Brilliant Depths: a Rolex Submariner with diamonds

This oddity is a breath of fresh air in the world of steel sports watches.

When we talk about luxury watches, the first brand that comes to mind is Rolex. Therefore, I feel no need to go deep into the brand’s popularity and hype over the past few years. Some see it as their holy grail as their first luxury watch, others see it as an investment. There is something to be said about both.

Source Picture: | Rolex Submariner 126619LB in 18k white gold

The Submariner

But when you mention Rolex? Which model do you think of first? Although the Date-Just is the best-selling model and there are countless variations, you will probably think of another model before anything else. The icon of Rolex is, obviously, the Submariner. Where Omega has its Speedmaster, Patek the Nautilus and Audemars their Royal Oak (milked to sourness), the Submariner remains Rolex’s most recognizable and iconic model.

It’s not surprising that this model is so popular. The model was first introduced in 1954 and has been worn by many celebrities ever since. As an expert in marketing, Rolex has run a decade-long campaign and has slowly imprinted the watch on the general public. When you think of luxury watches, you think of the Rolex Submariner.

The Submariner has earned its stripes as well. Over the years, it is a watch that has hardly changed in terms of looks, is recognizable by many, but also, above all, a technically well-developed watch. It wears comfortably, being neither too small nor too large for many. With its 300-meter water resistance is an ideal diving watch for any water sports enthusiast.

Countless variations of the Submariner have been released, ranging from full gold to steel gold and very special rare dials. Although a Rolex Submariner may be Rolex’s most popular watch, it remains a relatively rare luxury item. Having said that, what would make such an item even rarer? Naturally, a distinctive variant of it.

The blue variant I owned

Steel/gold is en vogue

In recent years, steel/gold models have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity. After the 80s/90s, we saw fewer gold (and steel/gold) models appearing on the streets, but now it is in vogue again. There is something about contrasting that solid steel with a warm glow of yellow gold. However, the popularity will also have to do with the fact that its steel counterpart was hardly available.

In 2009 Rolex introduced the steel/gold successor to the 16613LN with reference 116613LN. At the same time, Rolex offered a special option between 2009 and 2013; a dial with eight diamonds at the hour markers. I owned the blue variant and wore it for an extended time, now I got to feel the black (LN) thanks to


Reference 116613LN
Winding Automatic
Calibre/movement 3135
Power reserve 48 h
Diameter 40 mm
Waterproof 30 ATM | 300 meters
Material bezel Ceramic
Glass Sapphire glass

The diamond dial was offered in the colours blue and black. It is likely because the blue dial is more pronounced and stands out, you see blue a bit more often in the wild and the black one is therefore much rarer. I too chose blue at the time since I wanted to stand out. In retrospect, I wonder if I would have sold the watch if I had chosen black.

8 high-grade diamonds at the hour markers
A subtle but striking gold border around the date window
Made for only a few years and therefore very rare
Increased rarity because it is the LN version
Look at those diamonds! Picture made bij

Diamonds that can be subtle

For what an extraordinary watch this is. Imagine wearing Rolex’s most recognizable model but with a touch of gold. Wonderful for summer or winter days, but as others look at your wrist they notice a thing, a subtle sparkle with every movement. Watch enthusiasts will want to inspect it more closely because what is up with the lume plots? That is when they notice that they have been substituted with small diamonds.

I won’t elaborate on the quality of the diamonds Rolex uses, you can find this kind of specification on their website anyway. I mainly want to go into what impact the diamonds have on wearability. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend is the saying, but this is anything but a woman’s watch. The size of 40mm and the extra weight of the gold make this a watch you do feel when wearing it on your wrist.

The diamonds stand out well in pictures. You can see that the lumeplots are absent and diamonds are instantaneously recognizable, unlike in real life. Hence, that is also a criticism of this watch. You pay a hefty extra price, but the diamonds are very subtle. I think this is the great feature of the watch, you are not just wearing a steel/gold Submariner, but one with just a little flair. The diamonds do not make the watch more elegant, it is still a sporty Rolex.

Full set. Picture by


It is an oddity. Its predecessor had the popular Serti models and you can find plenty of those. Yet with this modern reference, it remains an oddity. The market price demands rather a hefty premium, but I expect it to increase in the long run. With that said, it remains a model for lovers of curiosities and above all subtlety, even if the latter is a paradox with its steel gold bracelet.

Thank you for allowing me to put this watch through its paces briefly. Available now at



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