The Rolex Submariner Date: 126610LN VS. 116610LN

The Rolex Submariner Date: 126610LN VS. 116610LN

The 2020 Rolex Submariner Date Release

*Sigh*, 2020... Amirite? What an “interesting” year it has been so far - with so many unexpected challenges, roadblocks, curveballs - pretty much any other idiom that you can possibly think of expressing shock and dismay. And, we’ve still got that fourth quarter push ahead of us... *Deep breath in, hold, deep breath out*. Let’s focus on some positives, shall we? In the world of watches, 2020 has marked some exciting new developments and big moves forward - particularly for the Rolex family, who has introduced some spectacular new additions to their lineup this year. After months of anticipation, hype, and much speculation across the watch world, Rolex surprised us all when it unexpectedly dropped its new collection of watches just a couple weeks ago on September 1, 2020. Most anticipated was the new 2020 Rolex Submariner 126610LN, catching all of us completely by surprise. Watch collectors and connoisseurs everywhere have not been able to stop talking about the exciting new releases of the Rolex 2020 collection, searching high and low to get their hands on these hard-to-get hot new commodities. 

The New Rolex Submariner Date 126610LN

Of Rolex’s new additions, the watch that has arguably caused the biggest stir is the newly released Rolex Submariner Date 126610LN. Aesthetically, the changes from its predecessor - the Submariner Date 116610LN - are extremely subtle and especially hard to detect by the untrained eye. But true watch enthusiasts and those in the jewelry industry know that these changes, however minute and easy to miss, are a big deal and contribute greatly to hype of the watch and prices in the secondary market.  

2020 Rolex Submariner Date 126610LN


The Redesigned 41mm Case on the 126610LN

Perhaps the biggest conversation starter since the unveiling of the Submariner Date 126610LN has been the ever-so-slight 1mm increase of the case size from 40mm to 41mm. Again, to the average person - not at all a big deal. But to avid watch enthusiasts, and particularly to Rolex fans - this is super significant. Prior to this, the Sub’s case size had only changed once before - enlarging by only 0.5mm with the launch of the Submariner 16800, over 40 years ago. In 2010, the “Maxi Case” was introduced along with the launch of the Submariner 116610, giving the watch a noticeably different (more bulky and block-like) appearance, all the while still measuring at the same 40mm. Thus, 40mm has since been the sure-bet expected size of the Submariner - making the 1mm increase in size a seemingly insignificant, but actually very significant, change to the watch’s design. In fact, the extra millimeter has given the watch a more elongated face and better overall proportionality. Who knew a mere 1mm could make such a big difference?

Rolex Submariner 126610LN and 116610LN

Though there are mixed opinions about the size change, it is safe to say Rolex pulled this redesign off tastefully - returning some of the elegance and grace to the Sub’s overall aesthetics. Aside from its change in size, the 126110LN brings with it other notable changes that create a more svelte and elegant appeal for the watch compared to the 116610LN - including slimmer lugs that taper more, as well as more slender crown guards. The bracelet is also slightly wider, creating a more seamless transition and better proportion to the slightly bigger case. Yet, even with these bigger parts, the 126610LN looks arguably smaller and definitely less bulky than the 116610 with these ever-so-slight alterations, which is very impressive for Rolex to have pulled off. 

Other easily missed changes made to the watch’s new aesthetic design include a diminutive crown in between the words “Swiss Made” at the very bottom of the dial, as well as a slightly bigger and bolder font of its wording. Also notably different are the 126610LN’s hands - a slightly longer minute hand that extends far enough to just about reach the minute markers, a wider and more pronounced hour hand, and a noticeably brighter lume on all three hands (including the seconds hand). 

Updated & Upgraded Movement Of The 126610LN

In addition to new and improved aesthetic features, the new Submariner Date 126610LN has undergone some important functional upgrades as well - namely, a new movement. Replacing the caliber 3135 in the new model is the caliber 3235 - which was first introduced in 2015 with the newly launched Rolex Pearlmaster. This new self-winding movement features over 90% new parts compared to the older caliber, which had been around since 1988. Safe to say, it was time for a change. 

Rolex Submariner Date 116610LN and 126610LN Lugs

Of these new features, perhaps the most discussion-worthy is the enhanced power reserve - increasing by almost an entire day’s worth of power capability, from 48-hours to an impressive 70-hours with the new calibre. Part of this improved power reserve in the new movement is due to the escapement, a mechanism in the watch that gives impulses to the timekeeping element while periodically releasing the gear train to move forward. With the new caliber, Rolex created and patented a new escapement, the Chronergy escapement, that optimized the standard Swiss lever escapement used in older calibers. This was a major advancement, as the Swiss lever escapement may have been reliable but wasn’t the most mechanically efficient, absorbing about 2/3 of the energy it received rather than transferring it. The new Chronergy escapement significantly improves this key component, increasing it by 15% in efficiency of energy transmission. 

Also noteworthy about the new caliber 3235 is its Paraflex shock absorber. This feature helps to protect the watch from shocks that could negatively impact its precision. With the Paraflex shock absorber, all Rolex watches with this new movement are 50% more resistant to shocks compared to watches containing older calibers. 

The New Submariner Staying True To Its Roots

While this article just highlighted all the notable (but not noticeable) modifications and improvements to the new Submariner Date 126110LN, it is important to mention the new and improved model still benefits from all the classic features of its predecessors. Wearers of the 126110LN will still enjoy the Submariner's iconic designs and functions including the classic gloss black dial, 300m (1000 ft) of waterproofness with a Triplock winding crown for extra security, a unidirectional rotating bezel with a Cerachrom insert, luminous blue Chromalight dial display for extra visibility in darker lighting, and a brushed Oyster bracelet complete with a Glidelock extension system and secured with an Oysterlock deployant clasp. Combining these classic features with both functionally innovative and aesthetically pleasing modifications, along with a more solid and robust mechanical movement - the new Submariner is truly a force to be reckoned with, and a long awaited modern twist on a Rolex classic. 

Rolex Submariner Date 126610LN and 116610LN Bracelet