Does The Ceramic Rolex Submariner 116610LN Live Up To The Hype? 14 April 2021 – Posted in: Uncategorised

The black dial stainless steel Submariner is perhaps the most iconic and recognised watch ever made. The simplicity and durability of the 904L stainless steel case and bracelet are what make it a timeless design but the Submariner’s history is as long as it is fascinating.

Birth Of An Icon

The Rolex Submariner was launched in 1953 and despite different iterations including solid 18 carat yellow gold, 18 carat white gold and a half gold / half steel combination (that Rolex calls Rolesor), with a number of different dial/bezel colour combinations along the way, the stainless steel model with black dial and bezel remains the most popular among watch collectors and enthusiasts.

About The Rolex Submariner 116610LN

The predecessor to the 116610LN, the stainless-steel Rolex Submariner Date 16610, was the most successful Rolex for over 20 years before it was replaced in 2010 by the ceramic version. It would be easy to understand if an unpopular model was replaced but it is always a brave move to discontinue the most popular model at the height of its popularity. This, however, is the mark of a truly great, innovative company. Not resting on its laurels, always asking itself how it can make the best even better.

Submariner 116610LN Ceramic Bezel

The Rolex Submariner 116610LN was the model that introduced the new ceramic bezel to the classic stainless-steel Submariner. This upgrade, plus the updated design and new oyster bracelet, has made the Rolex Submariner 116610LN one of the most sought-after watches in the world.
Rolex Submariner 116610LN (picture)
Rolex 116610LN Submariner Black Stainless-Steel Ceramic (picture)

Rolex Submariner 116610LN Quick Facts:

  • Years Produced: 2010 – 2020
  • Case Diameter: 40mm
  • Watch Material: 904L Stainless Steel (Oystersteel)
  • Bracelet: Oyster Bracelet with Glidelock Clasp Extension
  • Functions: Time with Running Seconds, Date
  • Dial: Black with Luminous Hour Markers
  • Bezel: Unidirectional. Black Ceramic (Cerachrom) Insert
  • Movement: Rolex Calibre 3135
  • Water Resistance: 300 Metres

Rolex Submariner 116610LN

Rolex 116610LN Submariner Stainless Steel Black

History Of The Rolex Submariner

The Rolex Submariner was developed as a professional diver’s watch, specifically for the scuba diving community. When it launched in 1953, the Submariner was the first consumer divers’ watch capable of withstanding depths of up to 100 metres.

Ever since it launched, The Submariner has been one of the brand’s most successful models. This despite its exceedingly small niche as a diver’s watch. The model quickly shook off the image of just being a utilitarian professional watch and was soon seen on the wrists of the land-dwelling community.

The Rolex Submariner has evolved over the years in several significant ways. We have seen many different crowns, crown guards, lugs, hands, clasps and crystal materials. But, despite the numerous upgrades and constant desire for evolution, the Sub is still immediately recognisable as the iconic divers watch that first hit the market nearly 70 years ago.

The Submariner has been designed from the ground up for use both in sea water and at incredible depths and it currently boasts a depth rating of 1000 feet or 300 metres. The Rolex designers have constantly striven to improve its design. Even professional scuba divers, let alone watch enthusiasts, will never have a need for a watch that can go 300 metres deep in the sea. But the peace of mind that this level of precision provides has earned the Rolex brand and the Submariner model a hugely loyal following among watch collectors. Over the years, the Submariner has been the watch of choice for watch collectors, businessmen, celebrities and film stars as a badge of honour – and as a way of showing good taste and appreciation of fine engineering.

Rolex 116610LN Submariner Date Black Stainless Steel (picture)

Rolex Submariner 116610LN Case (picture)

What Does Lunette Noir Mean?

So, what does the LN mean at the end of the reference 116610LN? As a French-speaking company, Rolex naturally have bits of French in their watches and in the terminology surrounding them. LN at the end of the reference stands for Lunette Noir which roughly translates as ‘Black Bezel’. When all Submariners were black, this suffix was unnecessary, but when bezels of different colours were introduced to Submariners, the LN or Lunette Noir was added to the reference. Others would be the 50th Anniversary Submariner introduced in 2003. This had a green bezel or Lunette Verte so was given the letters LV a the end of the reference to make it 16610LV to differentiate from the black.
When the 16610 is compared side by side with the newer 116610LN ceramic model, there are clear differences between the two. While they are very similar in design with a full stainless-steel case and bracelet, black dial and black bezel, the feel you get from the 116610LN is all together more modern.

