Submariner - Ceramic vs. Steel
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  1. #1
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    Submariner - Ceramic vs. Steel

    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.

  2. #2
    Member iTreelex's Avatar
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    Re: Submariner - Ceramic vs. Steel

    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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    Re: Submariner - Ceramic vs. Steel

    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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    Member solesman's Avatar
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    Re: Submariner - Ceramic vs. Steel

    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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  6. #5
    Member Unce_Turbo_997's Avatar
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    Re: Submariner - Ceramic vs. Steel

    Quote Originally Posted by solesman View Post
    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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  7. #6
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    Re: Submariner - Ceramic vs. Steel

    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.

  8. #7
    Member CellestinoHernendes's Avatar
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    Re: Submariner - Ceramic vs. Steel

    Aluminium bezel is my personal preference. I’m not a fan of any of the ceramic models.

    Edit: Sea-Dweller 116600 excluded.
    Last edited by CellestinoHernendes; April 15th, 2020 at 22:25.
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    Re: Submariner - Ceramic vs. Steel

    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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  10. #9
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    Re: Submariner - Ceramic vs. Steel

    Quote Originally Posted by solesman View Post
    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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  11. #10
    Member yngrshr's Avatar
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    Re: Submariner - Ceramic vs. Steel

    Quote Originally Posted by GetLittUp View Post
    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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