Hands down, the black, stainless steel Submariner is Rolex’s most famous and frequently purchased watch – and for a good reason too. Its timeless and instantly recognizable design is versatile enough to work in both formal and casual situations, and its robust construction guarantees that it will last a lifetime. After deciding to purchase a black, stainless steel Rolex Submariner from the previous generation with Cerachrom (ceramic) bezels, there will still be one important decision left: do you get the reference 114060 or the reference 116610?
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Rolex Submariner 114060 & Submariner 116610
Submariner Generation Key Facts
Production Years: 2010 – 2020
Case Size: 40mm
Functions: Time-Only (ref. 114060); Time + Date (ref. 116610)
Dial: Black, Luminous hour markers
Bezel: Unidirectional, 60-minute timing scale, Black ceramic insert
Movement: Cal. 3130 (ref. 114060); Cal. 3135 (ref. 116610)
Water Resistance: 300 meters / 1,000 feet
Bracelet: Oyster Bracelet with Glidelock Extension
Comparing Rolex Submariner ref. 114060 to ref. 116610
Both Submariner watches measure 40mm in diameter with depth ratings of 300 meters. Both watches are made from 904L stainless steel with solid-link Oyster bracelets. Both watches feature black dials with 18-karat, white gold hands and hour markers. And both watches are fitted with black ceramic bezel inserts. However, one watch costs an average of $2,000 more than the other when purchased on the open market.
They differ in that the reference 116610 has a date complication displayed through a window in the dial at the 3 o’clock position. Because there is a date feature, the movement in the reference 116610 is different from the one found in the reference 114060 (no-date) Submariner. The ref. 116610 is powered by the time-tested Caliber 3135 movement, while the no-date Submariner is fitted with Rolex’s Caliber 3130. Both movements are COSC chronometer-certified and feature Parachrom hairsprings for greater resistance to shocks and temperature fluctuations.
To enhance the date window’s visibility, the crystal on the reference 116610 features a “Cyclops” magnification lens at the 3 o’clock position. The Cyclops protrudes slightly from the sapphire crystal’s surface and enhances the date display by 2.5 times its natural size. In addition to magnifying the date aperture, the Cyclops is also one of Rolex’s most distinct and recognizable features, appearing on the vast majority of its date-displaying models.
Past generations of no-date Submariner models differed from their date-displaying counterparts in that their movements were not COSC rated. However, since the Cal. 3135 and Cal. 3130 movements that are fitted to this generation of Submariner watches are both chronometer-certified and offer identical power reserves, any real-world performance difference should be virtually non-existent.
Some buyers will select the reference 116610 for the utility of the date function, while others may pick it because they enjoy the visual appearance that the Cyclops lens adds to the watch’s face. Other buyers will opt for the reference 114060 Submariner due to its lower price, while some may select it because they prefer the symmetrical design of its dial.
Both Submariner references are excellent watches, and either selection will be a very sound purchase. People generally prefer one Submariner to the other for various reasons, which is precisely why Rolex produces both models. Whether you pick the ref. 114060 or the ref. 116610, both models are superb watches and great investments.
History of the Rolex Submariner 114060 and Submariner 116610
The history of both the Date and No-Date Submariner begins in 1953 with the very first Submariner: the reference 6204. There was no date on the dial and the watch was water-resistant to only 100 meters. The iconic Mercedes hour hand was not yet introduced, and bezel movement was bi-directional. However, the foundation for the Submariner as we know it today was there, with a black 60-minute bezel, a luminous display on the dial, and a stainless steel case and bracelet.
The First Submariner with a Date Display
The Submariner continued production for several years without the Date mechanism on the dial until the release of ref. 1680 in 1966. Powering the watch was the Caliber 1575 Perpetual movement, the same calibre used in the Sea-Dweller, which hit the market the following year in 1967. Early editions of the ref. 1680 featured a red Submariner logo on the dial and are highly collectible today.
The first Submariner Date remained on the market until the 1970s, seeing several dial variations and even a solid 18k yellow gold version in the form of the ref. 1680/8. When the dive watch came to market in the 1950s as a professional’s tool watch, the date wasn’t a practical feature as the watch was built specifically for underwater use. As popularity for the Submariner continued to rise, it just made sense to include the calendar function on the dial for all of those who also wear their Submariner watches on dry land.
