Rolex sport models like the Submariner and the GMT Master II are some of the most sought-after watches. Their classic and robust design make them perfect choices for any occasion, and over the years with this increased familiarity a lot of these models have gained nicknames. So, we figured we’d take a minute, have some fun, and highlight some of our favorites.
The GMT Master was first developed in 1954 in collaboration with Pan Am airlines. The red and blue colors of the airline became a distinct feature of the GMT Master’s bezel. Today this color-way has the reputation of being the most iconic variation among collectors. However, there is no longer an association between these particular bezel colors and the airline. Instead the red and blue bezel has been dubbed the “Pepsi” due to the distinct resemblance to the soda brand’s logo.
Continuing with the soda theme we have the “Coke”. Rolex first debuted the GMT Master II in 1983 with a new red and black bezel. Now the original GMT Master II, reference 16760, had already been given the nickname “Fat Lady” for its noticeably thicker case. However, the red and black bezel allowed for a second nickname, the “Coke”. A few years later in 1989 Rolex introduced the new reference 16710 seen here, which continued the “Coke” bezel’s reign until 2007.
The Root Beer 126711CHNR
Now on to the “Root Beer”. This is the final soda inspired variation of the GMT. Instead of having an association with a particular brand name, GMT’s with a brown and gold or a black and brown bezel take on the name for the drink itself. The “Root Beer” color-way most often appears on steel and gold variations of the model. This color scheme also holds the nickname “Dirty Harry” because it’s the watch worn by Clint Eastwood’s famous character. Most recently, in 2018, Rolex released the updated 126711 seen here, and it does a great job carrying on the nickname the “Root Beer”.
The Batman 116710BLNR
Next up, the “Batman”. The last GMT we will look at has the black and blue bezel and is one of the newer additions to the GMT Master II. It debuted in 2014 and quickly became one of the most popular iterations of the model. Of all of the nicknames given to Rolex models this one may seem like the biggest stretch, nevertheless the black and blue bezel is synonymous with the Caped Crusader. Most recently, in 2019, Rolex discontinued the 116710 “Batman” seen here, and it is now fetching a premium in the pre-owned market because of such high demand.
The Hulk 116610LV
Continuing with the superhero theme we have the “Hulk”. In 2003 Rolex introduced the 50th anniversary Submariner affectionately known as the “Kermit” because of its aluminum green bezel insert. Then at Basel World 2010 Rolex launched the updated Submariner in stainless steel, and beside the traditional Black Submariner there was a variation quickly nicknamed the “Hulk”. The Hulk features a Cerachrom green bezel and a green dial. The thicker case design and wider lugs of the updated model are reminiscent to the Hulk’s larger-than-life persona. And interestingly the Hulk is the first variation of the Submariner to feature both a dial and bezel in colors other than black and blue.
The Smurf 116619
And speaking of blue. last up, the “Smurf”. Introduced in 2008 as the first major update to the Submariner in nearly 30 years, the all-white gold Submariner was quite the showstopper. It was the first time we had seen the updated Rolex super case and solid bracelet with Glidelock clasp. And it cannot be overstated, this was in solid 18 karat white gold. The cherry on top though was the blue ceramic bezel and unique blue lacquer dial. This is a statement piece and it’s clear to see how it gained the nickname “The Smurf” or more appropriately “Papa Smurf”.
These are just some of the nicknames given to Rolex watches over the years. We’d love to hear what your favorites are and if you have any nicknames for your watch and thanks for watching.