Submarine Service Tie – Do you like it?

Update Nov 23: The tie is now available from the CAF Manager at HMS NEPTUNE at £40+p&p each

Friends who still wear ties might we be interested in the new official Submarine Service Tie. As it says on the website: “…bringing together the colours of the White Ensign and the gold of the Submarine Service’s prestigious Dolphins badge. Launched as part of a series of events to mark the 115th year of submariners protecting and serving the Nation, a percentage of the sales proceeds will benefit Royal Navy charities.” A bow tie is also on offer.

SM Tie

UPDATE 30 January 2107

Given the strength of negative feeling about the tie I passed the collected comments thus far to RASM’s lead Tie Officer (who doubles as Commander Sea Training!)

He responded as follows:

The genesis of the project was the lack of an official SM tie; none of the various designs mentioned in your chat-room have ever been endorsed/registered with the RN/MOD.
RASM and DRASM were included in the design process and endorsed the tie. To date more than 1,000 have been sold. The Admiral of the Fleet the Lord Boyce and Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope both have SM ties. Twenty five ties were ordered on 25 Jan 17 alone.

In summary, this project has been a huge success and has given the retired and serving submarine communities a tie which, in the fullness of time, will become as recognizable as the zig-zag of the FAA “regimental” tie which also bears no reference to Naval Aviation.

From David Wixon 5 Oct 18

Having read much about the relatively new SM tie which sadly means nothing to generations of submariners, I agree with those who say it simply looks like any old tie from a mail order firm.  How about one based upon the enclosed draft design, It is in the Navy colours, and can be interpreted to resonate with the medium in which we operated and operate.  The choppy white, represents the surface of the sea, the thin red line, a thermal layer and the navy blue, that of the deep sea in which we served.   I reckon something like this could well challenge the distinctive tie of the FAA in terms of style. 

Poss SM tie

55 comments on “Submarine Service Tie – Do you like it?”

  1. tobs says:

    This presumably trendy new design says nothing about submarines to me, nor would it to any member of the public. Would not dream of buying it.

  2. Roland Steele says:

    I am perfectly happy with my old tie with Dolphins on it. Leave it alone.

  • Tom Herman says:

    I have to say I like it, it is understated and high quality and will become easily recognisable by other submariners in the same way army regiment ties are.

  • David Parry says:

    Yep. I wore it and another (eminent) submariner recognised it and expressed his derogatory opinion with verbosity. I agreed, But fortunately I still have the ‘Dolphin’ tie which I wear

  • says:

    The new tie will hold no interest to anybody atall. Stripey ties never arouse interest.About as dull as they get. And £40? Whew! Talk about bathythermic layers is not going to get anybody jumping up and down with excitement. What was wrong with the old tadpoles?

  • BoydCarpenter says:

    Tom. You jest.
    The real submarine tie is the one with the Dolphins on which was obtainable from Mr Court whose office was by the front door of the Wardroom in Dolphin. in the days of yore.
    Where has it gone??

  • ensignman says:

    It’s dull and doesn’t say anything about submarines or submariners. Not even striking enough for anyone to ask what it is. And at 40 quid!!! the mind boggles. I have a design idea in RN red white and blue similar to RN tie but slight broader white and red stripes. The top white stripe being choppy like a series of joined up capital U’s. Representing Surface of the sea, the red stripe beneath with bottom straight edge, representing a bathythermic layer and the wide navy blue stripe beneath that representing the deep blue sea in which we operate. I could draw it for you. It would combine being conventional and innovative.

  • Honeymonster says:

    I think it is very good, I received one as a birthday present just recently and it is a generally wearable tie. The cognisi will recognise it, others will see it as a smart tie. It certainly works for me,

  • Les Catlin says:

    Smart tie, good quality, steep price. I will buy one – when the price reduces by at least £10!

  • Baynes says:

    We are not a regiment – We are a Service.
    The existing tie (and its predecessor, the ‘Swan Upping’) give an immediate idea of undersea life. The new one could be anybody’s neckwear.
    Let us have something unmistakeable, as do the Gurkhas.

  • Mike Hutchinson says:

    Totally agree, I still value my one shabby and one still smart ‘Swan Upping’ ties bought from Mr Court as one did. I have to admit that the successor dolphins are a better design but retain my originals as a token of vintage! (One Flags to FOSM once even asked me what they were!!) The new tie may represent red, white, blue and gold but is as recognisable as those illustrated in shirt sales brochures. A Submarine tie needs dolphins. I am glad to see they ARE still available.

  • Gerald Lloyd-williams says:

    Dolphins still available? Hurrah – but where from?

  • Simon Martin says:

    Tom – its ghastly. If you are going for a “coloured” tie I would have thought that the colours of Flag Echo which always flew at Promotion Point during submarine movements would have been incorporated. And what happened to the old tie – dark blue with dolphins “rampant” (not the submarine badge version which was also hideous). That was by far the best – everybody associates dolphins with submariners and vice versa.

