Rolex is a brand-name that’s synonymous with success. And as far as luxury watches go, there are only a few timepieces that can match the sheer recognizability of the Rolex Submariner. The Submariner is the paragon of iconic and timeless design.
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that I’m the biggest fan of the Submariner.
For today’s review, we’ll be taking a look at the Rolex Submariner Two Tone Blue aka the Submariner Date ref. 116613LB. This Submariner is a luxurious version of the Rolex’s dive watch line. Gold is generally reserved for formal dress watches but this one is certainly an exception. Let’s get on with this Rolex Submariner Two Tone Blue review.
Rolex Submariner Two Tone Blue Review: At a Glance
As mentioned, this is the review for the Submariner Date ref. 116613LB. Let’s take a look at its specifications:
|Rolex Submariner Date|
|Oyster, 40 mm, Oystersteel and yellow gold|
|Monobloc middle case, screw-down case back and winding crown|
|Yellow Rolesor – combination of Oystersteel and 18 ct yellow gold|
|Unidirectional rotatable 60-minute graduated, scratch-resistant Cerachrom insert in ceramic, numerals and graduations coated in gold|
|Screw-down, Triplock triple waterproofness system|
|Scratch-resistant sapphire, Cyclops lens over the date|
|Water-resistance:||Waterproof to 300 metres / 1,000 feet|
|Perpetual, mechanical, self-winding|
|3135, Manufacture Rolex|
|-2/+2 sec/day, after casing|
|Bidirectional self-winding via Perpetual rotor|
|Oyster, flat three-piece links|
|Folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Rolex Glidelock extension system|
|Superlative Chronometer (COSC + Rolex certification after casing)|
|Centre hour, minute and seconds hands. Instantaneous date with rapid setting. Stop-seconds for precise time setting|
Rolex Submariner Two Tone Blue Review
In all honesty, the Rolex 116613LB is not at all on my radar. In general, I’m not very fond of two-toned watches and the Rolex 116613LB looks to me like a bastardization of the iconic black dial Sub. Since then, I’ve been proven wrong.
I had the opportunity to acquire the Rolex Submariner 116613LB and I told myself, “why not?” As a classic Submariner fan, I feel like it’s my obligation to give this timepiece a chance and give it a review.
Of course, the two-tone blue color of the watch is the first thing you’ll notice about it. The 40mm case diameter feels just right and the integration of the watch’s Supercase adds a great deal of wrist presence. Much like the original Submariner, this two-tone blue Rolex succeeds in having a go-anywhere design aesthetic.
Based on the pictures, I previously thought the Rolex 116613LB looks way too flashy. Spending more time on it, I am more than happy to be proven wrong. The Submariner Date 116613LB neither looks too flashy or too utilitarian. Thanks to Rolex’s skillful blending of colors, the Rolex 116613LB can be worn for formal and casual occasions. This is the type of watch that you can wear with a broad spectrum of styles.
So if you have an aversion towards two-toned watches, the Rolex 116613LB might just change your mind. As far as first impressions go, it’s so far, so good.
The first blue Submariner (ref. 16613) was a departure from the iconic black dial of the original. And yet, the Blue Sub became an instant hit for luxury watch collectors. While the black dial was replaced with the blue sunburst one, it still retained its timeless design. I think Rolex did a good job of combining flair and workmanlike with the two-tone blue Submariner.
The exquisite yellow gold next to the rugged 904L stainless steel is a combination that Rolex has gotten right over the years – thanks to the Rolesor name that they coined in the 30s. In terms of design, the Submariner Date 116613LB is an even better version of the two-tone blue Sub with plenty of enhancements.
This new blue Sub kept the age-old 40mm case dimensions which I feel is just right for regular wear. However, it does come with a Supercase which gives the watch a well-muscled look. I have to say, the screen presence of the watch is off the charts. I guess Rolex has succumbed to the large watch trends but doesn’t want to compromise the overall look of the iconic watch.
On top of its beefed-up case, the 116613LB also started using the heavy-duty Cerachrom bezel and a Maxi dial with thicker hands and hour markers. The blue sunburst dial adds a great deal to the sophisticated feel of the watch and even gives off some interesting patterns under certain lighting conditions. Visibility is also not an issue due to the gold-rimmed luminous hour markers and lumen-filled hands. The Cyclops lens is of course here and provides a great view of the date window.
