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Discussion Starter #1
Apologies if this tread exists elsewhere but I'm wondering what the Rolex/Tudor community things of ceramic bezels on the Submariner series vs. earlier steel bezels. Based on what I've read it seems like a simple determination surrounding scratch-ability vs. cost.

Is there more to this argument than meets the eye? Stuck betwen a 14060 and a 16610 and the primary driver is bezel material at this point.

Welcome all opinions.
 

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Both the models you mentioned have steel bezels. The ceramic models are 114060 and 116610. No date and date respectively. Ceramic bezels don't fade unlike their aluminum counterparts and they also use ball bearings for the spring action unlike the traditional click springs.
 

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I feel that some models are better looking in steel, e.g. Daytona, but others not so much, e.g. Sub. The steel bezel of the Daytona has a special look in stainless. In contrast, the anodized aluminum insert painted black in a Sub looks black like a ceramic Sub bezel, but more anemic. I’ve owned both and I’ll take my C-Sub any day over the anodized steel version. Also, the ceramic does preclude scratches and the anodized insert is a scratch-magnet of sorts. This opinion is subject to modification based on how vintage and different the bezel as compared to a C-Sub, e.g. the Milsub.
 

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If you scratch the aluminium bezel it will cost around £50 if I recall correctly. A ceramic insert is much much more.

I’ve owned both and prefer the aluminium. Aside from that, they both wear very differently. The bezel is a small aspect of the watch. Case shape, weight, feel on the wrist etc is totally different between the 5 and 6 digit Submariners.


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If you scratch the aluminium bezel it will cost around £50 if I recall correctly. A ceramic insert is much much more.
Sounds like you have experience here. I have always wondered about parts for five digit subs. Let's say I acquired a five digit sub, damaged the bezel, and need a replacement. How easy is it to get genuine OEM parts?
 

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I prefer the aesthetics of the aluminum bezel inserts over the ceramic. When it comes to the black bezel inserts, I would probably settle with the ceramic on the sub because I don't like used jewelry (haven't seen many NOS 16610's lately). I won't even consider a colored ceramic bezel model because I don't care for their looks.
 

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Sort of like air cooled vs. water cooled porsche. You have to figure what it is YOU want. I absolutely love my Ceramic bezels on both my 116500 and my BLNR. I wouldn't have them any other way. More than anything, I think you need to figure out if you like the case sizing. pre-ceramic wear much differently than ceramic models with the maxi case. I love the maxi-case look on my BLNR, but it also makes me appreciate the slightly slender lug proportions on the Daytona. I also think the current gen oyster bracelets are the epitome of the tool watch bracelet. I can't stand stamped clasps.
 

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If you scratch the aluminium bezel it will cost around £50 if I recall correctly. A ceramic insert is much much more.

I’ve owned both and prefer the aluminium. Aside from that, they both wear very differently. The bezel is a small aspect of the watch. Case shape, weight, feel on the wrist etc is totally different between the 5 and 6 digit Submariners.


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I looked at my AD's service pricing sheet (Rolex official) last time I was getting one of my watches serviced. Ceramic bezel insert was only around $200 (CAD), and the bicolor ones being a little more (about $250 CAD, if I recall). So not that much more.

It's different if the entire bezel needs to be replaced, of course.
 

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I looked at my AD's service pricing sheet (Rolex official) last time I was getting one of my watches serviced. Ceramic bezel insert was only around $200 (CAD), and the bicolor ones being a little more (about $250 CAD, if I recall). So not that much more.

It's different if the entire bezel needs to be replaced, of course.
I believe they are at around $350 USD and $400 USD, now. I may be off, but I think that the price had jumped a bit last year.
 

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I own both currently. I have a 16618 and 114060. Have also owned a 16713 and a 116613lb. I prefer the ceramic but am fine with either. I prefer my watches to look brand new. I have had my 114060 for about 7 years and it has seen some hard use, including smashing the bezel on a door frame while moving some furniture. I had door frame wood and paint on the bezel, zero scratches to this day! I also enjoy the bezel click much more on the ceramic.

Again these are small things, love them both, wouldn't trade my 16618 for a 116618 even if it was free. YMMV
 

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I have owned both & would not go back to the old version, not only do you get a ceramic bezel you get a high quality adjustable clasp etc. IMG_1291.JPG
 
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I had to think long and hard about this prior to hunting down a sub. I came close to purchasing the steel submariner (aluminum) as the price was considerably lower. Even after trying it on and looking at pics online I saw no difference from the ceramic version. However, I got to try on my friend's ceramic submariner and boy did it pop. Again the price difference was considerable on the secondary market - so I was disciplined and waited till an AD sold me one for retail. Ceramic is absolutely beautiful on the sub. I can't speak for the colored bezels like the hulk or a gmt but I would assume the same.

You can find a few subC's on watchrecon for under retail. Or hovering right around retail. Good time to buy if you have the funds and don't have to worry about anything
 

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Aluminium. For me, ceramic says jewelry and I've never looked at Rolex in that way. Scratches are part of what makes my Rolex mine. It isn't supposed to be perfect. It is supposed to look like it has been a part of my daily life.
 

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I just spent $200+ on a mint bezel for my transitional 16800. I only made the purchase after reading at length about people praising the earlier steel insert's durability. My original insert has one big nasty scratch but I guess it isn't that bad for 40 years. I'm easy on my watches so hopefully keeping it mint won't be an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Both the models you mentioned have steel bezels. The ceramic models are 114060 and 116610. No date and date respectively. Ceramic bezels don't fade unlike their aluminum counterparts and they also use ball bearings for the spring action unlike the traditional click springs.
My apologies... I meant the 114060. Thanks for clarifying!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Great points. Is the benefit of ceramic in the newer Sub worthwhile when you lose the subtlety of the lugs from previous generations? I'm not sure I'm so keen on the squared lugs on the ceramic subs...
 
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