Submariner 16610LV models, Y and early F serial numbers

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Submariner 16610LV models, Y and early F serial numbers

Postby springer » Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:16 pm


What follows is a quick primer on the early Submariner anniversary model 16610 LV which was released late in 2003. These early models began with Y9xxxxx serial numbers in 2003 and proceeded with the early F serial numbers from late 2003 through 2004. The early anniversary models have now become quite collectable with vintage Rolex collectors and needless-to-say, unscrupulous sellers of fraudulently created anniversary Submariners have also found a market with unwary buyers . (At the end of the information provided here, you will find a link to one of several threads on the internet which further details these early models. The reader is encouraged to do further research elsewhere where you’ll find plenty of information regarding the 16610LV anniversary models.)

The production range for these early LV models began with the Y9XXXXX serial numbers up to the early F serial numbers - at least through the F3 and possible later F serial numbers.

The anniversary models differed somewhat from the standard 16610s. First-off, the 16610LV was fit with a green bezel insert, a different dial that contained much larger lume plots than the standard 16610 and also a larger minute hand than he standard 16610. There were no special case markings to differentiate the 16610LV from the standard Submariner 16610.

The early anniversary models are often referred to as “flat fours” due to the flat top bar found on the number 4 on the bezel insert. (On later models, the 4 was pointed instead of being flat at the top.) Additionally, the “O” in ROLEX found on the dial was round vs later anniversary models where it was more oval in appearance. The last significant visual difference with the early anniversary models was found at the bottom of the dial where the SWISS MADE was printed. On these early models, the SWISS MADE printing is found running over the top of five tics or seconds marks – whereas in later dials, you will find the SWISS MADE printed above only three of the tics instead of five. There are probably a few other minor nuisances found on the early dials and inserts, but the ones mentioned here appear to be the most significant identifiers for them.

When shopping for an early, or even later, anniversary Submariner, one should do his homework and due diligence to ensure that he is in fact purchasing a correct and genuine 16610LV. The surest way to purchase one would be to seek out a watch that is complete with box, papers and even the tags. USA warranty papers and tags should read 16610V on the very early models (possibly Y serials only but I am not 100% certain) and later they would read 16610LV. ( I have seen early warranty papers from outside the USA that read 16610LV instead of the 16610V designation such as found in Japan. I do not have enough information on the model designations for other non USA warranty papers and would recommend potential buyers to do their homework before making a purchase.)

Watches without original documentation are not easy to verify. Absent of any documentation, authenticity can only be verified by Rolex which has a serial number data base where they are able to determine whether a serial number belongs to an anniversary Submariner. Needless-to-say, finding original anniversary dials, inserts or hands is quite possible within the secondary market and it would be easy for an unscrupulous seller to “create” an anniversary Submariner from these parts and market a fake anniversary watch to an unwary buyer. I have personally seen dials, hands and inserts for sale at various sites on the internet – to include ebay of course.

I have included many photos here to help identify the early anniversary Submariner 16610LV dial and "flat 4" bezel insert. These photos were taken of an early F0XXXXX complete set. I have also included one photo comparing a "P" serial number 16610 to an F3XXXXX serial number 16610LV to point out the differences in the size between the dial markers and minute hands on these two Submariner models. There is also a photo of the case back sticker found on the back of a 16610LV which is marked the same as you would find on any other Submariner from the LV (anniversary) era - notice the stamping on the sticker reads 16610. Also pay particular attention to the warranty paper/hang tag photo. In the style number on the warranty paper, it is identified as R16610V30B9325 - notice the V which indicates the watch is an anniversary Submariner. On the green hang tag, if you are fortunate enough to find a complete set that still has this tag, it should contain the serial number at the top and in the bottom left corner is the model number - 16610LV - which further identifies the watch as an anniversary LV Submariner.

Take some time to do your own research on these models which are growing in popularity more and more with each passing year. A good place to start if researching the anniversary 16610LVs is this thread at ... ub-decoded

Below is a link to a thread from November 2008 found at another web site (VRF) that discusses the early anniversary Submariners - the Y and early F models, (If the Photobucket photos do not show up in this thread at VRF, and you are using the Firefox browser, you can view the photos with an add-on from Firefox called Photobucket embed fix.) Most of the info here is fairly accurate but there are a few comments that I do not agree with - especially the comment regarding the early F serial numbers having sale dates in 2003. I have an F0xxxxx, set that was sold during March 2004 and have also seen other early F serial numbered 16610LVs that were sold during 2004. ... nette+Vert)+-+The+%27true%27+anniversary+Submariner


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