25 Rolex Nicknames Every Watch Collector Should Know, From Kermit to Paul Newman

by Andy Jones on Feb 14, 2024

25 Rolex Nicknames Every Watch Collector Should Know, From Kermit to Paul Newman

Rolex is a dominant presence in the luxury industry, with iconic products that have inspired a unique nickname-based taxonomy. This reflects the enduring impact of the brand's offerings.

Rolex is a dominant force in the luxury world, with iconic products that have inspired a nickname-based taxonomy around the brand’s offerings.

While other well-known brands have timepieces with nicknames like the "Ed White" Omega Speedmaster, Rolex has taken this practice to new heights. The popularity of terms like "Pepsi" extends beyond watch enthusiasts to mainstream audiences. This creates a cycle where the demand for Rolex watches leads to the emergence of nicknames, boosting the brand's visibility and desirability. It's a powerful cycle!

It's important to note that these nicknames are essentially just that—nicknames. With very few exceptions, the collector community coined these terms, and Rolex never officially used or endorsed them. While an authorized dealer would certainly understand if you asked about a "Rolex Pepsi," a Rolex staff member might not appreciate it. Using these playful aliases is much more enjoyable than memorizing and throwing around reference numbers; the average person will likely have no clue what you’re talking about if you start rhapsodizing about the 126710BLRO. And perhaps that's for the best.

Here's a breakdown of the most commonly used Rolex nicknames. Share this with your significant other to clear up any confusion about why you keep mentioning "Batman," even though you're a fully grown adult.


Rolex GMT-Master II 40mm "Batman" Blue and Black Ceramic Bezel Steel Oyster Watch 116710BLNR Box Papers

The GMT-Master II, also known as the Ref 116710BLNR, featuring a distinctive blue and black bezel insert, underwent an upgrade in 2019 to the Ref. 126710BLNR with the newer Calibre 3285 movement. This model, inspired by the Dark Knight, remains a popular choice among watch enthusiasts.


Rolex GMT-Master II 40mm Black And Blue Batgirl Bezel/Black Dial Jubilee Steel Watch 126710BLNR Box Papers

The GMT-Master II Ref. 126710BLNR features a distinctive blue and black bezel insert and a Jubilee bracelet. This model, known as the "Batgirl," introduced the Jubilee bracelet in 2019 along with a new generation movement. Currently available with either a Jubilee or an Oyster bracelet, distinguishing it from its "Batman" counterpart without box and papers may require an expert to confirm the interior caliber.

Bart Simpson

Bart Simpson: This may seem detailed, but it's worth noting: The crown on specific reference 5513 Submariners produced in the mid-1960s, the last to have "gilt" printing, bears a coronet (the Rolex crown logo) that closely resembles Bart Simpson’s hair.

Big Crown

The term "Big Crown" refers to an early Submariner with a larger, 8mm crown signed with the word "brevet" ("patent," in English), and no crown guards. The 6200 was the first reference to use such a crown, followed by the 6538 Sub worn by Sean Connery in Dr. No and the 5510. Later models would feature smaller crowns, while Ref. 5512 Subs and later feature crown guards. This distinctive feature has made these early Submariners highly sought after by collectors.

Big Red

One of the notable first-generation manually-wound Rolex Cosmograph Daytona models is the "Big Red", specifically the Ref. 6263. It features a black tachymeter bezel, screw-down pushers, and a black or silver dial with the word "Daytona" in large, red typeface along the edge of the 12-hour totalizer at 6 o’clock. While not as valuable as the "Paul Newman" variants, "Big Reds" command significant value in the market.


Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36 Turquoise Blue Celebration-motif Dial Stainless Steel Oyster 126000

In 2023, Rolex unveiled a vibrant new addition to its Oyster Perpetual line, showcasing a captivating "Celebration Dial." This unique dial design features playful pink, green, yellow, and red balloon-shaped circles set against a mesmerizing turquoise blue background. The timepiece is available in three versatile sizes: 31mm, 36mm, or 41mm, catering to a range of preferences. With a remarkable power reserve of 70 hours and water resistance of up to 100m, this watch effortlessly combines style and functionality for the modern connoisseur.


