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Why We Love It
For over six decades the Rolex Submariner has weathered the changing tides of popular tastes.
Born as a tool watch beloved by everyone from fictional spies to real life undersea explorers and desk divers alike, it has metamorphosed over the years into something truly iconic. Without hyperbole, it is Rolex’s most popular watch - and arguably the most popular watch in the world.
Throughout the years, the Submariner has slowly been refined with small changes and tweaks every few years - and "larger" updates every few decades or so... Case size, fonts, luminescent materials, and bracelet variations all have been fairly commonplace and expected. In terms of color variation, however, the Submariner had always been relatively staid when compared to Rolex’s other watches. After all, a tool watch doesn’t need to be pretty, it just needs to do its job.
Introduced in 2003 for the 50th anniversary of the Submariner, the 16610LV possesses two features that allow it to stand apart from typical 16610s... those two little letters at the end of the reference number hold the secret to this watch’s allure. In this case, the LV stands for “lunette vert,” or green bezel - and when combined with the 'Maxi' style luminous plots, reminiscent of what is found on Vintage Subs, this watch truly does have a special feel.
This particular watch remains in untouched condition, retaining its factory caseback sticker, factory finishing, and a lightly patinated bezel insert.
Examples of the Reference 16610LV are scarce, owing to its relatively short production run of only seven years. Its scarcity has made it quite collectible, and hotly-desired among enthusiasts.
The Submariner Story
Rolex first debuted the Submariner at the 1954 Basel Spring Fair. It shared the stage with already-established offerings: the Explorer, the Turn-O-Graph, and a ladies' Oyster Perpetual with a chronometer certification. Compared to these other watches, the Submariner - with its oversized crown and chunky dive-timing bezel looked slightly out-of-place, and yet would become one of Rolex's most enduring models.
Rolex's quest to produce a waterproof wristwatch has its roots in the First World War, when a need arose for soldiers to have a watch that could withstand the wet, dusty conditions on the battlefield. Rolex's Oyster case of 1926 represented the culmination of a decade of development. It gained notoriety in 1927, when Mercedes Gleitze became the first British woman to swim across the English Channel. She took with her an early Rolex Oyster, in what may have been the very first example of sports marketing by a luxury brand. A series of advertisements followed this feat, featuring smiling flappers dunking their Rolex Oysters in fish tanks.
The Submariner hit the market at a time when oceanographer and explorer Jacques Cousteau exposed the world to the wonders of undersea exploration. With the advent of SCUBA (Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus) in the late 1950s, skin-diving as a sport became accessible to amateurs. Since a mechanical timepiece was an essential piece of equipment for divers in a pre-digital world, the race was on amongst Swiss manufactures to produce a professional grade timepiece. Rolex was fortunate in that René Jeanneret, one of the company's directors, was a skin-diving enthusiast, giving Rolex a unique insight into the development of their diving watch.
The resulting watch was an overnight success, and has been in continuous production ever since. The Oyster Perpetual Submariner, in all of its forms, is an icon amongst icons, a pinnacle of horological design, and a statement piece aspired to and worn by people the world over.
Stainless steel Oyster case is approximately 39mm (excluding the crown). Automatic-winding Quickset movement by Rolex. Rolex Reference 16610LV. Circa 2006.
Overall Condition: The untouched case is in great condition overall showing normal wear from handling. Luminous gloss black Luminova dial is in as-new condition with matching handset. Bezel insert shows minimal fading. Factory caseback sticker intact and faded. Signed crown.
Includes solid link stainless steel Oyster bracelet (93250/SEL) with signed Fliplock clasp.
Analog/Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
We back each Analog/Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states. We are happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options