Known as one of the first watches designed for deep sea diving, the Rolex Submariner is one of the most popular and iconic diving watches in the world.
Its colorful and exciting history goes back to September 1953, when Rolex tested their new 6200 model wristwatch for the first time. The Swiss scientist, Auguste Piccard, took his Bathyscaphe submarine for a dive and descended over 10,000 feet (3,000 m) into the ocean. The specially designed Rolex Submariner was attached to the outside of the submarine. When it emerged from the water, the Submariner was still in a perfect condition.
Rolex introduced The Submariner 6204 at the Basel Watch Fair in 1954, proudly announcing that it could resist water of 660 feet (200m) depth. It didn’t become a global hit until it appeared on the wrist of Sean Connery in the first James Bond movie Dr. No. Since then, the Submariner became the most wanted watch and the epitome of coolness.
As years passed by, the Rolex Company kept making improvements of the Submariner in both technical and aesthetic sense while maintaining the genuinely designed elements. One of the most notable versions of the Submariner is the 1977 Rolex Submariner 5514 COMEX with Henry Hudson Letter.
Founded in 1961 in Marseille, France by Henri Delauze, COMEX (or Compagnie Maritime d’Expertises) quickly became the most prominent company in the history of commercial diving and the world leader in manned and robotic underwater engineering, technology, and intervention. COMEX revolutionized the deep diving industry inspired by their love for deep sea diving and always challenged themselves in finding new advances in the fields of technology.
It can be said that Rolex found the perfect partner in COMEX. Since the 1970s, the companies have worked closely together, and Rolex seized the opportunity to test and improve the waterproof aspect of their watches with COMEX.
COMEX had a direct impact on the specifics of the Submariner by developing the Helium Escape Valve. It was tested on the Rolex Submariner 5514 COMEX that was specially made for their divers and was never sold by retailers. It has been speculated that only one hundred and fifty-four Rolex Submariner 5514 COMEX watches were ever made.
The model has special characteristics and a unique COMEX serial number. It has a ‘long 5’ bezel insert with Luminova pearl which has evenly faded to a blue/gray hue. It is made of stainless steel, and it also has a COMEX dial with matching creamy markers and hands.
However, what makes this watch so unique is the letter from Henry Hudson at Rolex UK which shows where it was supplied to.
The 1977 Rolex Submariner 5514 COMEX with Henry Hudson Letter is a one of a kind watch. Its uniqueness lies not only in the limited number of copies which were made but also in the fact that retailers have never sold it and it was never put into any Rolex catalog. The 77 Submariner 5514 is definitely something that dedicated collectors would aspire to own.