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Thread: Rolex Submariner..........But which one and why?

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  1. #1

    Rolex Submariner..........But which one and why?

    This conundrum which has likely been discussed many times before, so apologies in advance, but was unable to search such a unique topic!

    In 1987 - 88 I purchased my first Rolex, which was a S/S Submariner Date.
    I purchased from a High Street Jewellers in London, purely by just walking in and buying it..........remember those days and for under a thousand pounds!! If memory serves me correctly.

    Back then I was totally oblivious to which model it was and whether it had a Matte or Gloss dial Perspex Glass or Sapphire Crystal and everything else that has been discussed to death.
    Oh how (in hindsight) do I wish that it was still in my possession.

    But from research may have been a 16800 or 168000.


    Today, I am considering getting another S/S Submariner, but pre Ceramic models, so maximum of 5 digits.
    My question is?
    If you were looking to get, what IMO, is the classic S/S Submariner format, either with or without date, that is WR at least to swim with and ideally with B&P's hopefully to provide some provenance which of the following would you choice and why?
    In reverse order :-)

    16610

    168000

    16800

    1680 (Sadly, not a Red, as I couldn't afford a genuine one)

    5512 - 13

    May I add that apart from the 168000 & 5513, I have owned & worn the others.

    Would the 1680 and 5512/13 which has been correctly pressured tested be ok to swim with and use on a daily basis?

    Please feel free to add some photos of your current or previous Subs :-)

  2. #2
    From your list Iíd get the best example of a 5513, with painted dial. Reason, Submariner over Submariner Date every time.

    But my favourite non ceramic version would be the Sub LV maxi dial, or last versions of the 14060m.

  3. #3
    Master JPE's Avatar
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    Maybe this little writing helps you with your choice.

    For me the 16610 is the best one. It has the best of "both worlds", vintage and modern.

    Why? I tried to explain it here.

    My Submariner 16610

  4. #4
    Master
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    16610

    Old enough to be ďvintageĒ; not so old that you soil yourself every time it goes for service worrying about the dial etc

    (Or a 14060 if you prefer sans-date)

  5. #5
    Grand Master learningtofly's Avatar
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    Id be torn between a 5513 and a 16610LV, and my choice would be determined between how old I wanted to go. Price-wise theyíre not a million miles apart.

  6. #6
    Craftsman
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    16610 - with sold end links. Recent enough to be safe in water, and discrete. It was my first Submariner and will never leave me. Also, if it matters, the last Bond Rolex (worn by Timothy Dalton), which I like.

  7. #7
    Master murkeywaters's Avatar
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    I have always had a soft spot for the 16800, don't know why, cant explain but I prefer them the most of all the date versions..

  8. #8
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisparker View Post
    From your list Iíd get the best example of a 5513, with painted dial. Reason, Submariner over Submariner Date every time.

    But my favourite non ceramic version would be the Sub LV maxi dial, or last versions of the 14060m.
    This advice would be the exact same as mine !


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  9. #9
    Master
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    What about a 14060M last of the 5 digits , parachrome hairspring, small case. Did I mention it has lug holes so easy strap changes. No issues with Rolex ď vintageĒ price servicing.

    Steve

  10. #10
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by higham5 View Post
    What about a 14060M last of the 5 digits , parachrome hairspring, small case. Did I mention it has lug holes so easy strap changes. No issues with Rolex “ vintage” price servicing.

    Steve
    I'd second that
    Cheaper than 5513 and no worries with water resistance and everyday wear

    Edit-I tend to wear a 1680 red as an everyday watch but it doesn't get wet

  11. #11
    Craftsman
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    1680 red or white. I like the dial layout and the top hat plexiglass.
    Quick set date would be the perfect watch.



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  12. #12
    5512/5513s are awesome... although a 16610 would be a great Ďdaily wearerí


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  13. #13
    Craftsman
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    If you want date then the 16610. If no date then 14060M. I have a 14060M & 16610LV swapped black bezel. The newer references are more bling than tool.

    Sent from my SM-G991B using Tapatalk

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by zen123 View Post
    If you want date then the 16610. If no date then 14060M. I have a 14060M & 16610LV swapped black bezel. The newer references are more bling than tool.

    Sent from my SM-G991B using Tapatalk
    I know it isn't on the op's list but I'd have to agree with the 14060m especially a 2 liner. For me personally I love the simplicity and symmetry of a no date with minimal text!

  15. #15
    Craftsman
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    This one perhaps, but I'm a little biased.

  16. #16
    None of the above, buy a 16600 instead, all the charm of a five digit sub but with the added build quality of a seadweller.


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  17. #17
    Master murkeywaters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billyloves2boogie View Post
    None of the above, buy a 16600 instead, all the charm of a five digit sub but with the added build quality of a seadweller.
    Agree, love mine and don't forget you get the date but no cyclops.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Billyloves2boogie View Post
    None of the above, buy a 16600 instead, all the charm of a five digit sub but with the added build quality of a seadweller.


