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ROLEX BLOG

Rolex Submariner 116610LV “Hulk” Ultimate Reference Guide

November 25, 2020

BY Paul Altieri

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It doesn’t take long for Rolex collectors and enthusiasts to coin a catchy name for standout Rolex models and the Submariner Date 116610LV is no different. Originally released at Baselworld 2010, and now commonly referred to as the “Rolex Hulk” by collectors and enthusiasts, the Rolex 116610LV is a full stainless steel Submariner Date furnished with an eye-catching green bezel and matching green dial.

While it was originally met with some criticism during the early years, the Submariner ref. 116610LV eventually went on to become one of the most popular modern Rolex Submariner watches available, selling out in boutiques around the world and commanding hefty premiums on the secondary market. 2020 was the year we had to say goodbye to the Hulk (at least from the current Rolex catalog) and say hello to the brand-new 41mm Submariner ref. 126610LV.

With that in mind, its discontinued status has not diminished the appeal of the Rolex Hulk – if anything, it has made it even more attractive to the Rolex collecting crowd. So, if you’re in the market to buy a pre-owned Submariner ref. 116610LV Hulk, here’s everything you need to know about Rolex’s green beast.

Rolex Submariner “Hulk” 116610LV

Rolex 116610LV Hulk Submariner

Submariner 116610LV Key Features:

Production Years: 2010 – 2020

Case Diameter: 40mm

Material: Stainless Steel

Functions: Time w/ Seconds, Date Display

Bezel: Unidirectional; Green Cerachrom Insert w/ 60-Minute Scale

Dial: Green w/ Luminous Markers

Crystal: Sapphire w/ Cyclops Lens

Movement: Caliber 3135

Water Resistance: 300 meters / 1,000 feet

Bracelet: Oyster with Glidelock Clasp

Click here for our Ultimate Buying Guide on the Rolex Submariner.

Rolex Hulk

Rolex 116610LV Hulk Submariner

A Brief History of the Rolex Submariner 116610LV “Hulk”

Dating its history back to 1953, the Rolex Submariner was developed to be the ultimate diver’s watch – incredibly tough and ultra-reliable. Over the years, the timelessness of the Submariner’s design saw it become the functional sports watch you could also wear to formal occasions. Rolex even expanded the collection with precious metal variants including full gold and two-tone Submariner  models.

Historically, Rolex’s stainless steel Submariner was only available with a black dial and bezel insert. Blue was an option for those who purchased a two-tone Rolesor Submariner or solid gold Submariner; however, those who wanted a stainless steel version of Rolex’s signature dive watch were limited to just black.

While green is Rolex’s official company color, it is curiously absent from the majority of the watches that have been produced throughout the brand’s incredibly long and illustrious history. It is only in more recent years that Rolex has started adding small splashes of green to their various watch lines, often to mark the anniversary of a particular model or landmark company achievement.

Rolex 116610LV Hulk Submariner

The First Green Submariner

In 2003, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its legendary Submariner line of watches, Rolex released the reference 16610LV Submariner Date that featured a bright green aluminum bezel insert – a first for the brand’s line of traditionally monochromatic stainless steel dive watches.

While not all that popular among pursuits, the dash of color was generally well received by the public and the Submariner ref. 16610LV was affectionately nicknamed the “Kermit” by members of the collecting community. The “LV” in the reference number is short for Lunette Verte, which is French for “Green Bezel.” Conversely, “LN” stands for Lunette Noir, which translates to “Black Bezel.”

2005 was the year that Rolex first released its proprietary ceramic alloy bezel, which the company dubbed Cerachrom. While Cerachrom bezels made their debut in all-black and on GMT-Master II models, it wasn’t long before the scratch-resistant and fade-proof bezel material found its way to other Rolex watches and started showing up in different colors.

