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Rolex 16618 Submariner 18k Yellow Gold & Blue Watch Review

Rolex 16618 Submariner 18k Yellow Gold & Blue Watch Review

rolex submariner yellow gold blue dial review

Here is a hands-on review of the Rolex Submariner 16618 18K Yellow Gold, Blue Bezel and Blue Dial Watch.

The Rolex Submariner full 18k yellow gold watch is the boldest of golds. It’s a true treasure and a vintage classic among Rolex collectors and watch enthusiasts. A favorite amid Submariners and all gold Rolex watches.

In this Rolex Submariner 16618 Review, we are going to give you a brief history of the Submariner collection and the Submariner 16618; we are going to tell you why a Submariner 16618 is a good investment; we are going to tell you all about this watch’s case, dial, bezel, bracelet, movements, and functions.

rolex submariner yellow gold blue dial review

Note: This pre-owned Rolex 16618LB is for sale and can be purchased on our website or at Raymond Lee Jewelers in Boca Raton. You can view the full sales listing here

So, ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, here is everything you want to know about the discontinued, pre-2008 Rolex Submariner 16618 18k Yellow Gold Blue Bezel and Dial watch.

A Brief History of the Submariner

The Rolex Submariner has an illustrious story behind it. It made history in 1953 for being the first ever dive watch with water resistance down to 330 feet (or 100 meters). The brand positioned the Submariner as a tool watch. The Submariner wasn’t just water resistant, it was also equipped with a rotating bezel to keep track of elapsed time underwater and it was meticulously smothered in lume to give it unprecedented visibility in the darkness of the marine world.

Since 1953, the Submariner has seen countless variations and improvements. The Rolex Submariner collection is always efficaciously innovating. They use different and better materials, colors, design details, functions, and movement with each new reference.

The Rolex Submariner, or “Sub” for short, has remained the KING of luxury diving watches for over 65 years and we don’t see that title be taken away for the foreseeable future.

If you want the best diving watch in the world, Submariners are the gold standard.

Moreover, Rolex Submariners are probably the most recognizable watches in the world. It’s a staple in any watch enthusiasts collection. This iconic collection isn’t just full of great dive watches, the watches are extremely versatile too. You can wear Submariner watch on a casual day out, to the office suited up, or with a wet suit 300+ feet deep in the ocean.

Submariners are a luxury symbol status and they are like gold, even the ones that aren’t made of gold, meaning, they can be resold anywhere in the world at any time, and the resale value is by far the best in the industry. Many Submariner watches have gone on to become classics, increasing in value as they reach vintage status (just like the one we are reviewing today).

Subs are the most coveted and most popular watches in the world after all. A big part of that is thanks to all of the celebrities who have helped to make this watch famous, even among the famous.

Famous Celebrities Who Wear Submariner Watches

If we were to list all of the celebrities who have a Rolex Submariner, we would take up a whole article or two on that alone. That said, we will name a few celebrities of recent years who are constantly showing up on scene in a Submariner: Johnny Depp, Al Pacino, Tom Hardy, Russell Wilson, Jack Black, and one we want to emphasize here, Mark Wahlberg (aka Marky Mark)…

Mark Wahlberg has the luxurious 18k yellow gold Sub in two variations, one with a blue dial and blue bezel and another with a black dial and black bezel…He clearly is a big fan of the yellow gold Subs, and so are we.

When it comes to yellow gold luxury sports watches, no one does it as tactfully and aesthetically pleasing as Rolex.

rolex submariner 16618 review

Rolex Submariner 16618 – 18k Yellow Gold Case and Bracelet, “Sunburst” Blue Dial and Bezel.

The Submariner 16618 was Rolex’s full 18k yellow gold watch offered and in production from the late 1980s all the way until 2010. This full yellow gold model was the ultra-luxurious version of the Rolex Submariner, and it came with several dial and bezel variations, such as the black dial with a matching black bezel and the blue dial with a matching blue bezel.

The Sub 16618 was discontinued in 2010, as to make way for the newer model, ref. 116618LB. The Rolex 116618LB is pretty much the same watch with updated features to meet the newer style Submariner’s standards.

That said, although the newer yellow gold Submariner has some improvements, it doesn’t have the same vintage status of the 16618, which is only increasing in value year after year. As we all know, Rolex enthusiasts love vintage watches, especially ones like this that went over so well with the adept watch community.


