Rolex Submariner 16610 LV (M Series) review (Pictures)

Discussion in 'Watch Reviews' started by solar, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. solar

    solar

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    Review of Submariner LV, 16610 LV Photos are at end of review since I couldn't insert them in the text.

    Overview


    This review concerns my recently (early 2009) acquired Submariner LV (Sub LV, or just LV) from a local authorized dealer. This particular Submariner differs slightly from the Submariner 16610 date model (Sub Date) by the following:

    1. LV is French for “Lunette Verte”. This refers to the Rolex-green colored bezel insert, which was done to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Submariner in 2003.
    2. The hour markers on the dial of the Sub LV are a slightly larger diameter, a design difference, which is referred to as the “maxi dial” owing to the “maxi” sized gold hour surrounds.
    3. The minute hand of the Sub LV is slightly thicker than that of the regular Sub Date.

    Reasons for buying

    I had for some time decided to sell my Z Series Sea Dweller (bought in early 2007) in order to develop funds towards the acquisition of a new Sub LV. My reasons for buying the Sea Dweller (SD) initially over the Sub Date or Sub LV were:

    1. The SD was just more substantial. I did not intend to buy another Rolex anytime soon;
    2. The SD did not have the magnifier over the date window, commonly known as the “Cyclops”. I preferred the cleaner look of a non-Cyclops crystal;
    3. The bezel of the SD is thicker than the Submariners. As a result, you can see that the coin edge of the SD is more deeply cut—more metal to cut into—and as a result the SD coin edge glitters like a diamond in low light.
    4. The SD bracelet also has slightly thicker bracelet links, with polished link edges, another nice touch. It’s like seeing a tuxedo on a brawny mixed-martial arts fighter.

    Well, as time went on, I found that the unmagnified date of the SD was getting more difficult to read. I thought I would therefore prefer a diving style Rolex, with a Cyclops for ease of legibility. As well, the LV has the advantage of the maxi dial, and it is also easier to read the time at a glance.

    As for the green bezel insert, well, from polls on various watch fora, this seems to be a love it or hate it proposition. Personally, I really like the green insert. It’s a splash of color on a fine Swiss mechanical watch. At this price point, unless you have a mixed metals watch (steel and gold, etc), often the black dial is complimented with a steel or black bezel. While this is indeed a classic look and has endured for decades, I like the idea of a splash of color on my Sub. It’s akin to having a hornet-yellow racing stripe on the black coachwork of a sly, well-designed high-end sports car.

    Review:

    Bracelet and clasp: 8/10

    The Sub LV “Oyster” bracelet, like its brother the Sub Date, is a solid affair with all brushed surfaces, except for the clasp’s edge. The bracelet has a basic but functional diver’s deployant clasp. However, at this price, I’d like to see the new ratcheting style of clasp on the Sub line that you see on the higher end sport model Rolexes, as opposed to the folding clasp that Rolex has used for so long without significant improvement. The bracelet is made of 904L stainless steel, as is the watchcase, and in my opinion the higher nickel content of 904L makes for a distinctive sheen or shine, which I rather like.

    Crystal and Cyclops: 10/10

    For me, the flat top crystal is preferable to a domed one, so in part this score is somewhat subjective (as all the scores are here). Since the Rolex LV crystal does not have an anti-reflective coating, it has a unique reflective appearance to it. I have described it in the past as the kind of really clear ice you get in still water here in the coldest parts of winter. It therefore does not have the blue tint that the AR coating often imparts, and for me, the crystal is outstanding. The Cyclops, like it or hate it, does make reading the date easier for me, and I appreciate having it now. The crystal still has the laser engraved coronet at the bottom (6 o’clock) on the crystal, tough to see, harder still to photograph (seen here with a timed exposure lighted with a small laser light).

