The green Rolex Submariner, serial number 116610LV (for Lunette Verte, i.e. the green bezel), also called ‘The Hulk’, because it is big and green :). They are relatively recent model from Rolex. I am sure one can google it, but if memory serves, they were first introduced in 2012. Their value appears to be growing – they are regularly sold at a markup in the grey market. The Rolex Authorised Dealers are not allowed to raise prices above the asking price, but at the AD, the wait is about two and a half years.
This is the continuation of the messing with the submariner post. In that post I unboxed the VRF MAX A2386 116610LV submariner, I regulated the movement, and tested it for water resistance.
In the meantime, I came across an auction for a 116610LV dial and bezel which seemed quite high quality in the photos and was being sold for a reasonable price. I figured I would buy this and use the better one in my watch. It was advertised as an ARF (a replica factory) insert and dial.
I also bought a bunch of genuine Rolex crystals a while ago. I figured I would replace the crystal and dial and insert if there is a need. I also bought a spare bezel insert from AliExpress. Just because these ceramic inserts are really scratch proof and incredibly brittle at the same time. They keep breaking and cost about a $1000 if they are genuine ones.
Funnily enough, the insert on the right is green too. But very dark. AliExpress. Costs about $10 though.
There does not seem to be much difference between ARF and VRF inserts. AliExpress one is about 8x cheaper but also completly wrong color. The proper colour should be even brighter green. Like an apple. I cannot see much difference between the right two.
I need to pick the crystal :).
I picked a gen one with no visible scratching and a little etched crown.
So, on with the show. First, remove the bezel insert and ring. Interestingly enough, the crystal leaves as well… Well, whatever, I will replace the crystal anyway.
Here are the two dials side by side. Can you tell the difference? Neither can I.
This dials look suspiciously the same. I would bet both are VRF. Doesn’t matter. I’ll just keep the original one. The one that I bought has dial feet snipped off. This was not mentioned at all in the listing. The seller said that they replaced the dial with the genuine one. And since the genuine one has a 3135 feet placings, I assumed this one did too. True, it was not claimed anywhere, and I need to pounce, because thousands of people are looking at these listings, and you do not usually have much time to buy.
I will keep the dial then, but replace the crystal. having learned from the previous adventures, the height of the crystal gasket is important :). This one is not the highest one I’ve got, but the crystal was a bit high previously, anyway. The genuine is a bit thinner, so it should all work out.
Ok, a bit of wrangling, but I am getting really good at this. Takes me about 10 minutes to swap the crystals. Now testing.
Notice the writing on the inside of the watch? I write service notes. Things like “WR tested on:” and “Genuine crystal” and “lubricated on:” and “regulated on:”. Just so I know, before I start messing with the watch.
Unsuprisingly the watch passes without issue. Just getting the bezel insert back and I am done. Right? Well, no. There was quite simply no way to get the insert over the bump on the ring. No matter how much force I exerted.
NOTE TO SELF: with the VRF, I need to put the bezel ring on before I press the crystal retaining ring on the case!
I tried different combinations, re-pressing the crystal with different retaining rings. I eventually ended up with Noob ring and bezel ring. Then I needed to change the gasket, as the 3mm is barely high enough for Noob. I eventually lubricated the click springs.
Then I cleaned the bezel ring up a bit with Goo Gone. This is totally cool. Really works. I heartily recommend.
Then, I just used a 3M adhesive ring and pressed the insert home. Voila, here is the final product.
Brilliant, except, I notice that there is a crack in the insert under the perl. Damn, these things are insanely brittle. I’ll glue the pip back in, an paint over the crack. Not to full anyone, but mostly for me, in order not to have to look at it constantly :).
But the watch really pops, with the genuine crystal. I am well pleased.
I think I might change the insert, but that is about it, for this watch. Off it goes to the watch box.