    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app
    Something like this?




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  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by JPE View Post
    Maybe this little writing helps you with your choice.

    For me the 16610 is the best one. It has the best of "both worlds", vintage and modern.

    Why? I tried to explain it here.

    My Submariner 16610
    Thanks for the link :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by demonloop View Post
    16610

    Old enough to be ďvintageĒ; not so old that you soil yourself every time it goes for service worrying about the dial etc

    (Or a 14060 if you prefer sans-date)
    My apologise for not including the 14060, an oversight on my behalf

    Quote Originally Posted by learningtofly View Post
    Id be torn between a 5513 and a 16610LV, and my choice would be determined between how old I wanted to go. Price-wise theyíre not a million miles apart.
    Thanks Tony certainly consider the 5513, but for me the LV has never been one I took too, prefer the traditional colour

    Quote Originally Posted by Loupe View Post
    1680 red or white. I like the dial layout and the top hat plexiglass.
    Quick set date would be the perfect watch.



    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Stunning

    Quote Originally Posted by higham5 View Post
    What about a 14060M last of the 5 digits , parachrome hairspring, small case. Did I mention it has lug holes so easy strap changes. No issues with Rolex ď vintageĒ price servicing.

    Steve
    Good points, thank you

    Quote Originally Posted by Billyloves2boogie View Post
    None of the above, buy a 16600 instead, all the charm of a five digit sub but with the added build quality of a seadweller.

    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app
    I did consider the SD, but didn't' want such a chunky watch.
    Incidentally I too have owned/ worn both the 16600 x 2 and the 4000 SD
    Blimey what is WRONG with me this passion is crazy!!

  20. #20
    Master Yorkshiremadmick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billyloves2boogie View Post
    None of the above, buy a 16600 instead, all the charm of a five digit sub but with the added build quality of a seadweller.


    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app
    Seadwellers were all the rage back in 2010/11. Beating subs in their price hikes and commanding respect. Now they donít seem fashionable or desirable compared to the humble submariner.
    But I agree, as I have a 2000 model, drilled lug holes.
    16600 Swiss only dial.


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  21. #21
    I think that if I get one it would have to be pre 2004, so the case would have drilled lug holes.
    As do like to change straps on my watches.

  22. #22
    Master
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    To me a no date is the nicer looking watch whichever version you choose.

  23. #23
    Master paneristi372's Avatar
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    I had a similar revelation a few years ago and bought a stunning 5513 from 1972. At the time it was sub £5000 but when it came to wearing it I just always had a niggle of worry regarding it wearing it for everything and it getting damaged or having water ingress. I sold it and happily replaced it with a 16600 which has only recently go to make way for a 116600. I now love and appreciate older 4 digit references but as a watch to wear and enjoy I am a firm 6 digit reference person.
    Between a 1680 and 5513, the 5513 wins every time.

  24. #24
    Grand Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    14060M 4 line would be my choice of Sub although not on your list.

  25. #25
    Master
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    Smallest lugs win......

  26. #26
    Grand Master
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    Id get (and took my own advice) an early tritium 16610 with lug holes, vintage charm with modern utility if I'm going to go wankspeak about it.
    Uprated movement and steel from the 16800 and with sapphire you have more guaranteed WR than 1680/5513 with original plexi, although seals are the key thing some plexis can degrade perish warp etc.

    If I wasn't going to get it wet though, id go 1680 as I love the top hat.

  27. #27
    Journeyman kinyik's Avatar
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    I have a 114060 but was in the same position as you, looking to add a pre ceramic. Safest bet would be the 16800/14060/16610 for everyday use ( especially with the sapphire and SELs). I have come to realise that 5513/1680s are a minefield.


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  28. #28
    For me it would be a 16800 matte dial , best of both worlds vintage with a sapphire Crystal and in my opinion under valued at this moment in time ,however the 16610 is a fantastic watch and one you could easily have a lifetime and not be disappointed.

  29. #29
    Master Pitch3110's Avatar
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    A 5513 is the real gem for me but for every day a T<25 dialled 14060 is the perfect balance, it don't get much better.

    Pitch



  30. #30
    Master murkeywaters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pitch3110 View Post
    A 5513 is the real gem for me but for every day a T<25 dialled 14060 is the perfect balance, it don't get much better.

    Pitch


    I love the clean lines of my 14060 although one day I would like to try a really nice 16800 even though Iím not a cyclops fan..


  31. #31
    Having been fortune in owning most of the models listed I think my advice would be to go for a very late 14060M. You have the 5 digit charm along with the benefits of a relatively new watch. Failing that I would likely opt for a late model 5513. They have the advantage of an acrylic crystal which is a great look and adds a lot of warmth to the dial. Good luck with your search.

  32. #32
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by murkeywaters View Post
    I love the clean lines of my 14060 although one day I would like to try a really nice 16800 even though Iím not a cyclops fan..