  • Spencer says:

    The first one I agree with. Dolphins have always been connected with Submarines and submariners and should appear somewhere on the tie.

  • snakepit says:

    Over priced and would not wear it.

  • I’m with the dissenters. The tie shown has no character at all. For myself, I would prefer the “funny-looking swan” that my late father wore but which went AWOL before my sisters and I went through his kit. Failing that, the “leaping dolphins” of my days would be acceptable but please not the submarine badge model.

  • spike says:

    i also think it has nothing to do with the submarine service ,should have dolphins on it at least ,it just looks like a normal striped tie ,so i like others will not be buying one or even two

  • martinmacp says:

    Martin Macp
    I already have a submarine tie (Blue with Gold Dolphins). I don’t need another one and wouldn’t be seen dead in this design.

  • Stompey says:


  • Paul Lewis says:

    I bought one – but was really surprised when it arrived because I don’t see it has any association with the submarine service. I’ve worn it once only, probably not again. If anyone would care to buy it I’ll send it to you for a fiver.

  • jabberwocky says:

    Deal! Cash?

  • wraith says:

    Very disappointed with the new design and how I wish a proper sampling of opinion had been taken.
    Richard Wraith

  • Stompey says:

    Totally agree!

  • Grianaig says:

    It is not for me. I agree with the comment that it says nothing about submarines. No intentions of buying it am content with the old one and would like a replacement of the old old one as mine has died!

  • says:

    100% agree. All the hall marks of a tie designed by committee with no distinguishing features to offend. I have one but confine its use to non service events when a more formal tie is required. I wonder if the 100th Perisher convention might be a time for an attendee to call for a vote for new one.

  • TheyComeUnseen says:

    When I heard there was to be a submariners’ tie I was very keen to get one but this design leaves me cold; just another stripy tie, the shops are full of them. I wasn’t anticipating any particular design but I was expecting to see a dolphin or other relevant emblem somewhere. Andy Benford.

  • Don Cleavin says:

    It just wouldn’t look right with ‘Pirate Rig’.
    So what’s wrong with a tie with a ‘Jolly Roger’ emblem on it.
    That’s a good recognisable ‘Trade’ mark.
    Don Cleavin.

  • TIBBS says:

    Sorry. I much prefer my original tie with dolphins on it. People sometimes ask me what it is and are they swans?

  • BarryB says:

    OK, so what next? Who is in charge of tie buying?

  • Ron Mann says:

    For what it’s worth, the old “Leaping Dolphins” or “Dotted Dolphins” tie is still available. I’ve just ordered one. It’s now 4ft 8ins long, so a couple of inches longer than those we used to get from the Dolphin hall porter. Like others, I prefer this to the new offering.

    This is the link:

  • Michael Hunt says:

    My ecologist son having nicked my Dolphins tie many years ago, I now wear a dark blue knitted silk tie with the minature dolphins pin. Those who know recognise it at 15 yards and the others ask. I have not patented the idea.

  • Doug Littlejohns says:

    Unsurprising that our most senior submariners have bought the tie as loyalty would demand it but that does not make it a good tie. I fail to see how the banal design makes any sort of statement

  • Stompey says:

    I agree with all the “hate it” comments…..!
    Just another stripey tie…..

  • Kipper Walker says:

    It is awful and has no connection with the real submarine world. I have both the first and second ties. Al Kennedy and I wore the first round London when doing the FIRST Nuclear Course (59/60); It worked a treat with the birds when we said we would take them SWANupping!

  • Alan Jones says:

    The New tie should be consigned to the garbo. Then it would be connected to the service, in the nicest possible way.

  • wraith says:

    Pleased we have not simply let the debate about the proposed new submarine tie to be swept under the carpet. As I wrote in January 2017, the sampling of opinion did not take place and it is clear the majority of views since then have clearly suggested we dont like it! Thank you David Wixon for your new idea which is certainly a vast improvement on the RASM “take it or leave it”. What about adding a periscope peeping above each wave?

  • Doug Littlejohns says:

    I am disappointed but unsurprised by the arrogant response to criticisms of this tie.thereby proving that believers in a dialogue of the deaf still exist. Big brother knows best!!

  • Rob Forsyth says:

    Re David Wixon’s design – not for me. But I fail to see just what is the matter with the old dolphins. They were distinctive and traditional. The fact that we had not registered the design is neither here nor there. Counter suggestion – A Friend’s tie with dolphins?

  • says:

    Agree with the sentiments that there should be dolphins on the tie and with various statements anout the arrogance of our leaders.

