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Feature: Essential guide to Rolex nicknames

When it comes to the minefield of Rolex nicknames, do you know your “Smurf” from your “Starbucks”? Your “Coke” from your “Root Beer”? Our handy guide will make sure you’re fully clued-up.


Before the Submariner was given its official name, Rolex registered several alternatives, one of which was “Frogman”. So, it’s fitting that this iteration of the Submariner—the reference 16610LV—was nicknamed Kermit, after the legendary Muppets character.


An updated version of the legendary “Kermit” Submariner, the “Starbucks” follows its predecessor’s colourway, but with a darker bezel and slightly larger case. The nickname refers to the bezel, which is in a shade of green similar to the coffee shop giant’s logo.


Possibly the most wide-reaching of all of Rolex’s nicknames, “Pepsi” refers to the GMT-Master’s iconic red and blue bezel. It was designed to help aviators differentiate AM from PM, or day from night. The Pepsi bezel is now a quintessential feature of a GMT watch from any brand.


Image courtesy of Bonhams

Image courtesy of Bonhams

The combination of white gold twinned with a blue bezel and dial led to the reference 116619LB being nicknamed the “Smurf”, after the similarly coloured gnome-like children’s cartoon characters. Not the most dignified name for a top-tier luxury dive-watch, admittedly.


This is the GMT-Master II with the blue and black bezel and Oyster bracelet. As a robust, water-resistant sports watch that tells the time simultaneously in two time zones, it’s a useful bit of kit worthy of a superhero who’s partial to nifty gadgets.


If you don’t like the idea of wearing a watch named after a warbly-voiced puppet amphibian, you could opt for the “Hulk” instead. This is the now-discontinued steel Submariner where both the dial and bezel are the same leafy hue as the muscular Marvel superhero.


In 2019 “Batman” was joined by fellow Gotham City crime-fighter “Batgirl”. This is the GMT-Master II with the same bezel, but on a Jubilee bracelet. References 116710BLNR and the newer 126710BLNR are both referred to as Batgirl, so long as they’re twinned with the Jubilee.

John Mayer

The ultimate accolade for any Rolex collector is to have a watch named after you. The musician John Mayer revealed in a 2019 interview that he owned a yellow-gold Daytona with green dial—reference 116508—and it’s been known as the “John Mayer Daytona” ever since.


Two years after its controversial release, the dust is yet to settle on the naming of this left-handed GMT-Master II. Superhero fans went with the “Green Lantern” or the “Riddler”, while the soft-drinks contingent insisted on calling it the “Sprite”. The latter seems to be edging it.


Could Rolex bring back the “Coke”? This black and red bezel GMT-Master II has been tipped to make its long-awaited return after being discontinued in 2005 after sixteen years. Keep your eyes peeled at the upcoming Watches & Wonders.


The “Rainbow” Daytona is one of Rolex’s most in-demand pieces. It isn’t hard to see where it gets its nickname from, thanks to the graduated bezel consisting of 36 baguette-cut sapphires. It also helps that its reference number ends in “RBOW”.


Considered Rolex’s most outrageous release, the “Leopard” Daytona always gets people talking. This wild watch is smothered in Leopard print across the dial and strap. If that wasn’t enough, its bezel boasts 36 cognac sapphires, as well as diamond-set end links and indices.

Eye of the Tiger

The “Eye of the Tiger” is another dazzling Daytona model. This time, Rolex appears to have been inspired by a different big cat: a tiger. The sparkling dial consists of black lacquer and diamonds which create a tiger-print pattern. The bezel boasts 36 trapeze-cut diamonds.


Image courtesy of Bonhams

Image courtesy of Bonhams

“Stella” refers to vintage Rolex watches—usually Day-Dates—with colourful lacquered dials that were aimed at the Middle Eastern market in the 1970s. Available in bright shades from red to yellow, watches with Stella dials have boomed in popularity lately.


Image courtesy of Bonhams

Image courtesy of Bonhams

“Buckley” is a style of Rolex dial. It features painted Roman numerals in a particular font which have been printed onto the dial, as opposed to applied ones. The Buckley dial is commonly found on vintage Datejust models from the 1970s and 80s.


Given that the President is the official name Rolex gives to its Day-Date bracelet, you could say that the origins of this name come from Rolex itself. But over the years, having been worn by various world leaders, the watch has come to be known as the “President”.

Root Beer

“Root Beer” is the name given to the two-tone GMT-Master II with either the older copper-coloured or contemporary black dial. While the older reference 16713 (pictured) has a gold and brown aluminium bezel, the contemporary 126711 has a black and brown ceramic one.

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