Collectors, are you ready?
2004 / F-case number “Anniversary” Rolex Submariner Date model 16610 LV, with Mark 1 dial and FLAT FOUR* bezel insert! Fresh from Rolex UK service, in service stickers with box & original papers etc! This stainless steel watch is an F61xxxx case-number example in excellent condition with both boxes (outer stickered “16610”), both “Your Oyster” and “Rolex Submariner” booklets, both swing-tags (the green specifying “16610LV”), original Rolex papers from Dubai dated October 2004, Rolex calendar card 2005/2006, novelty anchor, bezel protector, the Rolex UK service card dated August 2018 and original invoice for £981.35 (both also specifying that it is a 16610LV). The dial may be identified as the Mark 1 most easily by looking at the wide “SWISS MADE” text at 6 o’clock. The bezel insert, glass and crown have all been replaced at service. Correctly, this version has a plain, un-numbered inner rehaut. The new equivalent has just increased to £6,950 but these older models have been increasingly sought after since they were discontinued some years ago. Please ask one of the Rolex-trained specialists in the Miltons watch team to discuss this watch with you. Further photographs including a macro-lens close-up of the figure “4” may be seen by clicking through the main image.
* The so-called “Flat Four” (or “Fat Four”) bezel inserts are identified by looking closely at the figure “4” in “40” on the bezel insert. If the shape of the green area enclosed by the body of the four has a flat top, as here, then it is a “Flat Four.” If instead it comes to a point, creating a trianglular shape inside the “4,” then it is a “Thin Four” insert. Do not confuse the important, internal shape with the external top-line of the figure “4” itself, as the latter is flat in all versions. The “Flat Four” inserts have become increasingly sought after by collectors, having apparently been produced for only a short time and fitted to the earliest examples of this model, specifically Y to F case number watches circa 2004. If owners lost or damaged one of those original inserts, it would previously as a matter of routine have been replaced with a “Thin Four” insert. What is extraordinary here is that the “Flat Four” insert was supplied and fitted by Rolex UK in 2018, long after it is though such inserts had all been used up. Close examination shows that this may be a new version of the “Flat Four,” marginally different in the subtlest of ways from the early ones. Is it a newly-released service part? If so, will it be fitted to all 16610LVs, or only those early examples like this for which a “Flat Four” would be correct? Not wishing simply to sell such a desirable piece without disclosure or comment about this unusual part, I started discussions on two specialist watch fora, both of which you can read with single clicks here: 2018 “Flat Four” discussion on tz-uk and here: similar discussion on rolexforums. At the time of writing it seems no one is certain what to make of it. Is it an old part that we were just lucky to be given? Is it a part that they can release to owners of correct, early LVs that would have had a “Flat Four?” Is it instead a new, standard part that will be fitted to all 16610 LVs from now? What effect will that have on values, for both early ones that should have such an insert and later watches which correctly did not? We cannot know, but invite potential purchasers to follow as much due diligence as we have. Reflecting the uncertainty about Rolex and this hitherto-unseen insert, we are pricing the watch for a little less than if it had one of the circa-2004 originals.