Blue Aluminum$7,000 – $11,000

A Word On Vintage Rolex Submariner Prices

As a general rule, a watch has to be at least 30 years old to be considered a vintage model. The world of vintage Submariners is a complex one with plenty of different models, references, and minute details to consider—and each of these components can have an effect on the value.

Subsequently, prices vary wildly from the low five figures all the way to the millions. The intricacies of the vintage Submariner market go well beyond the scope of this article but if you’re looking to purchase one, make sure to do your homework!

3 comments

  1. John, to semi-quote you…”Just my opinion though and not worth much.” In that much of your uniformed comments, I completely agree.

  2. John

    I completely agree with you but when I traded in my 1980’s Rolex Oyster and got credit for more than what I paid for it for a Panerai GMT I am a believer. I now own a Rolex Sub yellow gold and Rolex GMT Pepsi.

  3. John Richard

    The price ranges, and values, set on Rolex wrist watches has always completely baffled me. The movements, outward appearances, and even the materials used in the manufacture of same, are NOT unique, rare, or even particularly attractive comparatively speaking in watch designs. They are not even the oldest of watch brands, to my knowledge anyway. So what is the big deal?

    I realize that like a “Harley Davidson” motorcycle the standard answer is “if you have to ask you wouldn’t understand”. Well such an answer is not good enough, and is basically a snobby way out of further discussion…..again in my personal view. If something is made of real gold, depending on the price of gold at the time of discussion, I could see a higher price tag. If the movement or interior workings of the watch were completely unique, or made of some unique materials, perhaps I could understand the prices asked….especially the higher end prices or those asked for “older” models. Or, if a Rolex wrist watch kept BETTER, or more “dependable” time, than ANY other watch? I could definitely see some justification. None of which is applicable to Rolex watches.

    So perhaps it is in the nebulous realm of the “eye of the beholder”? Well such territory is dangerous ground I feel, and hard to substantiate in REAL terms. I am reminded of the old Aesop fable about the “Emperor’s New Clothes” more than anything else I guess when it comes to Rolex wrist watches. Just my opinion though and not worth much compared to all the hoopla around this brand.

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