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 leading force in the luxury industry, renowned for its iconic products that have inspired a distinctive nickname-based classification system. This underscores the lasting influence of the brand's offerings.

Rolex is a leading presence in the luxury industry, known for its iconic products that have given rise to a nickname-based categorization of the brand’s offerings.

Rolex has elevated the practice of watch nicknaming, exemplified by popular terms like "Pepsi," which resonate with both watch enthusiasts and mainstream audiences. This cycle of demand for Rolex watches fuels the emergence of nicknames, enhancing the brand's visibility and allure. It's a powerful phenomenon that drives the desirability of Rolex timepieces!

It's worth noting 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 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.

Check out the popular Rolex nicknames to clear up any confusion when you mention "Batman" to your significant other. It's all part of being a watch enthusiast!


Rolex Steel GMT-Master II 40 Watch - Black And Blue Batman Bezel - Black Dial - Oyster Bracelet - 116710BLNR

The GMT-Master II, also referred to as the Ref 116710BLNR, showcases a unique blue and black bezel insert. In 2019, it was upgraded to the Ref. 126710BLNR, incorporating the advanced Calibre 3285 movement. This timepiece, inspired by the Dark Knight, continues to be a sought-after choice among watch enthusiasts.


Rolex Steel GMT-Master II 40 Watch - Black And Blue Batman Bezel - Black Dial - Jubilee Bracelet - 126710BLNR

The GMT-Master II Ref. 126710BLNR, also known as the "Batgirl," features a unique blue and black bezel insert and a Jubilee bracelet introduced in 2019. This model comes with a new generation movement and is available with either a Jubilee or an Oyster bracelet. Distinguishing it from its "Batman" counterpart may require expert confirmation of the interior caliber.

Bart Simpson

Bart Simpson's hair closely resembles the coronet on specific reference 5513 Submariners produced in the mid-1960s, the last to have "gilt" printing. This unique detail is worth noting for Rolex enthusiasts and collectors.

Big Crown

The term "Big Crown" refers to an early Submariner with a larger, 8mm crown bearing the word "brevet" ("patent" in English) and no crown guards. The 6200 was the first model to feature such a crown, followed by the 6538 Sub worn by Sean Connery in Dr. No and the 5510. Subsequent models would incorporate smaller crowns, while Ref. 5512 Submariners and later versions would include crown guards. This distinctive feature has heightened the desirability of these early Submariners among collectors.

Big Red

One of the iconic first-generation manually-wound Rolex Cosmograph Daytona models is the "Big Red", also known as the Ref. 6263. It showcases a black tachymeter bezel, screw-down pushers, and a black or silver dial with the word "Daytona" prominently displayed in large, red typeface along the edge of the 12-hour totalizer at 6 o’clock. While not as highly sought after as the "Paul Newman" variants, "Big Reds" still hold significant value in the market.


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

In 2023, Rolex introduced an exciting new addition to its Oyster Perpetual line - the "Celebration Dial." This vibrant dial design features playful pink, green, yellow, and red balloon-shaped circles against a captivating turquoise blue background. Available in versatile sizes of 31mm, 36mm, or 41mm, this timepiece caters to various preferences. Boasting 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.


In the early years, Rolex's Oyster Perpetual models showcased a distinctive design with a slightly raised, ovular case back, earning them the endearing nickname "bubbleback" watches. Crafted from the 1930s to the 1950s, these elegant timepieces exemplified Rolex's dedication to precision and innovation during that era.

Buckley (Dial)

A Day-Date or Datejust dial featuring painted Roman numerals, known as a "Buckley Dial," is associated with John Buckley, a renowned collector and dealer in N.Y.C This dial type is distinguished for its historical significance and unique aesthetic appeal.


Rolex GMT-Master II Coke Bezel 40MM Black Dial Automatic Stainless Steel Mens Watch 16710

The GMT-Master II features a distinctive red and black aluminum bezel insert, initially seen on the Ref. 16760 and later on Ref. 16710. Notably, the term "Coke" is currently not included in the Rolex catalog. This unique bezel design has a rich history and is a key feature of these iconic timepieces.


In 2023, Rolex unveiled a new series of Day-Date models with distinctive features. Each timepiece boasts 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." Known as the "Emoji Puzzle" Day-Date or simply "Puzzle," this collection marks a significant departure from Rolex's traditional designs.

