Watch Guide | Rolex Submariner 16610

Watch Guide | Rolex Submariner 16610

Thomas Mastrippolito Thomas Mastrippolito
4 minute read

Rolex Submariner 16610

Functionality & Esthetic

  • The majority of non-watch enthusiasts easily recognize this watch as a Rolex due to the Rolex Submariner's timeless esthetic; Introducing one of the most popular models produced by Rolex, the Rolex Submariner 16610. 
  • This model has a uni-directional stainless steel bezel houses a non-ceramic black 60 minute graduated bezel insert with synthetic sapphire capped luminescent pearl to mark the start time.



  • The Submariner utilizes a 40mm stainless steel case secured to the wrist by a Rolex oyster bracelet.
  • The mass appeal is due in part to the simplicity of the black/steel combination, robust design and date/timing functionality.
  • The Rolex Submariner 16610 was released in the late 1980s. This sport model Rolex was produced for 20 years until it's updated ceramic release in 2008.



Metal Variants & Condition Rarity

  • The Rolex Submariner 16610 remains an extremely popular sport model Rolex in the pre-loved market.
  • Sourcing an honest example with high condition rating (thick case, tight bracelet and complete set) is becoming difficult.
  • The Submariner was also produced in 18k yellow gold and stainless steel (Rolex Submariner Model 16613) and solid 18k yellow gold (Rolex Submariner Model 16618).


Rolex Submariner 16610 Rolex Submariner 16610


  • The original excitement surrounding the 16610's release was it's updated Rolex caliber, the 3135.
  • The 16610 (stainless steel) was only produced in a black dial and black bezel insert (in 2003 the 16610LV added the anniversary green bezel insert and Maxi hour markers to the steel sport model).


The Ultimate Diver

  • The black and steel combination allows for a versatile accessory for any wardrobe. The simplicity of this sport model Rolex is reason for it's mass popularity.
  • Rolex updated the 16610 along with it's other variations several times during its production.
  • The dial hour markers utilized tritium as their luminescent material until the late 90s when it was replaced by Luminova.



  • The dial is a gloss black with white print and white gold surrounds for the hour markers. The iconic Submariner has the model, depth rating and movement information printed on the lower half of the dial.
  • The date aperture located at the 3 o'clock position has a white backdrop with black print. Magnified by the sapphire crystal's cyclops for an easy read.



  • The crisp contrast between the high gloss black dial and white gold surround hour markers makes for a quick read.
  • Adding to the contrast, the clearly displayed white print "ROLEX OYSTER PERPETUAL DATE" below the coronet and "SUBMARINER 1000FT=300M SUPERLATIVE CHRONOMETER OFFICIALLY CERTIFIED".


Rolex Submariner 16610 Dial


Non-Ceramic Uni-Directional Timing Bezel

  • Surrounded by a uni-directional stainless steel bezel with black bezel insert with 60 minute graduation in silver print.
  • The bezel is unidirectional to ensure a diver doesn't gain time on his timer as this timing bezel was his measure of when his air tank ran out.

Rolex Submariner 16610 "Kermit" 

The Rolex Oyster 93150 / 93250 (SEL) Bracelet with Flip Lock Clasp

  • Secured to the wrist by the 93150 & 93250 (holes and no holes bracelet). The difference between the two bracelet refers to the state of the case lugs. Learn more about what the pin holes tell you about a watches condition here.
  • The solid end links or SEL bracelets have robust end links that allow for a stronger connection between the Oyster bracelet and case.
  • The SEL bracelets are for cases without lug holes. They can be removed by moving the pin under the end cap vs the pushing through the exposed pin hole on the outside of the lug.


Rolex Submariner 16610 Bracelet

Inner Bezel Engraving and Laser Etched Synthetic Sapphire Crystal

  • Along with the bracelet update, Rolex introduced an inner bezel engraving. Also called a rehaut engraving. Rehaut and Inner Bezel refers to the space stainless steel slope between the dial and the bezel / crystal.
  • The synthetic sapphire crystal was laser etched with the Rolex coronet at the six o'clock position in the year 2000. This is a well known test for the authenticity through out the world of watches. 
  • Every Rolex collector should experience a 40mm stainless steel submariner at some point in their collecting journey. The Submariner is also produced without a date (14060) which is a slightly lower price point. 
  • In conclusion, the Rolex Submariner 16610 is a well known Rolex for the every day user.

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