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Watch Reviews Under $12k: The Rolex Submariner Reference 116610LV

May 25, 2018

BY Paul Altieri


While green is Rolex’s official company color, it is remarkably absent from the majority of the watches that have produced throughout their 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.

The stainless steel Rolex Submariner has historically been a watch with a black dial and bezel insert. Although blue was an option for those who chose to purchase a solid gold or Rolesor (stainless steel and gold) Submariner, black was the only color available for Rolex’s classic stainless steel dive watch.

In 2004, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their legendary Submariner line of watches, Rolex released the reference 16610LV Submariner that featured a bright green bezel insert – a first for their line of traditionally monochromatic stainless steel dive watches. The splash of color was generally well received by the public; and in 2010, Rolex introduced another stainless steel Submariner that featured the company colors: the reference 116610LV.

Submariner Reference 116610LV

The Submariner Reference 116610LV is a ceramic watch with a mean green look.

The Green Submariner Reference 116610LV

Unlike the 50th anniversary reference 16610LV Submariner that paired a black dial with a green bezel insert, both the dial and insert on the reference 116610LV are bright green in color. Additionally, the reference 116610LV Submariner uses Rolex’s new re-designed case and Cerachrom (ceramic) bezel insert that gives the entire watch a much larger and thicker appearance, despite retaining the same 40 mm case diameter of its predecessors.

The vibrant green dial of the reference 116610LV is finished in the same “Sunburst” style as the blue Submariner dials, which brings a certain level of familiarity to an otherwise entirely new dial appearance. The proprietary ceramic material used for the Cerachrom bezel insert guarantees that it will retain its bright green color, and glossy finish for years to come, as it is both highly scratch-resistant and impervious to the color-fading effects of ultraviolet sunlight exposure.

Due to its bolder, re-designed case and all green color profile, the reference 116610LV Submariner quickly earned the nickname, the “Hulk”, with Rolex aficionados around the world. Although a purple strap would be needed before the reference 116610LV could fully resemble its Marvel superhero namesake, the “Hulk” moniker has stuck, and it is now frequently used among collectors and dealers today.

Submariner Reference 116610LV

The Submariner Reference 116610LV is nicknamed the “Hulk” for its all green look.

Some History and the Future

Rolex has been manufacturing stainless steel Submariner watches since the early 1950s, and for the first fifty years of their legendary dive watch’s history, every single owner of one has had theirs in exactly the same color. Although the all-black, stainless steel Submariner is an absolute classic and a true cornerstone offering in the world of watch designs (and for good reason too), the reference 116610LV gives buyers the opportunity to own Rolex’s iconic stainless steel dive watch with a fresh and modern twist.

At the time of writing, the reference 116610LV Submariner remains in production, so it is still available brand-new from authorized dealers, with a factory warranty. However, the reference 116610LV is also not a watch that Rolex is likely to continue manufacturing indefinitely, and production could stop at any point in time without much notice or reason.

The green reference 116610LV is otherwise entirely identical to its black-colored counterpart; however, it comes with a small premium in price when purchasing brand-new from an authorized dealer. Although pre-owned examples offer measurable savings over retail prices, the premium for the color green still exists when purchasing used examples of the reference 116610LV in the secondary market.

Submariner Reference 116610LV

The Submariner Reference 116610LV has a stunning green dial.

Inside the Submariner Reference 116610LV

Much like many other stainless steel Rolex watches that do not contain any highly specific or proprietary complications in their movement, the reference 116610LV will be a popular target for counterfeiters. All of the normal rules for spotting a fake apply to the reference 116610LV Submariner, so whenever verifying authenticity, always examine the dial, the reference/serial number engravings, the bracelet (and its accompanying markings), the Cerachrom bezel insert, and (if possible) the movement.

The reference 116610LV Submariner is the culmination of precision engineering, an uncompromising production process, decades of refinement, and the use of proprietary materials. While counterfeiters are getting increasingly better at replicating the numerous, minor details of Rolex’s iconic designs, a careful inspection will always reveal the difference in quality, and identify a fake from an authentic Rolex timepiece.

Although its bright green color-profile can make for a rather love-it-or-hate-it appearance, the reference 116610LV Submariner is certainly a fresh take on one of Rolex’s most iconic and beloved designs. It may not be quite as appropriate for every single occasion as a watch with a black dial and bezel; however the reference 116610LV is a great way of enjoying the latest rendition of Rolex’s legendary dive watch – without running quite as much of a risk of sitting across from someone with the exact same watch as you.



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