Popular Rolex Nicknames - What are they and where to they come from?

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vintage gmt master rolex pepsi on a glass bottle of pepsi

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The phenomenon of giving nicknames to watches is not unique to Rolex and can be found within most major brand offerings. There are plenty of nicknames out there, but most find them easier to remember in comparison to the complicated reference numbers. Thankfully, many nicknames were popularized due to their appearance, making it much easier for everyday timepiece hobbyists to recognize. For now we will focus on some of the most significant Rolex models and their commonly used nicknames.

The first bunch of nicknames within the Rolex lineup will refer to the GMT-Master collection. Currently the most sought after GMT adorned with a red and blue bezel is known by watch enthusiasts as the “Pepsi”. Obviously, this is in reference to the beverage company’s famous red and blue logo which reminds collectors of this reference’s colors.

Along the same lines, is the “Root Beer”. This nickname also refers to a GMT-Master with a different color bezel combination. “Root Beer” Rolexes of the past had bezels that were a combination of brown and yellow gold color. Modern GMT-Master “Root Beers” are different in that they now have a black and brown combination on the bezel.

vintage rolex gmt master coke laying on a can of coke on ice

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Once again, with reference to a soda is the “Coke”. Just like the “Pepsi”, the black and red bezel is reminiscent of the Coca-Cola branding. Unfortunately, this once popular GMT-Master is no longer produced. We hope one day that this reference returns!

Stepping away from beverages, we enter the world of super-heroes. In 2013, Rolex introduced a GMT-Master with a black and blue bezel, becoming known as the “Batman”. Since its launch, the “Batman” has come on an oyster band and more recently on a jubilee band. These days, some people will refer to the jubilee version as the “Batgirl”.

rolex gmt master II batman and green submariner hulk laying on counter top with hulk and batman pop figurines

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Inline with the super-hero theme, but in a different model we see the 2010 introduction of a green bezel and green dial Submariner. This reference is known as the “Hulk”, which was recently discontinued and has been trading for a significant premium since rumours of the discontinuation had begun.

The next category covers a couple fun fictional characters also referring to references within the Submariner offering.The first being the “Kermit” which has a green bezel and black dial. The original kermit had been discontinued years ago, and with the discontinuation of the popular “Hulk”, watch collectors were disappointed that there would not be a green Submariner in the lineup. Thankfully, in 2020 Rolex re-introduced a modern version of the “Kermit” which quickly became popular and difficult to obtain as soon as it launched.

Finally, the most expensive Rolex timepiece referenced here is known as the “Smurf”. This reference has a blue bezel and blue dial which remind people of the magical creatures that live in a mushroom forest! The value of this watch comes from the fact that it is made of solid white gold, providing an understated richness. The blue bezel/blue dial combination was discontinued in 2020, but immediately replaced by a blue bezel and black dial. While some people still refer to the new Submariner as a “Smurf”, the name “Cookie Monster” has been gaining in popularity. Only time will tell what nickname sticks!

Rolex nicknames definitely do not stop after the ones mentioned above. However, in the interest of time, so perhaps a Popular Rolex Nicknames: Part 2 is needed. 

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