However, Rolex never abandoned the Submariner’s purpose-built roots and continued to produce a no-date model to be offered alongside the more popular Submariner Date. This practice continues to this day, but while the date-displaying options have been offered in a number of different metals and colors over the years, the Rolex Submariner No-Date has only ever been available in stainless steel and fitted with a black dial and a black bezel.
Reference 114060 and Reference 116610 Submariner Watches
Until just recently, the ref. 114060 and ref. 116610 Submariner watches were the latest versions of the stainless steel (aka Oystersteel) model. The reference 116610 came to market in 2010, followed shortly by the no-date reference 114060 in 2012. As members of the 6-digit Submariner generation, both references feature “Maxi” dials outfitted with larger hour markers and wider hands, bezel inserts crafted from Rolex’s proprietary Cerachrom ceramic material, and a contemporary case distinguished by larger crown guards and wider, more angular lugs.
The Submariner bracelet also received a major upgrade in the form of completely solid links and a machined Oysterlock clasp with a Glidelock extension system that allows for tool-free adjustment of the bracelet in 2mm increments up to a total of 20mm. Both models maintain the same 300-meter water-resistance of their predecessors, which is more than enough for even professional-level scuba diving. They also still include scratch-resistant sapphire crystals and run on the same Cal. 3135 and Cal. 3130 movements for the Date and No-Date model, respectively.
The Green Submariner 116610LV
Rolex celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Submariner collection in 2003 by releasing a green bezel edition of the successful ref. 16610 (labeled as the ref. 16610LV). In addition to featuring an aluminum bezel in Rolex’s signature green hue, the “Kermit,” as many collectors came to call it, also features a black “Maxi” dial. This was the first instance of a Maxi dial within the Submariner series, pre-dating the 6-digit collection. The ref. 16610LV was also the only instance of a Maxi dial and an aluminum bezel in the collection’s entire history.
The Kermit was discontinued in 2010 and replaced with a brand-new anniversary Submariner, the reference 116610LV. “LV” refers to the French term “Lunette Verte” that denotes its stunning green ceramic bezel. The black dial was replaced with a remarkable green sunburst dia – the only time that a dial color other than black has ever been featured on a stainless steel Submariner. The green-on-green feature set and larger appearance of the case earned the ref. 116610LV the nickname “Hulk” within the Rolex collecting world.
2020 marked the release of the current generation of stainless steel Submariner dive watches. The reference 114060 and ref. 116610 were both discontinued and replaced with the reference 124060 and ref. 126610. In addition to receiving a larger 41mm case, the newest series also features brand-new movements utilizing Rolex’s proprietary Chronergy escapement. The ref. 124060 is equipped with the Caliber 3230 movement, while the ref. 126610 Submariner Date is powered by the Caliber 3235 movement.
This ref. 116610LV Submariner “Hulk” was also discontinued in 2020 and replaced by the ref. 126610LV. A combination of both the Hulk and Kermit, this edition features a green ceramic bezel and black Maxi dial fitted to its larger 41mm case. While this reference is still pretty new, it has already earned various nicknames, including the “Hermit” (Hulk + Kermit) and Cermit (Ceramic + Kermit). Generally more difficult to obtain than their all-black counterparts, these green Submariner watches represent some of the most collectible modern stainless steel Submariner models.
Materials Used/Rolex Terminology You Need to Know
Oystersteel: Rolex first started using 904L stainless steel during the 1980s. Referred to now as “Oystersteel” by the company and forged from within Rolex’s own in-house foundry, this metal finish is incredibly resistant to corrosion, making it ideal for the brand’s famed dive watch.
Sapphire Crystal: Replacing acrylic, sapphire crystal is incredibly hard and virtually impervious to the scratches and scuffs that come from everyday wear and use. Rolex first started using sapphire crystals on the Submariner collection with the introduction of the ref. 16800 at the end of the 1970s.
Chromalight: Chromalight replaced Super-Luminova and offers a bright blue glow, rather than the more standard green color found on most watches. Chromalight is Rolex’s own proprietary lume and it will provide a continuous glow for up to 8 hours.
Cerachrom: Cerachrom is the name given by Rolex to its proprietary ceramic material. Every 6-digit Submariner is equipped with Cerachrom bezel inserts, replacing aluminum like on previous generations. Cerachrom is virtually scratch-proof and it will not corrode or fade in color in the same way that aluminum bezels will after prolonged wear and use.
