The Submariner is one of the most iconic Rolex collections ever and as any other famous timepiece it has endured numerous aesthetic and technical changes over the decades. One of the models that reflect the most notable steps in its evolution is the 16610. The Rolex Submariner 16610 series is considered a very successful and popular version by countless fans. Its vintage design and outstanding legacy are qualities that have turned it into a true horological legend.
There are numerous variations for the 16610, but the one that has left the biggest mark on the Submariner’s heritage is the Z series. This version was introduced in 2006 and the Z stands for the serial number which begins with “Z” and is followed by a 6 digits number. The other famous Rolex Submariner series that came after the Z series were M and V.
The Z series is a more vintage looking Submariner, but the core design is basically the same. Since the launch of the Z Submariner 16610 there were only a few aesthetic upgrades. One of these changes was concerning the Solid End Link bracelet also known as SEL bracelet. The Z 16610 Submariner came without the solid end links meaning that the links were mostly hallow at the inside making the watch feel really light weighted. Most Rolex experts say that the lack of the SEL bracelet gives to the watch a more vintage feel.
The watch was launched before the maxi dial was added to the Submariner collection. This means that the 16610 had smaller hands and markers thus making the timepiece more visually attractive and slightly elegant. Also, the 16610 did not have the branded rehaut meaning the RolexRolexRolex engraving around the inside of the dial. This marking has been added to the newer M series.
The case of this Rolex Submariner version measures 40 mm and it is manufactured from solid stainless steel. The caseback is screw down and it lacks the usual Rolex markings. The Oyster case construction is completed by a sapphire crystal that doesn’t feature the usual Rolex crown logo laser etched at the 6 o’clock position. The outstanding Rolex sealing system protects this watch from water exposure to depths of 300 meters.
The 16610 Submariner Z is equipped with an in house 3135 Calibre, the same type of calibre as the newer series. The only difference is that the Z did not have the Rolex hairspring that was introduced with the M series. This upgrade was designed to enhance the accuracy of the timepiece.
Another really great thing about the 16610 models is that these were produced with an aluminum bezel that is no longer available for the modern Submariners. This type of bezel has a beautiful vintage look, is sturdier than the ceramic ones and is also more affordable when it comes to replacing it with a new one.
This watch has also more discrete dimensions compared to the newer models. The recent versions have augmented case lugs and crown guards which make them look bulkier and sportier. The classic Submariner is more subtle when it comes to its sizes and shapes, plus it provides extra functionality due to its drilled holes in the lugs. These holes allow the wearer to change the bracelet at any given moment and makes cleaning the watch a lot easier.
The Z Submariner 16610 has really raised the stakes when it was first released. Its sturdy construction, precise movement and the perfect balance between sporty and dressy has changed the standards on the market of luxury automatic watches. It offers unparalleled versatility for the contemporary watches enthusiast.