Kermits, Batmans, Pepsis, Root Beer – when this is mentioned, they are not always necessarily movie characters or drinks. Rather, these terms are a sign that a conversation is taking place among real Rolex connoisseurs. Welded-in fans of the brand often have a special vocabulary that leaves outsiders puzzled. But knowing the famous Rolex models with memorable nicknames is no magic trick. With our overview, you can always have your say in the future – whether it’s root beer or smurf.
The Rolex vocabulary for beginners
Rolex is known to watch lovers as something like seventh heaven – with sophisticated timepieces from the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer, the brand’s numerous fans are moving into higher spheres. The passion of the Rolex enthusiasts leads so far that they have already developed their own technical language. As a result of this culture, some of the most famous Rolex models of all time have received extraordinary nicknames. Although these are unofficial and therefore not listed in catalogues etc., dealers, journalists and Rolex passionists always know exactly what they are. How the charming nicknames came about in the first place, which often contrast sharply with the brand’s strictly serious, luxurious image, is explained below.
Keep Green and Kermit on
Some models in the Submariner range have been given affectionate nicknames by fans over time. One in particular stands out: Kermit. Officially launched as reference 16610LV, this Submariner was launched in 2003 in a new guise as the Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date 50th Anniversary Edition to mark its 50th anniversary. The initials at the end of the reference stand for “Lunette Vert”, French for “green bezel” – and it is precisely this green aluminium bezel that makes this timepiece an eye-catcher that is second to none. The epithet Kermit was of course created as a reference to the famous green puppet frog from the Muppet Show. Like every piece in the Submariner collection, the model naturally impresses with its water-resistant Oyster case with screw-down crown, automatic winding, as well as endurance, robustness, precision and top quality workmanship.
The Joy of Pepsi
This model is still the most prominent nickname in the Rolex family. The outstanding models GMT Master and GMT-Master II with red-blue bezel are called Pepsi, as the colours strongly resemble the logo of the well-known beverage manufacturer. Originally, however, Rolex chose the colour combination because of the logo of the American airline Pan Am, for which the watch manufacturer was to develop timepieces indicating a second time zone in the 1950s. The fans decided, however, that the bezel was simply more reminiscent of Pepsi trousers. GMT “Pepsis” have been launched in many different editions to date, including a steel model with a ceramic bezel in 2018.
Have a Coke and a Smile
The success of the Pepsi was followed by the Coke: in 1983 Rolex launched the first GMT-Master II with a red-black bezel. The nickname “Coke” came at the same time as the timepiece was introduced, because the colour combination immediately reminded watch fans of the black drink in the glass bottle with the bright red label. The very first Coke was also called “Fat Lady” or “Sophia Loren” because of its wide case.
I am Batman
The first timepiece with a two-tone ceramic bezel from Rolex came onto the market in 2013 as reference 116710BLNR. This time, the colour combination of black and blue was not associated with a soft drink, but with an action hero: Batman. The watch was enormously popular, as the GMT “Batman”, set in steel, marked a technological breakthrough. The monobloc central part of the ceramic case could only be produced by means of a sophisticated chemical process.
Bring Home the Root Beer
Here Rolex fans have once again chosen a refreshing drink as the name giver. It is assumed that this nickname originated in the late seventies or early eighties and referred to the watch with the reference 16753. The bezel of this Rolex model is brown and cream-coloured – similar to the Root Beer, a popular non-alcoholic beverage from America, but which never achieved the same fame in Europe. Later on, any Rolex watch with a two-tone gold and steel case, as well as two-tone bracelets or brown dials with gold indexes were also called Root Beer.
This is a piece from the legendary Submariner series from Rolex. The dial and bezel of this special piece are not in the usual black, but in a bright blue. Reference 116619 from 2008 had the very first Cerachrome bezel of a Submariner and was nicknamed “Smurf” (smurf) thanks to its design. The colour reminded the fans of the world-famous deep blue comic figures from Belgium. The watch with a white-gold case enjoyed enormous popularity with various celebrities and will certainly never be forgotten thanks to its nickname alone, just like its “Smurf sister” with the reference 116618 with yellow-gold case.
It Started with a Mouse
In fact, this watch is exactly what you would expect: a collaboration between Disney and Rolex during the sixties or seventies. For many years, Walt Disney enjoyed wearing watches from the Swiss manufacturer. The two companies joined forces to bring a classic version of the Mickey Mouse to a dial. As time went by, there was more and more debate online about whether these watches were really genuine, because Rolex‘s serious image no longer matched the design. This raised many doubts. Mostly it was assumed that the watches were genuine Rolex models, but that the dial was inserted with the mouse afterwards. There is some truth in this theory, because such revised Rolex watches do exist – but so do the original pieces with Mickey Mouse on the dial. The homage to the iconic mouse can be found in Oyster Date and similar models, but there are very few of them. All watches were made of stainless steel and had a case diameter between 35 and 36mm. At that time, the pieces were intended for men, although nowadays the case size rather speaks for a woman’s or child’s model. Definitely an interesting collector’s item, which gives rise to nostalgic feelings.
Somewhere Over the Rainbow
The Rolex model “Rainbow” Daytona became a cult object practically overnight. This stunning timepiece in yellow or white gold was extremely limited and was much sought after by rock stars, Hollywood icons and collectors around the world. Later, Rolex finally released the magnificent watch in the rose gold tone Everose. The bezel is set with 36 coloured sapphires in the order of the rainbow. The centrepiece of the case is set with 56 diamonds, and the radiant black dial features 18-carat gold crystals. This is probably the most artistic example of a watch that Rolex has ever created.
SAphire and RUbine
The Rolex GMT-Master with the reference 16758 has been nicknamed SARU – a fusion of the words sapphires and rubies, with which this attractive watch is not too sparing. The yellow gold timepiece was launched in the 1980s and is considered one of the brand’s most exclusive creations. Many passionate collectors have made it their goal to have such a piece of jewellery in their collection one day.
The Eye of the Tiger
Another Rolex GMT Master II was nicknamed “Tiger Eye”. The timepiece with the reference 16753 was so called because of its two-tone bezel in yellow and brown. But in this watch from the eighties, another detail stands out: the so-called Nipple Dial, in which the hour-markers protrude like small, stiff nipples beyond the dial. A fine men’s watch as it is in the book.
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