The “Super Case” Submariner
Even though the case maintains the same 40mm as its 5-digit predecessors, it appears noticeably larger on the wrist due to its thicker lugs, larger crown guards, and wider Cerachrom bezel. Overall, the Super Case is more angular and chunky while still not overtaking the wrist.
The newer case made first its debut within the Submariner series in 2008 with the introduction of the full yellow gold ref. 116618 and white gold ref. 116619. It features a Triplock screw-down crown with three waterproof sealed zones, a monobloc middle case, and a screw-down case back. The Super Case answers the market’s desire for a larger wrist presence without adding to the watch’s actual case diameter.
Another feature of the Submariner’s Super Case that is often overlooked is the bezel mounting system. The ref. 114060 and ref. 116610 both feature a design in which the bezel ring sits on four spring-loaded support rollers, with one of them being a click spring to ensure the bezel’s unidirectional movement. This design allows the bezel to rotate incredibly smoothly with perfect alignment and provides even tension throughout the entire rotation of the bezel.
The Oyster Bracelet
All Rolex Submariner watches are fitted with the brand’s three-link Oyster bracelet. New to the 6-digit series is the use of completely solid links (including end-links) along with a more sturdy and refined machined clasp. Compared to the bracelets found on the previous generation, 6-digit Submariner watches offer a heavier, more substantial presence on the wrist. The newer bracelet is not as prone to stretching as editions with hollow center links.
The updated bracelets also feature updated Oysterlock clasps with Rolex’s patented Glidelock extension system. This feature allows the wearer to increase the bracelet’s length up to 20mm in 2mm increments, completely on the fly and without the need for any tools. This feature is particularly useful for those who live in warmer regions as the bracelet is easy to micro-adjust as the wrist swells in humid weather. Of course, the Glidelock extension system was originally designed for scuba divers so that they could expand their bracelets to fit over the sleeve of a thick wetsuit.
Rolex Submariner 114060 vs. 116610 Pricing and Availability
When Rolex unveiled the current generation of Submariner watches with 41mm case diameters, all of the models from the previous 40mm generation were discontinued, and this included both the reference 114060 and the reference 116610. As of September 2020, both stainless steel Submariner watches are now only available on the pre-owned market, and both models have prices that are higher than their original retail prices.
Submariner 114060 Price
Before it was discontinued, the reference 114060 had a retail price of $7,500. On the secondary market, that price is quite a bit higher, averaging between $10k and $12k depending on the watch’s age and overall condition.
Submariner 116610 Price
Prior to being discontinued, the ref. 116610 with a black dial and bezel retailed for $8,550. These days, the average price is around $12k to $14k. With the recent discontinuation of both models, it will be interesting to see how these prices change both in the short and long run. The current-production no-date Submariner ref. 124060 retails for $8,100, while the Submariner Date ref. 126610 with a black dial and black bezel retails for $9,150.
With collectors clamoring to get their hands on the newest edition of the stainless steel Submariner, the price for ref. 114060 and ref. 116610 watches might see a bump as those who seek a ceramic bezel Submariner turn to the discontinued model instead of waiting an unknown amount of time to purchase the newest edition at retail or even pay a premium on the secondary market.
Where to Find the 114060 & 116610 Rolex for Sale
So, where is the best place to buy Rolex Submariner ref. 114060 and ref. 116610 watches? Both references were produced for roughly a full decade and are readily available on the secondary market. However, where you choose to spend your money is an important decision.
If you prefer to shop in person, local jewelry stores might be a great option as you will have the opportunity to inspect the watch in person. However, many jewelry stores can’t compete with online prices due to higher overhead. Additionally, a jewelry store may not be as knowledgeable about Rolex Submariner watches compared to a place that specializes in timepieces. If getting the best deal is important to you, shopping online is the smartest option.
While Craigslist and eBay might seem like tempting options, they aren’t always the safest. Aside from the obvious risk of meeting a stranger from Craigslist with a large sum of money, you can never be completely sure that the watch is genuine. Furthermore, while these types of websites are well-known and reputable themselves, you are not really buying the watch from the website, but ultimately buying the watch from just another user that is selling it.
Instead, choose an online seller you can trust and that stands behind their products with a lifetime authenticity guarantee. Bob’s Watches is the most trusted name in pre-owned Rolex watches and guarantees that any Submariner 114060 or Submariner 116610 watch you buy from us is 100% genuine right down to every little screw and gasket. In addition to being able to rest assured that the timepiece you buy from us is completely genuine and competitively priced, every single watch listed on our site is in stock and ready to ship.