The famous green Rolex Submariner is a polarizing take on the brand’s renowned dive watch. While it maintains the same 40mm diameter and other design cues as the classic model, such as a 60-minute diver’s scale and Mercedes hands on the dial, it’s anything but your average Submariner. Also known as the Rolex Hulk, the ref. 116610LV is characterized by a green sunburst dial and matching green ceramic bezel, along with the brand’s thicker ‘Super Case’ design. The result is a Rolex Submariner that has an immense presence on the wrist.
A Brief History of the Rolex Submariner
Rolex developed the Submariner in 1953. When it was released at Basel Watch Fair, the Submariner was the first wristwatch in the world to offer water-resistance up to 100 meters. It was also the very first professional series dive watch produced by Rolex. The very first model was presented in stainless steel and did not yet have a date mechanism on the dial.
Over the next several decades, many important upgrades were made to the Submariner collection, including the addition of a date aperture in the 1960s with the ref. 1680, followed by a sapphire crystal, a 300-meter depth rating, and a higher-beat movement in the 1980s with the transitional ref. 16800. The ref. 16800 also introduced a newer unidirectional bezel mounting system to the collection.
The next significant upgrade came in the form of ref. 16610 in the late 1980s, which was the first Rolex Submariner to run on the Cal. 3135 movement. In 2004, a variation was released under the reference number 16610LV to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Submariner and was fitted with a stunning green aluminum bezel insert, earning it the nickname “Kermit” among collectors. It was also the first Submariner to include a ‘Maxi’ dial with larger hands and hour markers.
The Rolex Hulk 116610LV Release
That brings us to the release of the Rolex Hulk Submariner ref. 116610LV at Baselworld 2010. Like the Kermit, the 116610LV (with ‘LV’ standing for Lunette Verte) is fitted with a green bezel. Only now, the insert is crafted from Rolex’s proprietary “Cerachrom” ceramic material. This material is much more resilient and lustrous than aluminum and won’t fade or scratch over time. The bezel features an engraved 60-minute diver’s scale filled with platinum and a more deeply notched edge for an easy grip while wearing diving gloves.
The Rolex Hulk ref. 116610LV also entered the market as Rolex was rolling out its modern “Maxi” dial, which is more than deserving of that name with larger hour markers and wider hands with white gold surrounds. The Rolex Hulk dial features a stunning metallic sunburst finish in Rolex’s iconic green hue that radiates from the center of the hands. The hands and hour markers are also finished with Rolex’s Chromalight luminescent material, which emits a long-lasting blue glow in the dark.
Rolex Hulk Case and Bracelet
The “Super Case” of the Rolex Hulk offers the same 40mm diameter as its 5-digit Submariner predecessors, only now it includes much thicker lugs and crown guards. The result is a more angular and contemporary aesthetic that offers an overall larger appearance on the wrist. The case also maintains a relatively thin profile with a thickness of just over 12mm, giving the wearer the best of both worlds regarding bold appearance and comfort. The ref. 116610LV also includes a Triplock screw-down crown, which features three waterproof zones to seal the case, offering users up to 300 meters/1,000 feet of water resistance.
With a newer case came an upgraded Oyster bracelet. This time, it’s equipped with solid end links, solid center links, and a machined Oysterlock clasp outfitted with an ingenious Glidelock wetsuit extension system. The Glidelock system features a unique design that allows the wearer to adjust the length of the bracelet up to 20mm in 2mm increments, without the use of tools. In addition to diving, this feature also has practical everyday use as it can also allow 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 better resilience than the 316L steel used by most other dive watch brands.
Rolex Hulk Submariner Price
While it’s undoubtedly an intriguing watch to examine and wear, the 116610LV wasn’t nearly as popular among collectors when it was initially unveiled in 2010 as it is today. The model is still in production and currently retails for $9,350.
However, the Rolex Hulk ref. 116610LV is in very high demand with multi-year waiting lists at retailers, making it virtually impossible to buy brand-new without spending a considerable amount of time on a waitlist. On the secondary Rolex market, the Hulk commands a premium with current market prices ranging anywhere from $13k to $15k depending on the age and overall condition of the watch.