By the time the Submariner Date Watch 16610 first appeared in the late 1980s, diving technology had evolved to the point where COMEX divers relied on mechanical watches as their sole timekeeping device. Although Rolex continued to supply COMEX with Submariner and Wavemaker watches for about a full decade thereafter, they were rarely used for actual deep-sea diving and were instead given to COMEX executives and other high-ranking employees.
The serial number engraving on the Rolex Submariner 16610 COMEX watch can be found between 1986 and 1997, although the Ref. 16610 itself was not officially unveiled until nearly 1988. Furthermore, it is estimated that only a few hundred watches were produced in total during Ref.’s ten-year period. 16610. 16610 watches were sent to COMEX. Also, since many of these watches are not used for commercial diving, these referees are not uncommon. The 16610 Submariner watch is in significantly better condition than some older COMEX-issued predecessors.
The Reference 16610 was the last Rolex model to feature the iconic COMEX logo on the dial, a relationship between the two brands that ended before the next-generation Submariner watch was launched. What’s more, aside from the engraving on the dial and caseback, the COMEX 16610 watches are otherwise identical to the standard production Reference 16610 Submariner watches as they do not include any additional features such as the prototype helium release found on the Reference 5514 valve.
In general, the Reference 16610 COMEX Submariner is more affordable than other COMEX cheap Rolex watches, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy to find or that they’re economical in any way. Regardless of the specific model or its unique attributes, all COMEX Submariner watches are considered the most desirable and collectible fake Rolexes on sale.
The reason COMEX brand Rolex watches are so rare and collectible is that they are never sold in any store, boutique or authorized retailer. To put it simply, there is no way for ordinary people to buy a COMEX brand Rolex watch for themselves. Instead, the co-branded watches were issued only to COMEX divers and other senior company officials. Additionally, these watches are produced in very small numbers, and many of them feature unique details that you won’t find on any standard production Rolex model.
Rolex co-branded dials are very rare, and even the most inauspicious examples usually garner some serious attention. However, the collector’s fascination with COMEX issued watches goes beyond the co-branded dial and is intertwined with the history and heritage that is the foundation of the Rolex brand. Arguably, no other Rolex watch embodies this pioneering spirit more than the COMEX Submariner and Sea-Dweller models, and the dive watch industry as we know it today will always be shaped by the partnership of these two pioneering brands.