Thursday, July 17, 2014

Rolex 16610 review...

This is a small review of the Rolex Submariner Date reference 16610. This watch is not mine, but thanks to MWF store for allowing me to review the watch.

The reference 16610 was introduced in 1988 (some say 1986) replacing the reference 1680. It was produced up to circa 2010 when the new Submariner Date with the ‘fatter’ case and ceramic bezel insert was introduced. This is one of the longest references in production for Rolex. The watch in review is from the M series, circa 2010, making this one of the last reference 16610 made.


The case on this reference 16610 is made from 904L stainless steel. It is well made and is of the 3-piece design, i.e. bezel, mono-block middle case and a screw-down case back. The watch is 40 mm in diameter (across the bezel) and 14 mm thick (at extreme and 13 mm without the Cyclops). The lug to lug is 47.5 mm long and the lug width is 20 mm.

The case has the traditional Rolex sports model trademark brushed top (circular to the case) and polished sides. The entire case is well made, to typical Rolex standards. Well polished, smooth to the touch and no rough edges. No tool mark evident anywhere. Sadly there are no lug holes in the case, I love lug holes. 

The bezel is serrated at edges but it is smooth to the touch. The bezel ratchets and typical of a divers watch, it rotates anti-clockwise. The bezel ratchets positively and it is lovely to turn. Locks positively. It is a 120 click bezel.

The bezel insert is made of aluminium and is black in colour. It is slightly polished and again, typical of a divers watch, the first 15 minutes of the bezel is marked with minute markers. After the first 15 minutes, the markers are 5 minutes apart. There is a luminous pip at the 12 o’clock position and it rises ever so slightly from the bezel.

The screw-down case back is standard Rolex, unmarked with a brushed center disc. Serrated edge provides the grip to unscrew the case back.

The crown measures 6.5 mm in diameter and is 4 mm thick. It is signed with the Rolex crown. The crown is of the Trip-lock waterproof system design (3 dots under the crown), which means the watch is water resistant to 30ATM. The crown is large and easy to use. I like the crown. The crown has 3 positions, unlocked for winding the movement, pull out once to adjust the date and pull out twice to adjust the time. and yes, the crown is of the screw down design.

A bit about the trip-lock system. The system is a triple lock system and has nothing to do with the number of seals. In fact, there are actually 4 seals in the trip-lock system. This can be seen in the photograph below.

Photograph: Shamelessly borrowed from the Internet

The crown.

View of the gasket on the stem tube. 


The dial is a glossy dial with the white gold surrounds for the hour markers (applied indices). I believe the white gold is 18k white gold. It is a well-made dial and easy to read.

At the 12 o’clock position we find the Rolex crown and signature. Under it we find the legend ‘Oyster Perpetual Date’ for water resistant case design and that it has a date complication. Below the 6 o’clock hour marker we find the legend 'Swiss Made' which tells us the watch is Swiss made and the luminous material used is SuperLuminova. Just above the 6 o’clock hour marker, we find a whole host of  the legends, beginning with SUBMARINER', the model, the depth rating (rated to 30 ATM) and ‘Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified', telling us the watch meets COSC requirements for accuracy.

The date is displayed via a window at the 3 o’clock position. The date wheel is black on silver/ white, and it is very easy to read. The date wheel is the new version with the closed 6 and 9. It is very easy to read the date as the Cyclops magnifies the date by a factor of 2.5.

The watch comes with the ‘Branded Rehaut’, which means the rehaut has the ‘ROLEXROLEX’ etched into it. Some may like it, some don’t. I like it. The serial number of the watch is at the 6 o’clock position and the Rolex coronet at 12, on the rehaut. I am not sure of the serial number and model is still engraved between the lugs, but I suspect it is still there. Oh, the ‘Branded Rehaut’ was introduced circa 2007-2008.


The watch has the Mercedes type hands, common in Rolex sports model. The hands are well made and it is made of white gold. The sweep seconds hand extends all the way to the minute markers. The sweep seconds hand has a luminous ‘bob’ so that divers can see that the watch is still working while diving or swimming. Sadly the minute hand does not extend all the way to the minute markers, as it is a tad shorter. As with the hour markers on the dial, the hands are filled with SuperLuminova.


