Submarine Service Tie – Do you like it?

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. The tie is available here.

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



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.

Tom Herman

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

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


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??


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.


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,


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

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.

Simon Martin

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.


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


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.


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


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.

Paul Lewis

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.


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!

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.


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

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.

Michael Hunt

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

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

Kipper Walker

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!


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

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

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?

Jeff Collins

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


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

John Jacobsen

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?


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.

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).

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