Not only is the Rolex Submariner 16618 an excellent collector’s piece based purely on its incredible looks, but it is also a smart collector’s piece as the watch has steadily increased in value over the years.

In the 1980s, the Rolex 16618 was retailed for around 10k. By the end of its production run (around 2008), it was retailing for over $25,000. Now, pre-owned Rolex Sub 16618 watches are selling for a cool $25,000+.

It is pretty obvious that this watch is only going to continue to increase in value, so purchasing this one pre-owned is a smart investment.

TIP: If you don’t know, purchasing pre-owned Rolex watches, and luxury watches in general, is the best way to not lose value on your purchase. When buying brand new at MSRP, you lose some value initially (typically for at least the first 10 years) and if in an unfortunate event you need to sell it, you will take a hit on that lost value. However, if you buy a Rolex pre-owned, the person who bought it brand new and sold it has already taken that value hit. So essentially, when a Rolex goes from retailer to owner, it loses value, at least initially, however, when Rolex goes from one owner to another, it doesn’t lose value.

Now, let’s go over the finer details of this watch.

Rolex 16618 18K Yellow Gold CASE

The Submariner 16618 has a powerfully protective 40mm Oyster case waterproof down to 1,000ft. It bears all the same classic aesthetics of the Submariner’s iconic diver watch collection.

The 40mm case is formed from 18k yellow gold, and this pre-owned Rolex 16618 is in tip-top shape.

These older models have a slightly thinner case than the newer Rolex Submariners. It’s only about 12mm in height.

The watch is beautifully polished, with high polish finishing along the sides to give it a lavish shine.

You’ll notice on the older all gold Submariners, there is a small hole on each end of the case where the lugs meet. This is to hold the bracelet in place. You can release the bracelet to remove a link at these points.

On the side of the case, you have the Rolex crown, which is also made of 18k yellow gold, with protectors on the sides of the crown to keep it safe.

The features of the crown are simple.

You can unscrew it counter clockwise. When you do this you will be in position 1, which is for winding the watch (20-30 times) in case you have it off your wrist for too long.

Pull the crown into position 2 and you can adjust the date quickly.

And then position 3, you can adjust the hands bi-directionally to set the time. When you pull it out, the seconds hand will stop, allowing you to set the time precisely to an atomic clock online or a cell phone, all the way down to the exact seconds.

When you are finished, press the crown down nice and tight against the case and screw it back in. This will start the seconds hand. Furthermore, this will keep the watch watertight.

All in all, the case of this watch has such a sumptuously sharp look that the eyes just simply can’t deny. What’s more, the aesthetically pleasing case is designed with deep sea divers in mind, so this is a tool for exploring the depths of the sea.

rolex 16618 review


This is the Rolex 16618LB dial, so it is a beautiful Sunburst blue with 18k yellow gold hour markers, minute track, hands, and dial lettering. The dial is a very important aspect of this watch, as this charming blue goes incredibly well with the yellow gold case and bracelet.

On the dial, you have Rolex’s signature crown just below the 12. It reads “Oyster Perpetual” just below the Crown and “Rolex”. Above the 6 you will see, also in yellow gold lettering, the words – Submariner, 1000ft = 300m, Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified.

There is a cyclops eye above the date window. The cyclops eye offers the perfect amount of magnification so you never have to struggle to read the date.

The watch employs the classic Mercedes Benz hour hand, an arrow pointed minutes hand, and hacking seconds hand, all of which are made of 18k yellow gold.

Finally, the watch has plenty of luminescent details. This makes the dial glow impeccably bright in dark settings, even 1,000 feet deep in the dark blue sea.

Note, this isn’t a maxi dial, so the hour markers aren’t as large as the newer dials. We really like this as the newer Rolex Submariner dials have large hour markers that take up more dial property. This smaller look makes for a very clean presence.

Rolex Submariner 16618LB Blue BEZEL

The 16618LB Submariner bezel is another crucial visual aspect of the watch. The blue bezel matches the dial and it has 18k gold 60-minute graduations. This ensure divers can accurately monitor diving time and decompression stops.

There are ridges on the edge of the bezel for easy gripping underwater, as this bezel turns.

It is a unidirectional bezel with an important function.

The purpose of the bezel function is to track elapsed time. It was made specifically for divers. This is a divers watch after all.

