Collecting the Rolex Submariner 16610LV Kermit
Nicknames are prevalent in the world of collecting Rolex watches. It’s a type of shorthand collectors and enthusiasts use to denote specific references, model families, movements, bezel type, or dial styles. One particularly prominent nickname is the Rolex “Kermit,” which is given to the Submariner 16610LV with a green bezel. Rolex debuted the Submariner ref. 16610LV in 2003 to celebrate the Submariner’s 50th anniversary. This was the first time that the Submariner came equipped with a green bezel, which explains the “Kermit” nickname taken after the famous green frog. The “LV” in the reference number is short for “lunette verte,” which is French for “green bezel.”
Kermit The Frog the Rolex Submariner 16610LV
Rolex produced the Submariner ref. 16610LV for only seven years; it was discontinued in 2010 to make way for a new green Sub in the form of the 116610LV “Hulk.”
While the Kermit was in production for a relatively short time, there are some variations to keep in mind. It is these variations that collectors like to look out for when buying the green Submariner 16610 to add to their collections. Here’s a guide to the history, evolution, and variations of the highly collectible Rolex Submariner reference 16610LV “Kermit.”
Table of Contents:
- The Design of the Submariner Kermit
- The Submariner Kermit Variations
- Submariner Kermit Serial Numbers
- The Value and Collectability of the Submariner Kermit
The Design of the Rolex Submariner Kermit
Before we detail the variations of the collectible Submariner Kermit, let’s outline the basic design of the watch first.
- 40mm stainless steel case water-resistant to 300 meters (1,000 feet)
- Triplock screw-down winding crown
- Unidirectional rotating bezel
- Green aluminum bezel insert with 60-minute scale
- Black dial with a date window at 3 o’clock
- Sapphire crystal with Cyclops date magnification lens
- Green-glowing SuperLuminova luminescence
- Stainless steel Oyster bracelet
- Caliber 3135 automatic movement
Rolex Submariner 16600LV Kermit MK1 Flat 4
The Submariner ref. 16610LV features a 40mm stainless steel case, which true to its diving watch status, is water resistant to 300 meters (1,000 feet) deep. To aid with that waterproofness, the watch features a Triplock screw-down winding crown. While the 16610 Submariner series shares the same on paper 40mm dimensions of the ref. 116610LV Hulk with the “Super Case” that came after it, the Kermit’s proportions are more classic thanks to its slimmer profile, thinner bezel, and trimmer lugs.
Rolex Submariner Kermit Flat 4 Bezel Detail
The watch’s knurled steel rotating bezel is home to an aluminum insert, marked to 60 minutes to time diving sessions. Of course, on the Kermit, that bezel insert is green. The 16610LV was the very first Submariner to have a green bezel, but it wasn’t the last. Rolex has now made three Submariners with green bezels: 16610LV, 116610LV, and 126610LV. The 1661x series of the Submariner was the very last one to have aluminum bezels before Rolex replaced them with Cerachrom ceramic bezels.
Though the bezel was green, Rolex retained the black dial color that was traditional for stainless steel Submariners. However, what was new to the Kermit was the introduction of the so-called “Maxi Dial” (originally debuted on the Yacht-Master in the 1990s), characterized by larger hour markers and hands. If you compare a 16610LN (black bezel) with a 16610LV, you’ll see that the green bezel version has noticeably bigger lume plots and broader hands.
Rolex Submariner 16610LV - Case Detail
Since the 16610LV is a Submariner Date model, it includes a date aperture at the 3 o’clock position. Similar to almost all Rolex watches with date windows, the 16610LV has a Cyclops lens on the crystal to magnify the date. The watch was made in the 2000s, therefore it benefits from modern design touches such as a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal over the dial and SuperLuminova luminescence on the dial.
In keeping with tradition, Rolex fitted the Kermit Sub with the customary three-link Oyster bracelet, fashioned from 904L stainless steel. The bracelet, which has solid end links for more heft, closes securely via the classic Rolex stamped clasp with a clamshell and diver’s extension.
Finally, the movement that powers the Submariner 16610LV is the venerable Rolex Caliber 3135. This robust in-house-made automatic movement was the brand’s go-to caliber for most of its men’s time and date watches for decades. Caliber 3135 operates at a frequency of 28,000 beats per hour and supplies the watch with around 48 hours of power reserve.
The Submariner Kermit Variations
Manufactured for seven short years, the Submariner 16610LV does offer a few key variations in its design. Generally speaking, the earlier the example the more valuable it is in the collector’s market.
Flat 4 vs. Pointed 4 Bezels
The earliest Submariner 16610LV models were fitted with what collectors now call the Flat 4 bezel. These were then replaced with what is now known as Pointed 4 bezels. These names refer to the inside shape of the number “4” on the “40” marker of the green bezel. Note that Flat 4 is sometimes also called Fat 4 and Pointed 4 is sometimes also called Sharp 4.
- Flat 4 bezels: the interior shape of the number 4 is a trapezoid, complete with a flat top
- Pointed 4 bezels: the interior shape of the number 4 is triangular with a point at the top
The Submariner Kermit Variations - Flat 4 vs Pointed 4 Bezels
Bertolli vs. Racing Green Bezels
Aluminum bezels are known to fade over time, so bezel color variations can be a little trickier to document when it comes to vintage and neo-vintage Rolex watches. However, the Kermit Submariner 16610LV did come with slightly varied green bezels.
