Recently, I wrote a blog about my Top 10 diving watches. We received a certain amount of feedback, on this site and the forums, about the absence of the Rolex Submariner. Why did the world’s most iconic diving watch not make my list of top 10? I am glad you asked…
I deliberately left out the Submariner and I did so, knowing this would raise some eyebrows. I respect the Rolex Submariner immensely. I believe it is one of the highest quality products on Earth. I believe it has earned its reputation as one of the ultimate tool watches ever made. And… I do not care for the Submariner. I really dislike the hands and the dot minute markers. I just don’t like the aesthetics and I cannot put it on my list.
There is another factor at play which we call the Rolex Submariner Guy Syndrome. You see, the Sub seems to be the watch of choice for affluent men who “need” an expensive watch while not caring at all for the masterpiece on their wrist. I don’t want to be mistaken for this guy. Sure, savvy watch aficionados buy Subs because it is a grail to many. These guys appreciate their watches and pass the Sub down to their grandkids. These are my kind of guys. But I have met quite a few others, sporting a Sub, who proudly explain that it doesn’t need a battery when asked about it. And it’s a common piece — so common, that is has gotten cliche. On my last vacation, I was surrounded by Submariners in the pool. Maybe you see so many Subs because they are just great watches. Maybe. But I cannot take that chance. I think it’s more likely that you see Subs everywhere being worn by unsophisticated guys because it is so famous that people seek it out as an obviously expensive watch. That’s a turnoff.
I am clearly a victim of reverse marketing and I’m probably trying to be cool myself by hating on a popular watch. But I just cannot allocate a spot on my Top 10 to a watch the I find unattractive and cliche. I respect it, but I don’t like it and for ten grand, I can find many other phenomenal timepieces.