The Rolex Nicknames You Need To Know

30 June 2020
ROLEX, Submariner, Daytona, Paul Newman, GMT, Watches, SWISS WATCHES
Six monikers for some of the world’s best-known wristwatches

Nicknames aren’t the first thing you’d associate with Rolex watches. After all, a Rolex wristwatch can be expensive to buy and, even if you have the money, surprisingly hard to get hold of. Naturally though, this also makes them collectible. And wherever there are collectables, there are collectors, too. Spend enough time around Rolex fans and you soon come to realise that many of the most famous Rolex references go by more than one name. Broadly speaking, they can be sorted into three categories: Hollywood, superheroes and sodas,obviously.

Read on for the six Rolex nicknames worth spending time to get to know.

The Rolex GMT Master II or the Pepsi

There is just something about the Rolex GMT’s dual colour bezel that lends itself to nicknames. At 2018’s Baselworld, Rolex reintroduced their red and blue bezel GMT Master II, this time with a jubilee strap. The split bezel, used to be able to keep track of Greenwich Meantime, was originally developed for Pan American airways in 1954. That, with the use of the independently set GMT hour hand, allows you to keep track of multiple time zones at once. Useful at a time when smartphones weren’t even a twinkle in Steve Jobs’ eye. The bezel’s colour scheme calls to mind a can of Pepsi brand. Listen, we never said these nicknames were profound.

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The Rolex GMT Master II or the Root Beer

Don’t ask us what it is about fizzy drinks and Rolex fans but as well as the Pepsi, Rolex also made a GMT with a black and red bezel, that, you guessed it, was nicknamed the Coke. The coke is harder to come by these days but there is always the Root Beer. Same GMT master functionality but this time with a graduated brown dial and gold inserts. Sounds weird, but actually looks much better in the flesh.

The Rolex GMT Master II or the Batman

Another GMT Master II, but this time, the bezel is blue and black. The functionality is still the same as its fizzy namesake, but this one’s darker looks and illusive nature gave it an altogether more heroic nickname. The Dark Knight and Bruiser (black and blue, remember?) have both been used as monikers for this rarest of modern references, introduced in 2013, but people seem to have settled on Batman. Not the nickname it deserves, but the one it needed etc etc.

The Green Rolex Submariner or the Hulk

This particular Rolex Submariner’s nickname is fairly self-explanatory, although its colour is perhaps the only thing it shares with Bruce Banner’s alter ego. Like most great Rolex, the Sub was a tool watch first. Introduced in 1953 and designed to be used under water, at depths of up to 300m, the Submariner’s unidirectional, rotating bezel allowed divers to monitor their dive times accurately and decompress safely, unlike its namesake. Incidentally, an earlier version of this model, featuring a green bezel but a black dial was dubbed The Kermit.

The Rolex Daytona or the Paul Newman

Paul Newman became synonymous with Rolex’s Daytona when he was given one by his wife, Joanne Woodward. The chronograph’s original name refers to Daytona Florida, where motor racing boomed in the early sixties. Newman began wearing his watch whenever he raced and watch and man became linked forever. In fact, Paul Newman’s own Rolex Daytona became the most expensive watch ever sold at auction when it sold for $17.8 million in 2017. Modern iterations of the Daytona (above) now feature a ceramic bezel and a waiting list as long as your arm but they’re just as striking.

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The Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller or the James Cameron

Rolex’s Deepsea Dweller D-blue was created to commemorate the visionary director’s solo trip to the Mariana Trench (yes, the deepest part of the ocean). The man behind Titanic has a deep-rooted interest in the sea (see also 1989’s The Abyss) and upon returning from the bottom of the ocean, Rolex set about making him a watch suitable for use at such depths. The result features a gas escape valve, used to allow the helium and oxygen mix breathed at such depths to escape when resurfacing. As such, Cameron can be one of the few people who own said watch who might actually have call to use it to its full potential.