Early Oyster Perpetual models, which were manufactured by Rolex, featured movements that necessitated a slightly raised, ovular case back. This distinctive design element led to these timepieces being affectionately dubbed "bubbleback" watches. Rolex crafted numerous of these elegant, albeit compact, timepieces from the 1930s through the 1950s, showcasing their commitment to precision and innovation during that era.

Buckley (Dial)

A dial on a Day-Date or Datejust watch that features painted Roman numerals, instead of applied ones, is often called a "Buckley Dial." This term was coined in honor of John Buckley, a renowned collector who had a deep admiration for this specific type of dial.


Rolex GMT-Master II 40mm Coke Red/Black Stainless Steel Watch 16710 Box Papers

The GMT-Master II showcases a unique red and black aluminum bezel insert, first introduced on the Ref. 16760 and later on Ref. 16710. It's worth noting that the term "Coke" is not presently featured in the Rolex catalog.


In 2023, Rolex introduced a series of Day-Date models featuring unique characteristics. Each watch showcases a vibrant, champlevé enamel dial resembling puzzle pieces, adorned with rainbow-hued, baguette diamond hour markers. The date wheel has been replaced by emojis, while the day wheel now displays uplifting words such as "Gratitude," "Faith," and "Love." Referred to as the "Emoji Puzzle" Day-Date or simply "Puzzle," this collection represents a significant departure from Rolex's traditional designs.

Fat Lady

When the GMT-Master II was introduced in 1983 with the Ref. 16760, also known as the "Coke," it featured a case 0.5 mm thicker than its predecessor to accommodate the new caliber 3085 movement. This specific reference is commonly referred to as the "Fat Lady" or the "Sophia Loren," in homage to the Italian actress’s famed curves. It was also the first GMT-Master variant to include a sapphire crystal, white gold hour surrounds, and independent local hour setting, marking a shift towards a more modern design.

Green Lantern

Unworn Rolex GMT-Master II 40mm "Sprite" Green and Black Ceramic Bezel Steel Oyster Watch 126720VTNR 2023 Box Papers

In early 2022, Rolex introduced a new left-handed GMT-Master II featuring a distinctive green and black bezel. This timepiece is sometimes referred to as the "Green Lantern", the "Sprite," or the "Destro" (Italian for right), catering to left-handers who wear their watch on their right hand. It is offered with both Oyster and Jubilee bracelets.


Rolex Submariner "Hulk" Green 40mm Stainless Steel Watch 116610LV Box Papers

The green Submariner, reference 116610LV, showcases a vibrant green Cerachrom bezel, complemented by a green dial and a Rolex "Super" case. This iconic timepiece exudes timeless elegance and exceptional craftsmanship.

John Player Special

The Daytona reference 6264 or 6241 in solid gold with a black exotic dial is named after John Player & Sons, a UK-based tobacco company and Formula 1 sponsor. The company’s cigarette boxes were black with gold lettering, which inspired the design association. This vintage Daytona model is a testament to the brand's unique history and style, making it a sought-after collector's item.


Rolex Submariner Date 40mm "Kermit" Black Dial Green Bezel Stainless Steel Watch 16610LV Box Papers

The Rolex Submariner Date reference 16610LV, which was launched in 2003 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Submariner, marked a significant milestone for Rolex with the introduction of a distinctive green aluminum bezel insert. This unique feature earned it the playful moniker "Muppet," adding a touch of character to this iconic timepiece.


Image Credits:

The royal crest of Oman features a distinctive khanjar dagger and crossed swords, symbolizing the rich heritage of the country. Former Sultan of Oman, Qaboos bin Said al Said, adorned various Rolex watches with this crest, making them highly sought after in the vintage Rolex collector's market. The term "khanjar" does not refer to a specific Rolex model, but to any watch bearing this iconic symbol.

