Rolex 'Kermit' Submariner
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Rolex 'Kermit' Submariner

For over six decades the Rolex Submariner has weathered the changing tides of popular tastes. Born as a tool watch beloved of everyone from James Bond to undersea explorers, it metamorphosed over those sixty years into something that anyone from seasoned collectors to new watch enthusiasts would want to own. Without hyperbole, it is without question Rolex’s most popular watch.

Throughout the years, the changes that the Submariner has undergone have been gradual, more in keeping with function than aesthetics. Crowns have gotten bigger (as with the Reference 5510), or smaller (the Reference 5508). Luminescent material on the dial has been radium, tritium, and SuperLuminova.

But until this watch, a Reference 16610LV, was introduced, it had never been green.

In terms of color, 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, so the color never mattered much—at a certain depth even the brightest colors look grey. However, as the 50th anniversary of the model’s introduction approached, Rolex wanted to celebrate its old faithful with something entirely new.

The Reference 16610LV was introduced in 2003. Those 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.

Prior to this watch’s release, the Submariner had been blue before, with a blue bezel or even a blue dial, but never had the bezel insert been green.

Another point of interest is that the 16610LV also possessed a “maxi dial.” These dials, which were most commonly seen on Reference 5512 or 5512 Submariners from the late 1970s to mid-1980s, have larger luminescent plots. This feature gives the watch a vintage touch that contemporary collectors of vintage Rolexes even find hard to resist.

Aesthetically and in spirit, the Reference 16610LV is in keeping with its black-bezeled counterpart, the Reference 16610. The crystal is sapphire, the crown is Trip-Lock, and the 93250 bracelet features a flip-lock clasp. Powering it all is the Calibre 3135, the COSC-certified warhorse that Rolex has used since the late 1980s.

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. This is the first time we’re able to offer one, and we couldn’t be happier.

Details

SKU: AS02724

Stainless Steel case is approximately 40mm (excluding crown). Rolex Reference 16610V. Rolex Automatic movement. 2003.

Overall condition: The watch is new-in-box condition.

Includes inner and outer boxes, warranty papers, booklets, hangtags and 50th anniversary press kit, including rare CD ROM.

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We back each Analog/Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.

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