Fat Lady

In 1983, the GMT-Master II (Ref. 16760), also known as the "Coke," was introduced with a slightly thicker case to accommodate the new caliber 3085 movement. This specific model is often called the "Fat Lady" or the "Sophia Loren," paying tribute to the famous Italian actress's curves. It was the first GMT-Master variant to feature a sapphire crystal, white gold hour surrounds, and independent local hour setting, signifying a shift towards a more modern design.

Green Lantern

Rolex GMT-Master II 40MM 126720VTNR Oystersteel Black Dial 2022 - New Model

In early 2022, Rolex introduced a new GMT-Master II designed for left-handed individuals, featuring a distinctive green and black bezel. This timepiece, known as the "Green Lantern" or "Sprite," is designed for left-handers who wear their watch on their right hand. It is available with both Oyster and Jubilee bracelets, catering to diverse preferences.


Rolex Steel Submariner Date Watch - Black Dial - 116610LN

The Rolex Submariner 116610LV features a striking green Cerachrom bezel and dial, housed in a renowned "Super" case. This iconic timepiece embodies enduring sophistication and impeccable artistry. Elevate your style with this timeless Rolex Submariner.

John Player Special

The Daytona reference 6264 or 6241 in solid gold with a black exotic dial is known for its connection to John Player & Sons, a UK-based tobacco company and Formula 1 sponsor. This vintage Daytona model is a testament to the brand's unique history and style, making it a sought-after collector's item. Inspired by the company’s black and gold cigarette boxes, the design carries a distinct and iconic appeal.


Rolex Submariner 'Anniversary' Green Bezel 40mm Automatic Stainless Steel Oyster Mens Watch 16610

The Rolex Submariner Date reference 16610LV, released in 2003 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Submariner, represented a significant moment for Rolex, featuring a distinctive green aluminum bezel insert. This distinct characteristic led to the affectionate nickname "Muppet," adding a playful element to this iconic timepiece.


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The royal crest of Oman is characterized by a distinctive khanjar dagger and crossed swords, representing the country's rich heritage. Former Sultan of Oman, Qaboos bin Said al Said, famously adorned various Rolex watches with this crest, making them highly sought after in the vintage Rolex collector's market. While the term "khanjar" doesn't denote a specific Rolex model, any watch bearing this iconic symbol holds significant value.

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 unique blocky indices in the sub-registers, distinctive Arabic numerals, and vibrant pops of color. These watches gained the "Paul Newman" nickname due to the renowned actor being seen wearing at least two different Daytonas with these dials. Notably, his Ref. 6239 fetched nearly $18,000,000 at auction in 2017. This iconic style of Daytona watch has captured the attention of collectors and enthusiasts alike.


Rolex Steel GMT-Master II 40 Watch - Blue And Red Pepsi Bezel - Black Dial - Jubilee Bracelet - 126710BLRO

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


Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer II Watch - Oystersteel - White Dial - Oyster Bracelet - 2021 Release - 226570 w

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


Rolex Day-Date 40 Black Dial Fluted Bezel Platinum President Men's Watch 228236

The Rolex Day-Date, also known as the "President," features a distinctive bracelet exclusively designed for this model, offered in precious metals.

Root Beer

Rolex Everose Rolesor GMT-Master II 40 Watch - Black And Brown Root Beer Bezel - Black Dial - Oyster Bracelet - 126711CHNR bk

GMT-Master and GMT-Master II models come with bezel inserts in half-brown, half-gold or fully brown with gold text. Recent references feature Cerachrom bezels in black and brown, paired with two-tone Rolesor cases or solid-gold Everose cases. Curious about the "root beer" name? Imagine the A&W root beer logo colors.


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


Rolex Steel Submariner Date Watch - The Starbucks - Green Bezel - Black Dial - 2020 Release - 126610LV

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

Steve McQueen

The initial Explorer II, Ref. 1655, is often referred to as the Steve McQueen, despite no proof of the iconic American actor wearing one. (McQueen favored a Submariner.) This model's strong association with McQueen has bolstered its ongoing popularity in the Rolex community.

Stella (Dial)

Credits: Chrono24

In the 1970s, the Vintage Day-Date models showcased unique "lacquered Stella" dials, a creation of the Swiss company Stella. These distinctive dials, crafted from colored enamel, gained popularity in the Middle Eastern market and are easily identifiable.

Time Source Jewelers welcomes you to delve into the fascinating realm of Rolex nicknames, regardless of your level of experience as a collector or where you are in your watch journey. Every name, from the well-known to the obscure, has a backstory that contributes to the allure of these classic watches. Come see us at Time Source Jewelers in Huntington Village, New York, and let us be your dependable partner while you enhance your collection of opulent timepieces.