Paul Newman

A "Paul Newman" refers to any hand-wound Daytona with what Rolex called an "exotic" dial, a series of dials made by Singer featuring blocky indices in the sub-registers, funky Arabic numerals, and pops of color. These watches gained the "Paul Newman" moniker because the renowned actor was seen wearing at least two different Daytonas with these dials. Most notably, his Ref. 6239 fetched nearly $18,000,000 at auction in 2017.


Rolex GMT-Master II 40mm Pepsi Bezel Stainless Steel Jubilee Watch 126710BLRO Box Papers

The Rolex GMT-Master or GMT-Master II featuring a blue and red bezel is a timeless classic. Whether it's the vintage 1950s-era 6542 or the modern 126710BLRO, the appeal is undeniable. Even the meteorite-dialed 126719BLRO, with its distinctive bezel colors, deserves attention. This iconic color combination pays homage to PanAm's logo, as the GMT-Master was originally designed for PanAm personnel.


Unworn Rolex Explorer II 42mm Polar White Dial Stainless Steel Oyster Watch 226570 Box Papers

The Explorer II features a striking white dial and is available in reference numbers 16550, 16570, 216570, or 226570.


The Rolex Day-Date is commonly referred to as the "President," a name used by Rolex to signify the watch’s unique bracelet made exclusively for this model, available in precious metals.

Root Beer

Rolex GMT-Master II 40MM Rose Gold Rootbeer Oyster Watch 126711CHNR Box Papers

The GMT-Master and GMT-Master II models come with either a half-brown, half-gold bezel insert, typically found on two-tone watches with brown dials, or a fully brown insert with gold text. More recent references feature Cerachrom bezels in black and brown, paired with two-tone Rolesor cases or solid-gold Everose cases. Wondering why it's called "root beer?" Just picture the A&W root beer logo colors.


Rolex Submariner Date 41mm Blueberry 126619LB Blue Bezel Black Dial White Gold Watch 2021 Box Papers

The white gold Submariner features a blue bezel insert and is available with either a blue (Ref. 116619LB) or a black (Ref. 126619LB) dial. The black dial variation is the newer model currently in the Rolex catalog.


Unworn Rolex Submariner Date 41mm "Starbucks" 126610LV Green Bezel Black Dial Watch Box Papers

In late 2020, Rolex unveiled the new Sub featuring a Super case, a green Cerachrom bezel, and a black dial (Ref. 122610LV). This watch, referred to as the "Starbucks" by collectors due to its black and green color combination, combines elements of the Kermit and the Hulk, leaning visually closer to the Kermit. The new 41 mm case, thinner lugs, wider bracelet, and the new caliber 3235 (or 3230 on the no-date version) offer enhanced energy efficiency. Some have suggested the name "Hermit" as a blend of "Hulk" and "Kermit."

Steve McQueen

The first Explorer II, Ref. 1655, is commonly known as the Steve McQueen, even though there is no evidence that the iconic American actor actually wore one. (McQueen's preferred Rolex was a Submariner.) This model has gained a strong association with McQueen, contributing to its enduring popularity in the Rolex community.

Stella (Dial)

Credits: Chrono24

Vintage Day-Date models from the 1970s featured an exotic dial type known as "lacquered Stella" dials, crafted by the Swiss company Stella. These distinctive dials, made from colored enamel, were popular in the Middle Eastern market and are easily recognizable.

Whether you're a seasoned collector or just starting your watch journey, ElegantSwiss invites you to explore the enchanting world of Rolex nicknames. From the iconic to the obscure, each moniker tells a story, adding a layer of charm to these timeless timepieces. Visit our New York, NY location, and let ElegantSwiss be your trusted companion in elevating your luxury watch collection.