Construction and Wearability
The case of the 116613LB is exactly what you can expect from a high-end luxury dive watch. The Cerachrom ceramic blue bezel doesn’t just look great but it also retains the timeless charm of the original black dial Sub.
As mentioned, the case measures 40mm in diameter and has a thickness of 12.75mm. However, the case actually slims down around the edges which enable the center to sink into the wrist. This subtle construction detail makes a huge difference in wearability especially when it comes to daily wear.
Many avid collectors refer to the case as the “Super Case” which I can agree with.
This version of the submariner is still a diver’s best friend as it features a waterproof rating of 300 meters / 1000 feet which makes is a capable dive watch. Like the original Submariner, this dive watch uses a screw down crown with Rolex’s Triplock locking crown. This means that nothing gets past the watch when underwater. Now, I doubt many people will wear this watch for diving but it’s nice to know that it’s a reliable diving tool.
Furthermore, the bracelet also received a much-needed upgrade. The iconic Oyster bracelet has received a fair bit of modernization. The earlier versions of the Rolesor bracelet were not received well due to durability issues.
Fortunately, the solid end and center links of this watch feel solid and sturdy. The over-engineered Glidelock clasp is also here and does a great job of providing a superior fit. Rolex’s patented extension system also allows you to make quick 2mm changes to the bracelet.
At the heart of the Rolex Submariner Date ref. 116613LB beats the in-house Rolex Caliber 3135 movement.
This movement was introduced back in the late 80s and features a higher beat rate of 28,800 bph and even comes with an auto-changing date feature. The power clocks in at a standard 48-hour power reserve and is fitted with the Paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring for added durability.
It’s worth noting that the Rolex Caliber 3135 movement is also used for the Rolex Submariner and Rolex Sea Dweller. With that said, the 3135 movement is an absolute workhorse and many experts consider it as one of the most successful movements Rolex has produced.
The movement features 31 jewels and a date aperture that automatically changes itself at midnight. On top of that, the 3135 movement includes other interesting features such as the glucydur balance wheel and the extremely efficient Perpetual winding system.
Furthermore, the 3135 movement is not just mechanically advanced but it’s built to last as well. The movement is fitted with KIF system for shock protection which brings the much-needed durability and impact resistance.
Overall, the Rolex Caliber 3135 movement is one of the best watch movements out there, and you’ll be happy to have it with your Rolex Submariner Date.
One of the main things that differentiate the Rolex Submariner Date ref. 116613LB from the other Submariner models is the price.
As mentioned, the Submariner Date ref. 116613LB is the luxury, upscaled version of the Rolex Submariner. Thus, the price of the 116613LB is more or less 1.5 times more expensive than the Regular Submariner and even the Submariner Date.
In general, two-toned Rolex models are more expensive than single-colored ones. Of course, the main culprit for the higher price of the 116613LB is the use of yellow gold for the bracelet center link and the accents. With that said, the Rolex Submariner Date Two-Tone Blue retails at about $14k. However, this is by far, not the most expensive model in the collection. The pure 18 ct gold Submariner Date models (blue and black dial) are more than twice as expensive as the 116613LB.
So for this Rolex Submariner Two Tone Blue review, you’re probably asking, “is it worth the price?” Well, it really depends on how deep you are in to watch collecting. In all honesty, the 116613LB is not exactly entry-level, so this one is hard to recommend for beginners.
However, if you’re simply looking to add more to your Rolex collection, it’s hard to go wrong with this two-tone blue beauty. It’s the more affordable model as far as two-tone Rolex watches go.
Should You Get the Rolex Submariner Two Tone Blue Ref. 116613LB?
So what’s the verdict for this Rolex Submariner Two Tone Blue review?
The Rolex Submariner Date 116613LB is certainly a great take on an iconic dive watch. It’s a nearly perfect version of the venerable Sub that perfectly balances utilitarian toughness and timeless design. Whether you’re going to a formal event or a casual gathering, you’ll have no problem wearing this piece.
The biggest hurdle of this watch is the price. If you’re expecting to pay for a regular Sub or even the Submariner Date, you’ll be sorely disappointed. This is a 5-digit purchase which makes it a tough recommendation for beginners.
Overall, the Rolex Submariner Date 116613LB is a worthy addition to any luxury watch collection.