The case diameter of both the 116610LN and its predecessor are both 40mm. However, bigger crown guards and thicker lugs give it the illusion of a larger size. On the 116610LN the case also features a totally new bezel design, which has a far smoother glide and an insert made of Rolex’s proprietary ceramic. Cerachrom, as they call it, is highly scratch-resistant, cannot corrode and does not fade from exposure to sunlight.

The new case and bezel are paired on the 116610LN with the incredibly hard-wearing 904L stainless steel that Rolex calls Oystersteel. This is used for both the case and bracelet to allow this particular Submariner to better withstand exposure to saltwater compared to the traditional 316L stainless steel used in the majority of stainless-steel watches.

Rolex 116610LN Submariner Black Dial Stainless Steel (picture)

Rolex Submariner 116610LN Dial (picture)

The Sapphire Crystal

As with other current Rolex models, the 116610LN dial is protected by an anti-reflective sapphire crystal. This glass is mineralised. That is to say it is melted with powdered sapphire to make the glass harder and more scratch resistant. Rolex say that the only harder substance known to man is diamond.

The Submariner Dial

The new dial of the Rolex Submariner features larger hour markers for improved clarity and ease of telling the time. The hour markers are edged in 18K gold for extra lustre – as we know, gold does not tarnish or fade so makes an ideal material for under the glass.

Rolex 116610LN Submariner Stainless Steel Oyster Bracelet

Rolex Submariner 116610LN Bracelet (picture)

Collectors familiar with the previous Oyster bracelet will be pleasantly surprised by the new upgraded version. Featuring solid rather than hollow links and a redesigned clasp, the feel and performance of the new bracelet are completely different. A definite improvement over its predecessor.

The Glidelock Clasp

Rolex’s Glidelock clasp allows the strap to be adjusted 2mm at a time up to about 20mm without the need for tools. This allows the user to wear the watch on the outside of the dive suit so not requiring tools is a definite bonus
Most owners will never dive with their watch but the Glidelock clasp is also useful to make small comfort adjustments depending on the wearer’s temperature or hydration levels.

Rolex Calibre 3135 Movement

Rolex Submariner 116610LN Movement (picture)

The Rolex Submariner 116610LN is powered by the company’s proprietary self-winding Calibre 31 jewel 3135 movement. Like all contemporary Rolex movements, the Calibre 3135 is produced entirely in-house and entirely hand made by Rolex master watchmakers. Beating 28,800 times per hour, the movement is designed for reliability and keeps superbly accurate time.

The Rolex Parachrom Hairspring

The Rolex Calibre 3135 has been in use since the 1980s and is considered in the industry to be one of the finest mechanical movements ever created. The updated version of the 116610LN’s movement uses Rolex’s distinctive blue Parachrom hairspring. This particular hairspring has improved resistance to magnetic fields, shocks, and fluctuations in temperature.

Rolex Submariner COSC Certification

The Rolex Submariner with Calibre 3135 is a COSC certified chronometer, which is reserved for only the most precise and reliable of watch movements. This is a watch that, if looked after and serviced regularly, will give a lifetime (and then some!) of faithful service and accurate timekeeping.
Rolex 116610LN Submariner Dive Watch Ceramic Bezel Cerachrom

Rolex Submariner 116610LN Price

In September 2020, Rolex discontinued the Submariner 116610LN, which now means that the secondary market is now the only place where you can buy one. Even when the 116610LN was in production and available through Rolex Authorised Dealers, it was not possible to walk into a shop and buy one at retail price. You would either wait on a list for months or even years or get a very good relationship with your local Rolex Dealer.
Here in the UK, the last retail price for the 116610LN in 2020 was £7750. Now you can expect to pay £10,000 to £11,500 for one still in the Rolex warranty depending on the age and condition.