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Watch Review

4 Key Improvements Found on the Submariner

Paul Altieri

The Rolex Submariner 116618 is brimming with enhancements

The Submariner 116618 is the brands’ newest generation of the Submariner Date model crafted in 18k solid gold, and it’s a beauty. The ref. 116618 is available with either a blue (116618LB) or black (116618LN) dial along with matching bezels, which contrast sublimely with the yellow gold of the case and bracelet. First launched in 2008, the contemporary Rolex Sub offers several notable modifications and enhancements over its predecessors, with many maintaining that it is the best among the Rolex diving family so far.

rolex submariner 116618 yellow gold
There are a few changes with the Rolex Submariner 116618LN.


Unlike older versions of the Submariner, the ref. 116618 boasts a Cerachrom bezel – the Rolex term for a ceramic insert. The ceramic renders the bezel both scratch and fade proof, thus improving the watch’s robustness. As a diver’s watch, the Submariner’s bezel rotates in only one direction with engraved 60-minute graduations to enable deep-sea explorers to keep track of their immersion and decompression periods. The knurled edge of the bezel means it’s easier to grip, even while wearing scuba gloves. On the inner bezel ring, a.k.a. the rehaut, the Rolex name is repeatedly engraved as an anti-counterfeit measure – a feature found on mostly all of Rolex’s newer models.

Blue Rolex Submariner 116618LB
Rolex Submariner 116618LB contains engravings on the inner bezel to prevent counterfeiting Rolex Watches.


At 40mm, the Oyster case of the Submariner 116618 is technically the same size as past references, yet because of its redesign it actually wears larger on the wrist. Its shape has a more square finish along the lugs, as well as the crown guards, which gives a bulkier look and feel to the wristwatch upping its masculine appeal. Some have complained that the standard 40mm size of popular Rolex sports watches feels too small in comparison to the mega sizes found on scores of today’s luxury watches, so this design modification is an appreciated improvement by many.

Rolex Submariner 116618LB and 116618LN
Rolex Submariner 116618LB and 116618LN come with a blue or black.


The updated dial on the ref. 116618 is labeled the “Maxi Dial” in reference to its larger lume plots, which gives the Submariner a more modern and dynamic style. The Chromalight display means better legibility, with a blue glow that can last up to eight hours in the dark, twice the time of standard luminescence. The choice between the black or blue dial offers the wearer two distinct looks, with the first being more subtle and the latter more vibrant.

A Maxi Dial can be hard to spot, but the differences are in the size of the lume plots.


A favorite upgrade found on the current yellow gold Submariner is located on its Oyster bracelet. Fashioned in 18k yellow gold produced at Rolex’s in-house foundry and designed with practicality in mind, the solid links bracelet with polished center links is both supremely functional and exquisitely luxurious. Whether it is worn on a bare wrist, or over a thick diving suit, the innovative Rolex patented Glidelock system allows the wearer to easily adjust the length of the bracelet without the need of extra tools to fit perfectly.

Rolex Submariner 116618
The bracelet of the Rolex Submariner 116618 allows for divers to easily adjust the size of the watch to fit the wirst.
Paul Altieri