Rolex 116610LV Hulk Submariner

Ceramic Bezel Submariner Watches

The Cerachrom Submariner generation kicked off in 2008, first with models in yellow gold (Submariner ref. 116618) and white gold (Submariner ref. 116619) followed by two-tone Rolesor (Submariner ref. 116613) editions that combined yellow gold and stainless steel the following year. Finally, in 2010, Rolex introduced stainless steel Submariner watches with Cerachrom bezels (Submariner ref. 116610).

Similar to the previous generation, Rolex offered the option between a black steel Sub and a green steel Sub. However, unlike the older ref. 16610LV “Kermit” model, the then-new ref. 116610LV paired the green bezel with a matching green dial. The Submariner ref. 116610LV quickly picked up the “Hulk” nickname among Rolex enthusiasts thanks to its all-green color profile and larger and heftier case silhouette.

After a decade of production, Rolex stopped manufacturing the Submariner ref. 116610LV in 2020 to make way for the brand new Submariner ref. 126610LV with a 41mm steel case, a green Cerachrom bezel, and a black dial. There are a few nicknames still being debated for the Submariner ref. 126610LV but the most popular right now are Ceramic Kermit, Cermit, KermitC, and Super Kermit.

Rolex 116610LV Hulk Submariner

Rolex Submariner “Hulk” Timeline & Milestones

1953 – Rolex introduces the Submariner dive watch

1969 – The first Submariner Date model is launched

2003 – The 16610LV “Kermit” with a green bezel is released to mark the 50th anniversary of the Submariner

2005 – Rolex debuts the first Cerachrom bezel in the GMT-Master II collection

2008 – The first Submariner models (in gold) with Cerachrom bezels are unveiled

2010 – Stainless steel Submariner ref. 116610 watches with Cerachrom bezels are presented, available in black (LN) or green (LV) colorways

2020 – Submariner 116610LV “Hulk” is discontinued and replaced by Submariner 126610LV

Rolex 116610LV Hulk Submariner

Rolex Submariner 116610LV Design & Features

Not only was the Hulk the first Submariner to feature a green dial but the six-digit 11661x generation of the Submariner also initiated a slew of “firsts” for the collection. These include the Super Case, Chromalight display, Cerachrom bezel, solid-link bracelet, and Glidelock clasp.

Super Case

While the ref. 116610LV retained the classic 40mm case diameter of all Submariner Date models preceding it, the shape of the case was revamped. Submariner watches that belong to the 11661x family of references have what is known as the “Super Case” – characterized by a thicker profile, fatter lugs, a stouter crown guard, and a wider bezel. As such, despite the same official 40mm measurement, the Submariner ref. 116610 wears larger and has significantly more wrist presence than older versions of the steel Submariner.

The case of the Submariner 116610LV is fashioned from 904L stainless steel (officially called Oystersteel since 2018), which is more corrosion-resistant than traditional 316L steel. As is customary for modern Submariner watches, the Hulk’s case is water-resistant to 300 meters (1,000 feet) due to design details such as a Triplock screw-down winding crown and a solid screw-down caseback.

Rolex 116610LV Hulk Submariner

Dial, Lume, and Crystal

One of the defining characteristics of the Rolex Hulk is its green dial – the first and only Submariner to feature a dial in this shade. The sunburst finishing of the green dial captures the light beautifully and adds another layer of richness to this already striking Rolex Submariner. Sitting on the green background are applied indexes with white gold surrounds that are filled with lume. The familiar luminous Mercedes-style hands sit at the center while the date window takes its regular place at 3 o’clock.

Another design change that we’ve witnessed in recent years with modern Rolex sports watches (including the Submariner ref. 116610LV) is the use of Chromalight. Chromalight is Rolex’s proprietary luminous material that glows blue in the dark instead of the more commonly green-tinted hue of Super-LumiNova.

As expected, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, complete with the protruding Cyclops magnification lens above the date window, shields the dial of the Submariner ref. 116610LV. Another important feature to note is that all Submariner ref. 116610LV watches will have the rehaut (inner bezel) engraved with a repeating ROLEX ROLEX ROLEX motif (along with the watch’s individual serial number), while the sapphire crystal is laser-etched with a small crown at 6 o’clock – both anti-counterfeit measures that were introduced in the mid-2000s.

