As much as I advocate for expanding your boundaries when it comes to the type of watches you experience, most of our time is spent in the middle of our lane. These are the comfort food of watches, the sweet spot you keep coming back to. For me, these are typically simple divers or tool watches, the archetype of which is of course the Submariner. Not very exciting, but a great everyday companion that’s easy to use and read, with an uncanny ability to pair with pretty much any outfit or look. Plenty of other watches fall into the category as well, but the Submariner sets the bar, and does so particularly well in the form of the reference 14060M. Where more modern references have veered ever so slightly into “it needs to make a statement” territory, there is a humbleness that remains within the 14060, if ever a word could be applied to a Submariner.
The peculiar vibe of the 14060 may be absent within the present catalog of Rolex sports watches, but that doesn’t mean it’s not out there in other more modern watches. In fact, you don’t have to stray far from the family to find such a candidate. Tudor has managed to capture a lot of the charm of early Rolex references in recent years, and one in particular strikes me as a perfect embodiment of what I love about 5 digit Subs, and that is the Pelagos 39. When this watch was introduced I referred to it as the modern Sub we never got, and expanded on that in my full review of the watch. I’ve since welcomed a P39 into my own collection, taking up residence next to a late model 14060M with 4 lines of text on the dial, making the direct comparison between the two all the clearer.