    Bezel and insert: 8/10

    The bezel and insert on the Sub LV are steel (bezel) and aluminum (insert). The bezel turns well when dry; I find it is much harder to turn when under water. It is a simple bent-spring affair that locks into place to the cogs carved into the underside of the bezel, allowing for 120 “clicks” per rotation of the dial. The newer and more expensive Rolex bezels (i.e. GMT II c, etc) use a ball-bearing system, which is much, much more refined and elegant to use. However, the current system is functional, has worked for decades, looks great doing so, and if the bezel insert gets scratched, faded, etc, it can be replaced for under $100.00

    Case: 9/10

    The famous Rolex “Oyster” case has been working so well for so long, that there have been very few changes over the years. The Sub LV case is made from 904L stainless, with a Triplock winding crown. This means that the Tripolock crown is larger than the “Twinlock” crown found on other Rolex models, the sport models being the post-2007 GMTIIcs, and the Explorer II model. The Triplock is also generally (not always) on watches rated to be waterproof to 300 meters owing to a more developed series of gaskets than the Twinlock system. The case is brushed on the tops of the lugs, with the case sides and crown guards being polished. The case interior also has the “RolexRolexRolex” engraving on the rehaut, with the serial number engraved on the rehaut at 6 0’clock. I very much like this innovation, because one can readily read the serial number of the watch without having to remove the bracelet to read the serial number on the case. It also makes counterfeiting (I would think) much more, or at least, somewhat more, difficult. And it’s a barely noticeable thing but it does catch the light in the flat-out coolest way.

    And a neat fact: this is the first Rolex I've ever owned or seen where the crown screws in so that the crown is pointing straight up (see picture)!

    For me, a slightly larger case (42 or 43mm) would make this 10/10.


    Dial: 9/10

    The dial is a high gloss enamel, such as I had on my Z series SD. The Rolex dials are unique in my experience, in that there is a fairl amount of text written on them! Since I was a very young lad reading the Rolex adverts in the National Geographic, I have always been in awe of the "Superlative Chronometer", especially since it was "Officially Certified". A quick glance at the LV, and the large hour indices, which are white gold filled with green SuperLuminova, are substantial and visible in daytime and especially in the night (see the timed exposure shot in this review; the hour indices glow so hard that they light up the "RolexRolexRolex" rehaut engraving on the inside ring of the case!). Additionally, the dial uses white gold in the hands and indices. White gold reflects light in a very low-key, muted way. As a result, I have described the Rolex sports dials in low light as looking like some sort of rare treasure viewed at a museum through the glass. For me to make this a 10/10, it would have to be mother-of-pearl or the new gold-dust PVD dila on meteor that Rolex is doing."


    Movement: 9/10

    The Sub LV carries the 3135 Rolex movement, a solid and reliable chronometer-designated automatic movement. I have found the LV for the week that I have had it to be right in the Certificate Officiel Suisse des Chronometres (COSC) ratings. The only thing that keeps this from being a 10/10 is that the M series LV does not have either the new Parachrom hairspring (more antimagnetic and shock resistant than the conventional Rolex hairspring) or the new Rolex shock absorption design.

    Box and packaging: 8/10

    The Sub LV arrives in the usual Rolex dark green box, inside a lighter green cardboard box, which is inside a white paper sleeve designating the model (16610 LV) and serial number. Inside, the watch is well protected with a plastic bezel protector; plastic coverings are on the bracelet features and on the case sides, so that any casual handling in the dealer’s boutique will not result in scratches. The watch is on a nice light green pillow, which works as storage for the watch when not in use. There are the accompanying documents; the new credit card style ownership (vs the older paper ownerships), the owner’s manual, the certification of chronometer status, service center listings to let you know that from Hong Kong to Sao Paulo, you can have your Rolex serviced at a Rolex Service Centre (RSC). There are also the plastic hang tags (Official Chronometer tag, etc) and a light green polishing cloth. My only reason for not making this 10/10 is that the box would be nice in polished wood, and it would be nice if they still gave out the metal anchor when you bought a Submariner or Sea Dweller.

    So, out of a possible score of 70, my very unofficial, very informal review gives the Sub LV a 61/70. Marking a bit hard perhaps, but there it is.