Rolex 116610LV Hulk Submariner

Cerachrom Bezel

Rather than the aluminum inlay of previous models, the bezel of the Submariner Date 116610LV “Hulk” is formed from Rolex’s proprietary Cerachrom material, which is an exceptionally hard-wearing ceramic alloy. Whereas the older style bezels will eventually fade and scratch over time, the corrosion-resistant Cerachrom keeps the Hulk’s distinctive green colors as lustrous and pristine as ever, no matter how hard a life the watch lives.

The bezel’s knurled edging means it can be turned easily even when wearing gloves and it features a Chromalight luminescent capsule on the zero marker so it can be read in the darkest conditions. Of course, like all modern divers, the Submariner’s time-lapse bezel is unidirectional in motion (120 clicks) to avoid underestimating immersion times and it is graduated to 60 minutes.

The ceramic used by Rolex is made of zirconium dioxide, also known as zirconia. To achieve a particular color, powered zirconia has to be mixed with other chemical compounds. When mixed, the material is heated and injected into a mold, which not only creates the shape of the bezel but also forms all the numerals and markings. The bezel is then heat-treated to eliminate the binding agents and then sintered, which hardens the material and allows the final color of the bezel to develop.

Once the Cerachrom material achieves the right shade of green, the bezel is then machined to give it its final shape. Finally, the Hulk’s green bezel is coated in platinum via PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) and polished to remove the excess metal from the ceramic surface, leaving behind platinum-filled markings and a fantastic shiny finish to the bezel.

Rolex 116610LV Hulk Submariner

Oyster Bracelet

Ever since the introduction of the Submariner in 1953, Rolex has always paired it with the three-link Oyster bracelet. However, just like the watches, the Oyster bracelet has also benefited from plenty of enhancements over the last 60 years.

With the Submariner Hulk’s newer case came an upgraded Oyster bracelet, equipped with solid end links, solid center links, and a machined Oysterlock clasp outfitted with an ingenious Glidelock wetsuit extension system.

The Glidelock mechanism features a unique design that allows the wearer to instantly adjust the length of the bracelet up to 20mm in 2mm increments, without the use of any tools. In addition to diving, this feature also has practical everyday use as it can also permit the bracelet to be adjusted to fit the wrist as it fluctuates throughout the day. The bracelet and case both utilize Rolex’s proprietary 904L-grade Oystersteel, which offers superior corrosion resilience compared to the 316L steel used by most other dive watch brands.

Rolex 116610LV Hulk Submariner

Caliber 3135 Movement

Powering the Submariner Date 116610LV is the Rolex Caliber 3135, the same self-winding mechanical movement used in the previous generation. This COSC-certified caliber is outfitted with Rolex’s blue Parachrom hairspring built from a mix of niobium and zirconium, making the hairspring both antimagnetic and more resistant to shocks and temperature fluctuations.

Aside from the center hour, minute and seconds hands function, the Caliber 3135 also offers the instantaneous date function with rapid setting (aka Quickset). There’s also the stop-seconds feature, sometimes referred to as hacking, for precise time setting. The Cal 3135 movement supplies the Submariner Hulk with a 48-hour power reserve and as of 2015 (when Rolex upgraded its Superlative Chronometer benchmark), it is guaranteed to have an accuracy rating of -2/+2 seconds per day.

Rolex 116610LV Hulk Submariner

How Much Is A Submariner 116610LV Hulk?

Rolex has always priced the green Submariner 116610LV slightly higher than the standard black Submariner 116610LN. For instance, the last published manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRPs) before both models were discontinued in September 2020 were $9,350 for the green Submariner 116610LV and $8,950 for the green Submariner ref. 116610LN.

