First, the case. Yes, it is larger, but only by a small margin. To be fair, the extra one millimetre in diameter in rather hard to perceive. There’s not much to complain about here, and even though I’m personally a strong advocate of smaller watches, the increased size is certainly not a deal-breaker and won’t change my mind about this new model. In fact, I’d even go as far as saying that the 2020 quality replica Rolex Submariner feels a bit more compact on the wrist than the previous 116610.
The reason for that is the updated proportions. The lugs are thinner, more tapered and more “pointy”, bringing a lighter look to the case and, for the pleasure of many enthusiasts, reminiscent of the older 5-digit references. Combined with the wider bracelet, this rebalances the watch and virtually makes it (a bit) less present and less bulky. My main complaint about the previous references – the 2008-2020 generation – was the squarish shape of the “super case”. Now that this is gone, I can see a slight dosage of elegance back in the game. Lug-to-lug dimensions and thickness, even though not yet properly measured, felt almost identical to the previous references, so no major issues here.
The bezel is still made of glossy ceramic with a platinum PVD-coated 60-minute scale and is, as usual, a pleasure to use. The rotation on 120 clicks is both firm to engage and smooth to actuate, with the usual high-end feel that Rolex is known for. The dial has been very subtly updated, as the hour Mercedes hand is now wider and slightly shorter. The minute hand has been increased in length and now touches the minute track. Other than that, no major evolution and the signature Submariner look is always present.
Once again, there are some changes in proportions, though. The increased size of the watch benefits the dial opening it up to make the watch more modern, or at least, less cluttered. The whole face of the watch has been rebalanced (once again, we’re talking minor updates…) but this is perceptible on the wrist.