The watch is fitted with a synthetic sapphire crystal and has the Cyclops over the date window (providing 2.5 times magnification). The Cyclops is about 1 mm thick. The crystal itself is 30 mm in diameter. The crystal does extend beyond the bezel by about 1 mm. The edge of the crystal is slightly beveled to protect it from chipping. Nice touch.


The watch is powered by Rolex caliber 3135. It is a basic 3-hand automatic movement with a date complications. The 3135 were introduced with the 16610. It is robust and reliable movement with the following characteristics: It is COSC rated; it has Microstella adjustment screw and Kif shock absorption. It beats at 28,800 BPH, hacking, hand-wind capable, quickset date, bidirectional self-winding Perpetual rotor, instantaneous date change at midnight, 31 jewels and a power reserve of about 50 hours.


The bracelet is of the Oyster design or aka Oyster Bracelet, reference 93250. I believe the bracelet is made of the same material as the case, 904L stainless steel. The bracelet (cross section) is made up of 3 pieces, all brushed. Very tool watch like. The sides of the links are brushed. The links are solid, even though the center link is hollow. A very well made bracelet indeed.

The end links, reference 801 (?), are SEL (solid end links) and have the same-brushed finish and is well made. The SEL was introduced around 2001. It sits well between the lugs. Removal is easy but care is need so that you don’t scratch the lugs.

The clasp is made of (I believe) 316L steel. It is well made (again stamped out pieces of stainless steel). Some people feel that it is cheap and flimsy, sadly so do I. But it does its job and does it well. There is a simple flip lock on the clasp. The clasp is signed with the Rolex Crown. The clasp is easy to use and easy to open; yet you feel safe that it will not inadvertently unlock.

The folded part of the clasp/ bracelet is polished and like the clasp itself is made of stamped stainless steel. It has the Rolex signature on both sides and Registered Swiss Made and Steel Inox on one side. It is thin but does the job and does it well.

Standard length adjustment is via adjustment holes on the folding clasp. There are 4 adjustment holes and allows the bracelet to be adjusted by 11 mm in length.

If there is a need to adjust the bracelet longer or shorter, there is a need to physically alter the length of the bracelet by removing or adding links. And this can easily be done with the provided links with screwed attachments. There are a total of 3 full size adjustment links and a half size adjustment link.

The watch comes with the diver extension link. It is a breeze to operate and use. Just press on the ‘O’ and the extension will be released. To lock, just the reverse, well you have to hook the locking tab before you press the bracelet to lock.

The divers link, extended.


To me, the Submariner is one of the most iconic watch in the Rolex Sports model offering. The Submariner Date, offers a bit more in the date complication and it makes just the right difference. It is a classic and a classic that will remain for a long long time.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. You misread. The review says the watch is from 2010 (last year of the series), but the model 16610 ran from 1988-2010. So, same issue with the lug holes. This model was produced in 2010, well after Rolex removed the lug holes. Not sure what you're talking about with the ft. My 16610 is from 1997 and the script looks the same.

    2. From the review,"The watch in review is from the M series, circa 2010, making this one of the last reference 16610 made."

  2. Hello:

    Are the markings and numbers on the aluminum bezel made of platinum insert? If not, do you know the material?

    1. Also, I forgot to mention that I own this very same model (m-series 2010). I also noticed that my cyclops doesn't have the anti-reflection that most models had added after 2005. Does your also not have it? Great review 👍🏻

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Hi,

    Nice blog! but questions, hope you could help.

    Compare to all other 16610 I looked up, you are the only one with the 16610 dial that HAVE the spacing between "300" and "m" (1000ft_=_300_m) while all other shows (1000Ft=300m).

    I tried looking up all the Rolex M-series 16610 only mine has the spacing exactly like the picture on this blog but all others doesn't.

    Would you be able to tell me why? Thanks!