  • Jeff Collins says:

    How very sad! I do not like the “new” design but am the first to say that I do not see an agreeable alternative

  • John says:

    pity the tie cannot be dark blue with a dolphin and emitting the distinct odour of a diesel boat. old submariners would detect it at a hundred yards. probably not popular with the other passengers

  • David says:

    Looks like a Tie Rack tie. They are best confined to a Garbage Ejector.
    Dolphins are the only solution?

  • John Jacobsen says:

    The tie could represent anything or nothing. In a word – boring.
    The existing tie with golden Dolphins flying
    out of a navy blue sea is in my view relevant, elegant, distinctive and in wide use.
    Could it not be registered with the MoD?, or is it too late?

  • Christopher Field says:

    My flying Dolphin tie is getting a bit worn but is invariably recognised. If it aint broke why mend it?

  • RogerLN says:

    I think it is awful. Not a suitable representation of the Submarine Service.
    I have two old Dolphin ties. One with the original(?) dolphin sitting down and a more modern blue and gold Dolphin tie which I do wear although it is getting a bit past it.
    We should bring back a Dolphin design but not made in polyester.

  • says:

    I fear we may have ‘grumpy old men’ syndrome! I was at Faslane recently being hosted (magnificently) by the Perishers. They like the tie very much and had some good, cogent arguments as to why they thought it good which I had to respect (unfortunately I can’t remember them).

  • says:

    Well of course the perishers would they want to pass!

  • Dave says:

    My wife bought the tie as a Crimbo present a couple of years ago. Although I don’t particularly like for the same reason as most of the other comments I did wear it at the recent K13 Memorial weekend. As I am a member of two branches both of whom attended I thought wearing this “official” tie rather than a branch tie would be neutral and prevent any gags being thrown my way. There were a lot of serving and veteran submariners there and I did not see one other person wearing the tie and was asked by quite a few what the tie was. Not one thought it represented the submarine service although just one guy did ask where he could buy one. I daren’t not wear it occasionally due to deference to my wife.

  • Thomas Herman says:

    I’m in the Wardroom in Faslane for the first time for many years. Nowadays dress rules are much more relaxed than they were when I was last here nearly 20 years ago and most wear open neck shirts or polo shirts. However I have seen some still in jacket and tie and of those all are wearing the new submarine tie. Here, in the home of the modern service, the tie is well liked and recognised. Perhaps those of us in the older generation need to support those still serving and buy and wear the new tie.

  • Andy Tuohy says:

    As a designer, I can see why it doesn’t do the job. It does on sight look like pretty much any old tie and I am not seeing anything that says submariner. I’m sure I have my old school tie somewhere knocking around which won’t be a million miles off in terms of look and has similar colours in there. Colour alone is not enough to differentiate one tie from another as most are pretty universal and can be found across numerous different designs. The dolphins are such a recognisable, beautiful and much loved icon it makes no sense to throw that out as part of the design. As a submariner (I’m not, but my father was) surely you’d want something that immediately gives you pride and recognisability across a room and has style. I still have my mother’s tie-pin in a box and a wave of nostalgia and pride comes over me whenever I see it. Before going out, you take out your tie and you immediately feel part of a very exclusive club and the dolphins do that. Here’s a real life example of what I am saying: a number of years ago an agency was asked to re-work the Marmite jar and design. They refused to change it on the grounds that it was so recognisable and loved that it would be madness to change it even though it meant they would lose the account. It would become just like any other jar, was their reasoning. That’s not say an existing design in this instance mightn’t benefit from being adapted and modernised slightly without throwing out the bathwater. P.S. I’m not a grumpy old man, at least not just yet, anyway. Still negotiating the mid-life crisis.

  • says:

    Fortunately, I very rarely wear ties these days and they are usually black. Probably more fitting to commemorate a service that lost so many fine young men.
    If the project was a huge success and two Admiral bought one, then clearly any criticism is rather a waste of time – but I have plenty on my hands

  • Roland Steele says:

    I see nothing wrong with the present tie. Leave it alone. Roland (rusty) Steele.

  • says:

    Please cancel my immoderate comment of 4th Feb. This is better.
    The new tie looks like any other club or regimental tie. It is not going to elicit interested comment. What was wrong with the old dolphin tie? The original dolphin tie was pretty dire; they looked like tadpoles. But the subsequent dolphin tie was elegant and comment-provoking.

  • Chris Lowther says:

    The new submarine tie. I am with the dissenters and am not impressed by the elite’s response. Typical of the times we live in.

  • says:

    I was recently with Driekus Heij of the Dutch Navy and he was wearing their submariners tie. It is dark blue with the Dutch Dolphins woven-in in horizontal repeating lines across the length of the tie. The weave is so subtle a different colour of blue that the light has to catch it for them to be seen. Just one set of Dolphins, in the middle, is woven in a gold coloured cloth. The tie is simple, smart, subtle and makes clear its provenance. All in all, I would say it is distinguished – which is what a submariner’s tie should surely be. It could be copied!

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