When it comes to the secondary market, the price difference between the black and green Submariner watches is far more significant. As the popularity of the Submariner 116610LV Hulk grew over the years, its availability at Rolex authorized dealers became scarcer and its value on the pre-owned market skyrocketed. It is not uncommon for a pre-owned Submariner Hulk to be valued at twice its original retail price on the secondary market.

Rolex 116610LV Hulk Submariner

Rolex Submariner Watch Comparisons

When shopping for a Submariner Hulk, it’s normal to wonder how it competes with comparable models. For instance, there’s the stainless steel Submariner 116610LN from the same generation but clad with a black bezel and dial. Additionally, there’s the original green Submariner ref. 16610LV “Kermit” from the early 2000s, along with the brand-new Submariner ref. 126610LV that took the Hulk’s place in 2020.

Submariner 116610LV vs. Submariner 116610LN

The black “LN” version and the green “LV” version of the Submariner ref. 116610 were released at the same time. Except for their colorways and price points, they are identical in every other way.

Submariner 116610LV Submariner 116610LN
Case 40mm Oystersteel; Super Case 40mm Oystersteel; Super Case
Dial Green w/ Date Window Black w/ Date Window
Lume Chromalight Chromalight
Bezel Unidirectional; Green Cerachrom Unidirectional; Black Cerachrom
Crystal Sapphire w/ Cyclops Lens Sapphire w/ Cyclops Lens
Bracelet Oyster w/ Glidelock Clasp Oyster w/ Glidelock Clasp
Movement Rolex Caliber 3135 Rolex Caliber 3135
Water Resistance 300m / 1,000ft 300m / 1,000ft
Price $9,350 (last MSRP); Starting at $18,495 (pre-owned) $8,950 (last MSRP); Starting at $11,795 (pre-owned)

Rolex 116610LV Hulk Submariner

Submariner 116610LV “Hulk” vs. Submariner 16610LV “Kermit”

Launched in 2003 to mark the Submariner’s 50th anniversary, the “Kermit” ref. 16610LV was the first Submariner to sport a green bezel. Although the Hulk and the Kermit share some traits such as green bezels, stainless steel cases, and matching movements there are plenty of differences to note.

Submariner 116610LV Submariner 16610LV
Production Years 2010 – 2020 2003 – 2010
Case 40mm Oystersteel; Super Case 40mm 904L Steel; Classic Case
Dial Green w/ Date Window Black w/ Date Window
Lume Chromalight Super-LumiNova
Bezel Unidirectional; Green Cerachrom Unidirectional; Green Aluminum
Crystal Sapphire w/ Cyclops lens Sapphire w/ Cyclops lens
Bracelet Oyster w/ solid links; OysterLock Clasp w/ Glidelock Extension Oyster w/ Hollow Center Links; Stamped clasp w/ fold-out extension
Movement Rolex Caliber 3135 Rolex Caliber 3135
Water Resistance 300m / 1,000ft 300m / 1,000ft
Price Starting at $18,495 (pre-owned) Starting at $14,995 (pre-owned)

Rolex 116610LV Hulk Submariner

Rolex Submariner 116610LV vs. Submariner 126610LV

The Hulk’s reign as the current green Submariner came to an end in 2020 when Rolex announced the brand new Submariner ref. 126610LV. While the Submariner ref. 126610LV retains the Hulk’s green Cerachrom bezel, it brings back the black dial of the Kermit – paving the way for its prospective nickname, the Cermit. Furthermore, the newly redesigned Submariner watches feature bigger 41mm cases, slimmer lugs, a wider bracelet, and a long-overdue new-generation movement.

