The Rolex Submariner family of watches are admired and coveted due to their durability and classic style. Rolex introduced the Submariner 16610 as a Date model, having a water resistance of 1000ft (300m).
However, the brand discontinued the watch’s production after 2010, replacing with the Rolex Submariner Date 116610. Interestingly, people often refer the Submariner reference 116610 to as the Cerachrom Submariner – one of its noteworthy features. Now:
Both the Submariner reference 16610 and reference 116610 appear visually pretty similar. Thus, what are the differences between the two models?
Let’s take a look:
The Cerachrom Bezel
Rolex has made many improvements on the Submariner 116610. One of the most noted upgrades is the ceramic bezel. While the reference 16610 featured aluminium bezel inserts, the Submariner 116610 was fitted with Cerachrom ceramic inserts.
The aluminium bezel flaunts a matte, suppler and ideally, a sportier look. Vintage Rolex aficionados tend to like these aspects. However, aluminium is prone to dents or scratches.
On the contrary, the Cerachrom bezel is impervious to fading and scratching. The ceramic is unaffected by chemicals and UV rays.
However, the improvement lies in the bezel’s actual mechanism.
The aluminium bezel on the Submariner reference 16610 model is rotated by single click-spring. However, people were known to face difficulty in seating the bezel precisely.
Rolex fixed the problem with the release of Submariner 116610, featuring ceramic bezel that utilises four click-springs set inside the case.
The improvement resulted in bezel markers’ perfect alignment and persistently smooth rotation.
Both Rolex Submariner 16610 and Submariner 116610 run on the Calibre 3135. However, the movement in the reference 116610 introduced the Rolex patented Parachrom Bleu hairspring.
This substantial improvement assures long-lasting functionality of the movement, even under the most extreme condition such as high water pressure.
Another significant feature is the luminous element. The reference 16610 features luminous elements that glow ‘green’ in the dark; whereas, the reference 116610 offers more luminous features with a ‘blue-green’ glow.
Rolex dubbed the blue luminescent as the ‘Chromalight’. However, lume was made to glow blue-green for easier legibility in the dark. Although the lume is not objectively brighter, our eyes are sensitive to that specific wavelength more and thus, perceive it as bright.
The Case Size
The Rolex Submariner 16610 and the 116610 models feature a similar 40mm case size. Interestingly enough, the Submariner reference 116610 looks more prominent on the wrist.
Ideally, several design changes render the impression of a bigger case. The Rolex Submariner 116610 watch sports larger crown guards, beefier lugs, the Maxi dial and a broader bezel.
The Maxi dial design on Rolex watches flaunts deeper luminous plots and more prominent markers, thereby making it more readable.
While the Rolex Submariner 16610 sports a standard steel bracelet, the reference 116610 model comes on Oystersteel or 904L bracelet. Together with solid centre links, the latest Submariner offers a more robust and substantial feel on the wrist.
Moreover, Rolex equipped the reference 116610 with the Glidelock extension system, enabling you to adjust the bracelet up to 5mm.
Overall, the Rolex Submariner 116610 illustrates clear and sharp enhancements over its earlier iteration 16610, keeping true to its classic aesthetics.
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