Part of the updated collection for 2020 is the new Rolex Submariner Ref. 126619LB (the LB means Lunette Bleu, or Blue Bezel) in a white gold case with black dial and blue ceramic bezel. While this is not a new “Smurf” Ref. 116619LB, which as you’ll recall has been the white gold with blue bezel and blue dial variant, the new Ref. 126619LB is going to be the among first precious metal Submariners of this new generation. The new features and changes echo those of the three steel siblings (the Submariner Ref. 126610LV black dial/green bezel; Ref. 126610LN black dial/black bezel; Ref. 124060 no-date black dial/black bezel) in that the case is sized up too 41mm with slightly thinner profile and new 3235 movement with an increase in power reserve.
As with the new Ref. 126610LV in steel with green bezel and black dial, it looks like Rolex is stepping back a bit from the matching dial and bezel colors for the new Sub generation. But what’s new with the Rolex Submariner Ref. 126619LB ? Well, the 41mm case is up a millimeter from the outgoing generation’s 40mm case, and the lugs are a bit slimmer, as well. The Submariner 126619LB case and three-link bracelet (with Oysterlock folding safety clasp and Glidelock micro-adjusting system) are both done in all 18k white gold, making for a watch that doesn’t immediately betray its true heft and feel on the wrist. Even with the new case, the specs are unchanged with 300M of water resistance.
And, of course, we have the new generation movement with the caliber 3235 that has a 70-hour power reserve and operates at 28,800 vph. The automatic movement has a quick set date and has the Rolex “Superlative Chronometer” rating, which is more stringent than COSC with 1-2 seconds per day accuracy. The 3235 also has the new Rolex Chronergy escapement that is patented by Rolex, which is made of nickel-phosphorus and is insensitive to magnetic interference.
The outgoing Rolex Submariner family did not have a steel blue bezel model (just as there was no green model in precious metal), though there were the Ref. 116618LB in yellow gold with a blue dial/bezel and the somewhat divisive two-tone steel/yellow gold Ref. 116613LB that had more of Crown Royal purple-ish blue hue that was a bit different from its all-precious metal siblings. It’s too soon to say what iterations Rolex will come up with when it comes to the future of the blue Submariner but, again, the last generation didn’t have an all-steel model.
Rolex Submariner Ref. 126619LB says that its new models are available for purchase immediately, but of course, that is more in theory than in practice due to how much demand will outweigh supply. I would presume that the hype and overwhelming demand for this white gold Submariner will be less intense than for its three steel siblings, but also factor in that production numbers will be even more limited.