    That's perfect. Even has the correct serif flat 4.

    Sent from my SM-G991B using Tapatalk

  33. #33
    Grand Master Andyg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marksh View Post
    For me it would be a 16800 matte dial , best of both worlds vintage with a sapphire Crystal.
    This, also in my opinion, especially if you intend it as a daily wearer.

    Whoever does not know how to hit the nail on the head should be asked not to hit it at all.
    Friedrich Nietzsche


  34. #34
    ^^^^^
    Thanks Andy.
    I am off today, so going to do some online searching :-)

  35. #35
    Master paneristi372's Avatar
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    Forgot how well the 16610LV looked when I had it with a ghost bezel insert. Quite the versatile piece really. Love the maxi lume plots.

  36. #36
    Second post here... I really miss my tritium 14060 after seeing the previous posts here. (Although itís gone to a very good home on the forum).

    Echoing the others - I didnít worry about my 14060 at all when wearing it, but Iím not putting the 5513 anywhere near water etc





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  37. #37
    Master
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    Present bunch of Subs and SDs excluding ceramics

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Hood View Post
    Present bunch of Subs and SDs excluding ceramics
    Wow. Didnít know you had all those. Still got the SD4K? Canít get much of a look in with that lot.

  39. #39
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Case View Post
    Wow. Didnít know you had all those. Still got the SD4K? Canít get much of a look in with that lot.
    Willeeeeey took the SD4K a couple of months back.

  40. #40
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hood View Post






    Present bunch of Subs and SDs excluding ceramics
    Superb collection there, the Maxi 5513 for me I think


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  41. #41
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gomers View Post
    Superb collection there, the Maxi 5513 for me I think


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Thank you
    Not a maxi though
    1972 though the plots to appear quite large.

  42. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by bobc View Post
    This one perhaps, but I'm a little biased.
    That is stunning
    Quote Originally Posted by Pitch3110 View Post
    A 5513 is the real gem for me but for every day a T<25 dialled 14060 is the perfect balance, it don't get much better.

    Pitch


    Beautiful pair :-)
    Quote Originally Posted by tommyzzj View Post
    Second post here... I really miss my tritium 14060 after seeing the previous posts here. (Although itís gone to a very good home on the forum).

    Echoing the others - I didnít worry about my 14060 at all when wearing it, but Iím not putting the 5513 anywhere near water etc
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Beautiful patina

    Quote Originally Posted by Hood View Post
    Present bunch of Subs and SDs excluding ceramics
    You have an amazing collection of Subs and SD's
    I can't pick just one, but would have to be the Red and the 2nd SD, which I think is a 1665, but stand to be corrected.

  43. #43
    Grand Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    Great collection hood. Red Sub and the LV particularly.

    Ally, I have the SDc but I need to go on a diet for it to work or chop it in.

  44. #44
    Journeyman
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    i bought a 16610 back in late 90s early 2Ks. I too strolled into an AD and they happen to have one. I actually had to chose between the Sub and a GMT that was sitting in the window. I chose the Sub because I preferred the more hefty feel to it on my wrist. I absolutely loved that watch and wore it daily till around 2014/2015 when I sold it for a paltry £3600 to fund my Batman.

    I now own a 116610 and enjoy it, but I still miss my beloved 16610.

  45. #45
    Having weighed up my options, I think that my choice will be from one of the first 3 on my list.
    It would be great to get one that has patina on the dial, which may limit the availability, and having B&P's + the booklets and anchor. So basically the full set.
    The 168000 is quite a rare beast and the prices on them have already gone up, the 16800 and 16610 are unfortunately going in the same direction!
    If I am totally honest with myself, as much as the non date versions are the choice of the purest, my watches have virtually always had a date, as even in today's world, I am lost without it.
    So, I think that it would be foolish of me to change my thought process.
    Let the hunt begin! LOL
    Last edited by Topcat30093; 1st May 2021 at 13:55.

  46. #46
    Master Plake's Avatar
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    Out of that lot, and having owned most of them, I think the sweet spot for me is the 16800 matte.

    You have a sapphire crystal and modern sub build quality but with pierced lugs, a matte tritium dial and open 6ís and 9ís on the date wheel.

    This is mine, with a faded black and more minty blue insert from an old bluesy




  47. #47
    ^^^^^
    That is a beautiful looking piece.
    Love the Ghost Dial.

  48. #48
    Grand Master
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    Ive had a few subs/SDs and this 16610 is what remains, pure classic Rolex.

    Cheers,

    Ben



    ..... for I have become the Jedi of flippers


    " an extravagance is anything you buy that is of no earthly use to your wife "

  49. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by ben4watches View Post
    Ive had a few subs/SDs and this 16610 is what remains, pure classic Rolex.

    That brown hue is amazing


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  50. #50
    Iíve owned both and preferred the tritium 14060 - but the difference is minimal between the later 14060s and early 14060M.

    Canít go wrong


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