For example, if a diver goes underwater and they want to track how much oxygen they have left in their tank, all they have to do is turn the dial all the way around until the peridot is matched with the minute hand. When it is lined up, you can track the elapsed time on the bezel as the minute hand goes around the dial.

The thicker index markers are five-minute increments, with every other being the Arabic numbers stating the numbers – 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50. So every time the minute hand does a full circle around the bezel, that’s 60 minutes of elapsed time. You’ll notice the 0 to 10 also has one-minute increments for shorter elapsed time needs.

Now, the reason it is unidirectional is so the bezel doesn’t move in case something bumps directly into it, as that would give the wearer a false sense of time. When underwater tracking oxygen time, that is definitely not something you want. Essentially the one direction allows for more security as it’s only possible to shorten the time if the bezel accidentally moves. That said, the bezel does require some considerable grip to move it. So it won’t ever slide into a different position on its own.

Other uses for the bezel above land:

  • Track how long it takes you to run or drive a mile or miles.
  • See how long a business meeting is taking.
  • How much time you have left to do a task.

Submariner 16618 18K Yellow Gold BRACELET & CLASP

The bracelet is made of 18k yellow gold, and this watch’s bracelet is in mint condition.

It is an Oyster three-piece bracelet with high polished center links and satin (or brushed) side links. These older Subs have hollow links, so where the pins go into the links it is hollow. This gives this watch a slightly lighter feel than the newer models which use completely solid links. Moreover, the hollow links offer more flexibility.

The gold bracelet is super comfortable and absolutely gorgeous. It is perfectly flush with case and Oysterlock clasp.

Yellow Gold Oysterlock Clasp

The clasp is specially created to avoid it accidentally opening. This means the clasp is extremely secure.

Furthermore, you can make 2mm incremental changes in its size (up to 20mm), fine-tuning the size of the bracelet without a tool, should your wrist expand or contract. This is also useful to go over a dive suit or a dry suit.

In regards to aesthetics, it follows the same finishing pattern as the bracelet – high polish center and satin finished sides. It also uses indentations to follow the pattern of the links on the bracelet, rather than being one solid strip of 18k gold. Lastly, when you open up the clasp, you will see the Rolex name is embossed on the blade, and the blades are elegantly thin.

rolex 16618 lb review

Rolex Caliber 3135 JEWEL MOVEMENT

The Rolex Sub 16618 is powered by a perpetual, self-winding, mechanical caliber 3135 movement. The perpetual movement is super convenient, as any type of movement, including daily wear, will maintain the watch’s motion.

The Rolex 16618 was certified by Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC). COSC is one of the most prestigious and respected non-profit groups that certify chronometers.

The COSC put this watch through a rigorous 15 day test. They introduced it to extreme conditions and various elements to make sure it remained precise. You can see the seal of approval engraved onto the watch.

This watch has a precision that will always keep a +2/-2 seconds per day, making it the highest level of horology craftsmanship.

All in all, the watch is extremely reliable, and it can withstand extreme shock and temperature swings. This is a movement that you would want in an apocalyptic event.

Rolex Submariner 16618 For Sale

This pre-owned Rolex Submariner 16618LB is now for sale online or at our showroom in Boca Raton. It comes with a Raymond Lee Jewelers presentation box and a 1-year warranty.


All of the pics in this article were taken by us and are of the Rolex 16618 Submariner we have listed for sale.

rolex 16618 for sale

About Us: Raymond Lee Jewelers

Raymond Lee Jewelers is Boca Raton’s most recommended sales and service centers for watches, diamonds, and high-end jewelry. Our business is family owned and operated. We have over 30 years of experience selling fine certified luxury watches. In that time we have built an unparalleled reputation for fair, quality dealings in South Florida.

Our goal is to meet the needs of our customers at our Boca Raton retail store and online, and to provide our community with the best possible experience.  We combine value, quality, and cost with the remarkable ability to meet and understand the needs of the people we serve.

If you live in Boca Raton, please feel free to drop by our showroom anytime. We have one of the largest Rolex collections in the state of Florida!

Our Showroom in Boca Raton, Florida:

2801 N Federal Hwy, Boca Raton, FL 33431

Our hours of operation are:

Monday-Friday – 11 am to 7 pm
Saturday – 10 am to 5 pm
Sunday – 12 pm to 5 pm

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about this beautifully crafted, meticulously tested, and globally renowned, discontinued, pre-owned Rolex 16618.

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