The ones nicknamed “Bertolli” (after the Italian olive oil brand) are olive green in color, which can only be found on Flat 4 bezel variants. Rolex eventually replaced these lighter green bezel inserts with darker racing green colored bezels.
Oval O vs. Round O Dials
The way the name “ROLEX” is printed on the dial of the Submariner 16610LV Kermit also evolved ever so slightly over its production period. Earlier examples will have an oval-shaped “O” while later-production examples will have a rounder “O” in “ROLEX.”
Rolex Submariner Kermit - Oval O vs. Round O Dials
5 ticks vs. 3 ticks
If we zoom closer into the dial and look to the “SWISS MADE” designation under 6 o’clock, there are two variations to note. Earlier examples of the Submariner Kermit will have five hash marks or “5 ticks” under “SWISS MADE” letters thanks to the wider alignment of the letters. Later dial examples will feature three hash marks or “3 ticks” under “SWISS MADE” due to the narrower alignment.
Case Engraving Variations
There was a time when Rolex watches had drill holes in the lugs, which makes it much easier to swap out bracelets and straps. However, in the early-2000s, Rolex phased out these lug holes and modern versions no longer have them. The debut of the Submariner 16610LV happened during this transition period; the press photos of the watch during Baselworld 2003 include the holes in the lugs, yet, the production models that landed in boutiques for customers did not. It’s been reported that an exceedingly small number of 16610LV with lug holes (possibly prototypes) were produced.
Submariner 16610LV “Kermit” watches have the reference number 16610T etched in between the lugs at the 12 o’clock position (hidden behind the bracelet), where the “T” stands for “Trou Borgne,” which is French for “Blind Hole.” Note that the LV (lunette verte) suffix is not etched into the Kermit watch. Serial numbers are etched in between the lugs at the 6 o’clock position.
Submariner 16610LV watches made from around 2007 onwards have rehauts (the inner flange or space between the dial and crystal) engraved with not only “ROLEX ROLEX ROLEX” but also the serial number at the 6 o’clock position. The reference number (a.k.a. model number) engraving remains on the case in between the lugs at 12 o’clock.
Rolex Submariner 16610LV Kermit
Submariner Kermit Serial Numbers
Rolex used to use sequential serial numbers on its watches, which allows collectors to approximate the date of production of the watch. However, sometime in 2010, Rolex began using randomized serial numbers. Therefore, most Submariner ref. 16610LV watches will have sequential serial numbers and only the very last examples rolled off the production line with random serial numbers.
Submariner 16610LV Kermit Serial Series & Approximate Production Years
- Y-Serial: 2002
- F Serial: 2003 – 2005
- D-Serial: 2005 – 2006
- Z-Serial: 2006 – 2007
- M-Serial: 2007 – 2008
- V-Serial: 2008 – 2009
- G-Serial: 2010
Random Serial: 2010
The Value and Collectability of the Submariner Kermit
When Rolex unveiled the Kermit back in 2003, not everybody immediately embraced the watch. The never-before-seen green Submariner bezel proved to be a little too much for some Rolex fans. It’s often said that Rolex is a conservative company; however, we could argue that Rolex collectors can be quite conservative in their tastes too, and sometimes shun big changes at first.
Yet, like many other slow-starting Rolex watches (such as vintage Daytona or Milgauss watches), the green 50th Anniversary Submariner watch gained a loyal following and eventually became a must-have watch. After Rolex discontinued it in 2010 and replaced it with a bolder green version, the Kermit gained even more fans and it quickly reached collector status.
The price of the Rolex Submariner ref. 16610LV has continuously risen since then. Today, you can expect to pay anywhere from around $16,000 for later-production examples to well over double that for the earliest “Flat 4” variants in mint condition.
Twain Time is proud to offer a selection of Rolex Submariner ref. 16610LV watches, including highly desirable Flat 4 examples.
Rolex Submariner 16610LV Kermit - The Flat 4
How to Use the Submariner 16610LV Kermit
- Crown Position 0: Winding crown screwed into case
- Crown Position 1: Winding crown unscrewed
- Crown Position 2: Winding crown unscrewed and pulled out one notch
- Crown Position 3: Winding crown unscrewed and pulled out two notches
Always ensure that the watch has its winding crown in Position 0 while wearing it to ensure waterproofness. Never expose the watch to water if the winding crown is unscrewed.
How to Manually Wind
- Set the crown to position 1
- Turn the crown clockwise around 25 turns
- Once wound, set the crown back to position 0
How to Set the Time
- Set the crown to position 3
- Turn the crown to move the minute and hour hands to the correct time while also noting A.M. and P.M. hours (the date will change if the hands move past midnight)
- When the correct time is set, set the crown back to position 0
How to Set the Date
- Set the crown to position 2.
- Turn the crown clockwise to change the numeral in the window and keep turning until the correct date appears
- Set the crown back to position 0
How to Use the Bezel
- Turn the bezel counterclockwise so the triangle marker aligns with the minute hand before descending
- This will mark the start of the dive time
- Where the minute hand points to on the bezel will indicate the duration of the dive
Please note that taking a vintage water underwater may not be advisable. Make sure you have had your watch checked for waterproofness.