The Rolex Submariner in the Modern Era

In 2003, half a century since the birth of the Submariner, Rolex marked the occasion with a new steel version, the Ref. 16610LV. 16610LV, the “LV” stands for Lunette Verte, the French word for “green bezel”. While green is a popular color for Rolex as a manufacturer, this is the first time Rolex has used it in one of its world-class diver designs. It was immediately nicknamed the Kermit by collectors and has since become one of the most sought-after variants of the Submariner’s new vintage era.
The next generation, the ref. 1166xx collection brought a new era of Submariner. The 1166xx collection brought the greatest change to the look of the fake watch since the ref. 5512 model in 1959. First, the model’s bezel insert is made of Cerachrom, a proprietary ceramic material that recently made its debut on the 50th anniversary GMT-Master II. Whether it is fade-proof or scratch-resistant, it is guaranteed to always look new.
Not only that, but in response to the growing clamor for a larger Submariner model, with some arguing that 40 mm is too small for a modern sports model, Rolex has introduced the Super Case. While the dimensions remain the same on paper, the lugs and crown guards are significantly thicker, giving the impression of a much larger watch. Just like the arrival of the date function, the Super Case divided watch enthusiasts. Many appreciated the upswept wrist presence, while others missed the smooth lines of past references.
It wasn’t until 2020 that Rolex found a way to satisfy both sides. The new ref. 1266xx collection was the first to grow beyond the Submariner’s self-imposed limit of 40mm, or even just 1mm. However, the bulky, squared-off elements of the Super Case have been softened by a return to a more elegantly contoured case, while still maintaining the more angular design of the previous generation.
More importantly, the movement has finally been upgraded. The Submariner Date had been powered by the Cal. 3135 movements for over 30 years. 3135 is, by the time the latest generation of replica watches hit the market, over 30 years old. While it is a superb movement, its time has long since come, and many other Rolex models have embraced their next-generation mechanisms. Rolex’s latest timepiece standard, the Cal. 3235, replaces or improves upon about 90% of the components from the upcoming Cal. 3135 movements, replacing or improving about 90% of the components to create a world-beating movement for a new era.

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