    Final assessment:

    Love the Sub LV, am very happy with it. It glows like a torch when hit with light, it stays legible into the wee hours, it looks great in my opinion, its light enough to be comfortable (I always found the SD a tad heavy to be true) but solid and heavy enough to earn its right to dive a 1000 meters into the deep.

    If you want a Rolex Submariner, this one is unique. I would suggest you buy it because you like it as it is, and not to make money in the event they stop making the LV (the best way to make a million dollars in watch collecting is to start with 2 million dollars…….) or to put in a black bezel. It’s an LV. It has some design differences with the standard Sub Date, so I would weigh the differences based on your person tastes. For me, it was no contest to have the LV. I love the green color, the love the maxi dial and overall legibility, and I hope to own it for years to come.

    And yes, you will read my review in this forum about my old SD. It was, and is, an outstanding timepiece. I just found I needed the Cyclops as the eyes got older.

    All errors and opinion are my own.

    Very best,

    Chris

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  2. solar

    solar

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    Bo, here's the review........

    Here you go my friend,

    Best,

    Chris
  3. solar

    solar

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    And a few more pix.........

    Check out the last coronet shot....at the right magnification, even the laser etchings are slightly mismatched it would seem.

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  4. SPACE-DWELLER

    SPACE-DWELLER

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    Most OUTSTANDING review, Chris! You've simply covered it all! :thumbsup: :worship:

    It was a great pleasure to read it! Superb pictures, too! :goodpost:
  5. Robb

    Robb

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    Wow!! Great review. The LV is a beauty!
  6. daveathall

    daveathall

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    Absolutely wonderful review Chris, thank you very much for sharing it with us.
  7. colemanitis

    colemanitis

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    Incredible review! Thanks for taking the time to write it and for sharing it with us! :thumbsup:
  8. RW16610

    RW16610

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    That was AMAZING! :worship: WOW! I am SOOOOOOOOOO buying one of these, no doubt about it. :goodpost:
  9. solar

    solar

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    Many thanks all. Rommel, if you do intend to buy, see Irene at the Rolex desk at Royal de Versailles, tell her you've been referred by a previous customer and ask her what her best price is for you cash on the LV if it interests you. I know she has or had some M series and possibly V series LVs there. Then if you get a very good (+ 20% discount), take the plunge and jon the club if finances allow it!

    The LV is for me is simply the best sport Rolex I can afford at the time.

    Best,

    Chris
  10. RW16610

    RW16610

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    Thanks! I will keep that in mind, for sure :cheers:
  11. Goldbug

    Goldbug

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    Chris,

    That was a very good review. Your pictures were excellent. Thanks for taking the time to post this. I enjoyed reading it.

    :goodpost:


    John
  12. solar

    solar

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    Thanks John for that last post, very kind.

    I'm wearing the LV as I write, having only taken it off for one day to wear my GMT II.

    Chris
  13. RW16610

    RW16610

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    Nice! I can imagine :yahoo: Glad you are loving the watch this much, it truly is a special one :rocker:
  14. solar

    solar

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    Finally took the LV off yesterday, since it's April 1st roday and I put the GMT II on after changing out the burgundy/black bezel insert and putting in the spring/summer blue/red insert!

    Chris
  15. SPACE-DWELLER

    SPACE-DWELLER

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    Sounds nice, Chris! Please post some pics! :thumbsup:
  16. RW16610

    RW16610

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    :coolanimated: Yeah, it would be nice to see pictures when possible :cheers:
  17. Aston

    Aston

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    Thanks for this review Chris!
    Beautiful watch :thumbsup:
  18. Mahra

    Mahra

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    Great pics!!!

    Thanks for sharing :thumbsup:
  19. 116520

    116520

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    Excellent review! Excellent pictures!! Can't be better!!! :thumbsup:

    BTW, I have a question. Is it true that only the first series SubLV, the Y series, has pin-holes?
  20. daveathall

    daveathall

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    :goodpost:

    Glad to see that this stunning review has been brought to the top, gave me a great excuse to read it again, wonderful review and photos Chris, thank you once again for posting them. :thumbsup: