Pointy is the New Square – A Look Back at the Rolex Submariner

square crown guards vs pointy submariner 5512

When examining a watch there are a number of different features that give it that stylish look we all want. The patina forming on a dial, uniqueness, size… the list goes on. No matter how cool all of those might sound they all come second to a timepiece that has an interesting story behind it. And there aren’t too many stories better than the historical tale behind the Rolex Submariner 5512 with square crown guards.

Launched back in 1953, Rolex decided to launch a new collection called Submariner to meet ever-growing demands in the diving world. In just a short time, the Submariner would become the go-to watch among scuba divers earning its reputation as the quintessential diving watch.

The submariner gained popularity quickly and the mega watch brand took notice. In just a few short years the original Submariner references 5510 and 6538 were replaced by reference 5512 in 1959. The new reference boasted some new features never seen on previous models. Some of these features included an improved wide revolving bezel, a smaller crown, and yup, you guessed it…crown guards!

Square Crown Guards Are In!

In the original Rolex Submariner models, the watches didn’t include any shielding around the crown. This was problematic to divers leading to the new square crown guards that were installed on the 5512. The new guards helped to make the watch even more robust, but not quite robust enough. After being tested by professional divers Rolex soon found out that the square shape of the crown guards made it too difficult to unscrew the crown.

The Pointy Crown Guards Are Born

In response to the problematic square crown guards, Rolex quickly came up with a new solution that we still see on modern watches. The “pointy” crown guards. Rolex simply rounded off the square guard to a more pointy shape, which allowed divers to more easily use their watch when underwater.

Don’t Forget The Triangle

A second change made was the red triangle on the bezel displayed behind the pearl. The color red can be difficult for drivers to see at deeper elevations. Because of this, a new white colored triangle was used.

What’s The Big Deal?

No matter what your opinion on the functionality of the watch the Square Crown Guard Rolex Submariner is a gorgeous watch, especially when you take a closer look at the black dial with “Submariner” written in gilt. These watches have become super rare and being able to see one is truly a treat (I can only image owning one).

Rolex Isn’t the Only One

The unwanted square guards Submariner cases didn’t just make headlines for Rolex. A sister brand, Tudor, used these same cases for their reference 7928 Submariner watches. A Tudor Submariner with square crown guards is considered one of the rarest Tudor models to own by some collectors.

Although Rolex is known for their superior craftsmanship and attention to detail, we still find a few rare gems like the above that might have a few imperfections, making for a great story and a nice timepiece worthy of its place in any collection.






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