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Rolex Submariner 116659 SABR: A Luxurious Gem-Set Masterpiece

Paul Altieri

If you are a Submariner fan you might have heard about the SABR, but then again, you might not considering how rare this model is. In 2018, Rolex unveiled a secret treasure to the world – the Rolex Submariner 116659 SABR. This lavishly adorned timepiece is crafted in 18k white gold and boasts an impressive array of gemstones. The 40mm case is set with a total of 92 brilliant-cut diamonds on the lugs and crown guards, adding an exquisite touch of luxury.

Unidirectional Rotating Bezel

While there are a number of things that make this watch special, one of the standout features of this particular Rolex Submariner is its gem-set unidirectional rotating bezel. Unlike the traditional ceramic bezel found on most Submariners, this model features a bezel adorned with 36 sapphires and 12 diamonds.

Rolex cleverly selected lighter-colored sapphires for the first nine stones, followed by darker ones to mimic the hash marks found on traditional Submariner timing bezels. The 10-minute intervals are marked out by diamonds, with a triangular-cut diamond at the 0 position. The reference number “SABR” stands for the French words “SAphirs” and “BRillants,” denoting the sapphires and diamonds on the bezel.

Two Dial Options

The Submariner 116659 SABR offers two dial options to choose from. The first is a stunning sunburst blue dial featuring applied white gold luminescent hour markers found on regular-production modern Submariners.

Date Window

The date window, accompanied by the iconic Cyclops lens, is positioned at the customary 3 o’clock position. It’s worth noting that the depth rating typically displayed on Submariner dials is absent on this model, as it is not intended for serious diving. And rightfully so. I don’t think any serious diver would want to risk diving with such an elegant timepiece. The second dial option is a full diamond-paved dial, with eight sapphire hour indexes and luminescent markers at 6, 9, and 12 o’clock, adding an extra layer of opulence.


Complementing the luxurious aesthetics, the Submariner 116659 SABR comes with a white gold Oyster bracelet featuring a folding Oysterlock safety clasp. The bracelet also incorporates the Glidelock extension system, allowing for easy adjustment in 2mm increments, with a total extension of 20mm. For those seeking even more extravagance, Rolex offers the option of a white gold Oyster bracelet with diamond-set center links


It is important to note that the Submariner 116659 SABR is a rarity among Rolex models, quietly released without official announcements or widespread publicity. These exceptional gem-set timepieces are highly sought after by serious collectors. Rolex does not currently promote these watches on its website, adding to the perceived allure and exclusivity.

A Unique Take On The Iconic Tool Watch

This pre-owned Rolex watch represents a unique take on the iconic tool watch. While not for everyone, these bejeweled Rolex Oyster Professional watches cater to a discerning audience that appreciates the unconventional blend of luxury and functionality. The limited production numbers and the air of mystery surrounding these watches make them even more captivating and coveted among watch enthusiasts.

In conclusion, the Rolex Submariner 116659 SABR is a true masterpiece of horology. Its exquisite gem-set design, combined with the precision and reliability that Rolex is known for, elevates it to a realm of unrivaled luxury.

Paul Altieri
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