March 18, 2010
by Ariel Adams
The long-awaited new steel version of the new generation of Rolex Submariner watches is here. The official name is the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date. This is not a surprise release from the brand for 2010. However, the introduction of a standard green dial is something I didn’t expect. Like clockwork, over the last few years Rolex has been updating their GMT Master II collection and then a white gold new Submariner. Last year, they released a new two-tone (steel and gold) Submariner watch with a blue or a black dial. It was only logical that this year would see the release of a new all steel Submariner, ref. 116610. This is most important because the steel versions are the most popular – given their position as having the lowest cost version of one of the most popular timepieces on the planet (if not the most popular luxury watch on the planet).
The new watches have the same 40mm width, but a slightly different shape of case and a new “maxi dial.” Like the other new Submariners and GMT Master II, the dial has larger hands and hour indicators. Plus, the lume should glow blue. Another wonderful addition to the steel Submariners is the ceramic bezel. Rolex calls it “Cerachrom,” and they do it probably better than anyone else. The ceramic has a beautiful tone and is very crisp-looking. Compared to the ceramic bezel on the GMT Master II, the Submariner bezels are a more of a matte finish.
A broader case looks elegant as ever and still thin. Even though the Submariner is smaller at 40mm in size that most modern men’s watches, it still holds it own quite well. A bold wrist look that you just can’t beat. Don’t forget that the case is water resistant to 300 meters in this “original” mainstream true diver’s watch. The larger hands and indexes make the face easier to read and dare I say, more Rolexy. The case is not made of grade 316L steel, but rather the higher grade grade 904L steel that has all sorts of special chemical resistance abilities.
Green is a color that Rolex is known for using in special models. The release of a new mainstream Submariner model is a special occasion. It is a substantial tone that isn’t too bright or dark. The dial is metallic, while Rolex calls “Green Gold.” There is another reason for the green face – to help get existing Submariner buyers to get one. If you have a previous generation Submariner there isn’t huge incentive to upgrade unless you are “that type of person.” But with a new dial color, and potentially new personality, existing fans will see reason to add to their collection.
Thankfully, we now have a Submariner with the famous Rolex Glide-Lock clasp. This gives the bracelet clasp a special micro-adjust ability that gives it a very precise fit. Plus, you can change the size as often as you like for tighter or looser days. Rolex isn’t the first to have a special bracelet clasp like this, but they do it oh so well. Inside the watch is the same invincible 3135 automatic COSC Chronometer certified movement. Not much to say there, there are few better three-hand date movements out there. It is of course 100% made and designed by Rolex. Price for the new Submariner watches hasn’t been released yet, but I suspect they will be almost identical to the outgoing models. Look for them in stores soon watch lovers. The new piece might not be a monumental upgrade, but that isn’t watch Rolex does. They just keep making their good stuff better.
REFERENCE (CASE / BRACELET): 116610 LN/V / 97200
Diameter: 40 mm
Material: 904L steel
Bezel: unidirectional rotatable 60-minute graduated
with black or green Cerachrom insert, platinum graduations
Winding crown: Triplock
shoulders to protect the crown
Crystal: sapphire, Cyclops lens with anti-reflective coating
Waterproofness: 300 m (1,000 ft)
Self-winding: Perpetual rotor
Date: instantaneous change and rapid setting
Oscillator: frequency: 4 Hz (28,800 beats/hour)
Parachrom hairspring with Breguet overcoil
Precision: COSC-certified chronometer
Power reserve: ~48 hours
Green version has green gold dial
Hour markers: luminescent Chromalight
Hands: luminescent Chromalight
Material: 904L steel
Clasp: Rolex Glidelock
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