Editor’s note: Most of Rolex’s new releases are shown to the press and make it into the catalogue. Sometimes, though, they don’t. The gem-set Rolex Submariner Date ref. 116659 SABR is an example of one that didn’t. And we were pretty lucky to get to see it at last year’s Baselworld …* There was a lot of mystery surrounding this piece when it was pulled out of a large green box during our appointment with Rolex at Baselworld. And, to be honest, we were too caught up in the moment, too dazzled by the gemstones, to take it all in at the time. It’s formally known as the Submariner Date ref. 116659 SABR, a variant on the white gold, blue-dialled ‘Smurf’ (ref. 116659 LB), but while at first glance it might look like the stones are the only addition, the dial is completely different. Not only is it darker, and*has a sunray*effect, but there’s a notable omission. Look closer. Have you spotted it yet? That’s right, there’s no depth rating. On a typical sub, there’s a line underneath the ‘Submariner’ text that says the watch is good to ‘1000ft = 300m’; not so here. And there’s also no specific mention…

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