Submariner 116610LV Submariner 12610LV
Production Years 2010 – 2020 2020 –  Present
Case 40mm Oystersteel; Super Case 41mm Oystersteel; Thinner Lugs
Dial Green w/ Date Window Black w/ Date Window
Lume Chromalight Chromalight
Bezel Unidirectional; Green Cerachrom Unidirectional; Green Cerachrom
Crystal Sapphire w/ Cyclops Lens Sapphire w/ Cyclops Lens
Bracelet Oyster (20mm); Glidelock Clasp Oyster (21mm); Glidelock Clasp
Movement Rolex Caliber 3135 (48-hr power reserve) Rolex Caliber 3235 (70-hr power reserve)
Water Resistance 300m / 1,000ft 300m / 1,000ft
Price $9,350 (last MSRP); Starting at $18,495 (pre-owned) $9,550 (MSRP); Starting at $20,000 (pre-owned)

Rolex 116610LV Hulk Submariner

The Unique Rolex Submariner Hulk

Among the numerous Submariner references that Rolex has launched over the last six-plus decades, the Hulk is one that is truly unique in its design. In addition to being the only Submariner ever made with both a green dial and bezel (and the only 40mm steel Submariner with a green Cerachrom bezel), the Hulk is also the only Submariner model – regardless of generation or materials – to ever feature a dial in Rolex’s signature company color.

Although it was originally less popular than its all-black counterpart, the Rolex 116610LV “Hulk” ultimately became the far more in-demand between the two versions of Rolex stainless steel date-displaying diver. The all-green Submariner reference 116610LV was already remarkably popular during the final years of its production and its discontinuation has propelled it to grail watch status.

Rolex 116610LV Hulk Submariner

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7 Responses to “Rolex Submariner 116610LV “Hulk” Ultimate Reference Guide”

  1. Matt Brehm says:

    Hello. I’m in the process of making a business decision. I have been on hold waiting like a patient fool for over four years for the hulk Rolex. After that last weeks announcement I went on my own and found multiple Hawk watch is. One brand new and multiple used. Obviously the prices were ridiculous most of them were in the low 20s to mid 23’s.

    Just a question if I go out and buy as many hawks under $25,000, would that be a good idea, if so, I would like to give you the opportunity to maybe work with me. Sort of me buying the watches and splitting the difference or creating a finders fee. Please let me know if you have any interest in this. Best

    • Paul Altieri says:

      Without a crystal ball, there is no way to know what the long term performance of the Hulk will be. It is the only Submariner model to ever feature a green dial, and that has resulted in a significant rise in prices since it was discontinued last week. Whether or not that trend will continue remains to be seen.
      If you end up buying a Hulk and would later like to sell it, feel free to fill out the ‘Sell Your Watch’ page on our website, and one of our representatives will be in touch shortly with a free quote for what we would be able to pay for that particular example.

    • Ty Visscher says:

      I was an AD for 25 years. I have 5 hulk which I put directly in the safe. Never touched
      1 mint from 2014 sold and card us filled out.

      Many other Rolex watches that went directly into the safe – feeling that Rolex would close us .. I took precautions

  2. antonio hernandez says:

    I also like the Hulk Rolex, the green dial just has a great pop to it and very noticeable when worn. I like to look at the aggregated auction sales from different auction houses before buying anything. It seems as if the Hulk is currently bringing about $25,000 to $30,000 at different auctions recently. An expensive price but definitely a watch that has a great style. So, I don’t disagree with it being #1 on the list as it is very popular with a lot of Rolex watch collectors. 

  3. Gerard says:

    ” were $9,350 for the black Submariner 116610LV and $8,950 for the green Submariner ref. 116610LV.” The table a bit lower says the contrary.
    Submariner 116610LV : $9,350 (last MSRP); Starting at $18,495 (pre-owned)
    Submariner 116610LN : $8,950 (last MSRP); Starting at $11,795 (pre-owned)

  4. Stephen Kay says:

    Hi…
    I’m seriously considering buying a second hand “Hulk” and was wondering if you knew how many Rolex produced over the ten years they were making it?
    Kind regards
    Steve

    • Paul Altieri says:

      Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing the exact number of Submariner Hulk watches in existence, as Rolex does not release any information regarding its production figures. With that in mind, it is believed that the standard black versions of the Submariner 116610 signifiantly outnumber their green ref. 116610LV siblings.

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