by Jordan Gregson

Decoding Rolex Slang, Nicknames and Terminology

Rolex is one of the most well known luxury watch brands globally. O...
Decoding Rolex Slang, Nicknames and Terminology

Rolex is one of the most well known luxury watch brands globally. Over the decades collectors and watch enthusiasts have used jargon, slang and distinctive nicknames for specific Rolex models that can be difficult to understand without an explanation. Whether you're a seasoned collector or new to the world of Rolex, understanding the slang and horological jargon can deepen your appreciation of these masterpieces. Whether you are looking for a pre-owned Rolex watch, or are seeking a brand new piece from an authorised dealership, it can help to have a better understanding of the terminology used to describe Rolex watches. Let's dive into the fascinating realm of Rolex slang, Rolex terminology, and Rolex watch nicknames.

Rolex Watch Nicknames Explained

Batman – Referring to the GMT-Master II with the black and blue Cerachrom bezel and Oyster bracelet. The GMT Batman was first released in 2013 under the reference 116710BLNR and more modern releases using 126710BLNR model number with the updated 3235 movement.. The 'BLNR' part of the model number is short for 'Bleu Noir', which is French for 'Blue Black'. The Batman was given its nickname purely due to the black and blue colour combination on the bezel. The striking colour combination captures attention, making the "Batman" a highly demanded Rolex watch.

Batgirl – The Batgirl is identical to the GMT 'Batman' with the black and blue bezel. However the Batgirl features a Rolex jubilee bracelet rather than the Oyster as seen with the 'Batman'. The 'Batgirl' uses the same model number as the 'Batman' 116710BLNR and more modern releases using 126710BLNR with the updated 3235 movement.

Pepsi - Another nickname given for a GMT-Master, with a blue and red bezel insert. The Rolex Pepsi GMT-Master has been around since the GMT’s debut in 1950s. In fact, Rolex has made the blue and red bezel in Bakelite, aluminium, and now, Cerachrom ceramic variant under the model number 126710BLRO. The 'BLRO' part of the model number is short for 'Bleu Rouge' which is French for 'Blue, Red'. The red and blue bezel of the GMT mirrors the Pepsi brand's iconic logo. This vibrant bezel represents the day/night cycle in the GMT function and is a pop culture icon in its own right.

Rolex Kermit Rolex Hulk Rolex Starbucks

Kermit – Released in 2004 before the Hulk, there was the Rolex "Kermit" – a Submariner Date model celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Submariner line released under reference 16610LV, with the 'LV' suffix on the model number short for 'Lunette Vert' which means 'green bezel'. It featured a black dial paired with a green bezel, earning its nickname from the famous Muppet character. The Rolex Submariner 'Kermit' featured a 40mm case, and 'MAXI' dial with larger hour and markers and fatter hands than the 16610, and was in production until 2010 when it was replaced by the 'Hulk'.

Hulk – The Rolex "Hulk" now discontinued, is a nickname for the Submariner Date on an Oyster bracelet, and green dial and bezel is a firm favourite at JJW Watches. The Rolex Submariner Hulk was initially released in 2010 under reference 116610LV and came with a 40mm case diameter and was fitted with the Rolex 3135 movement. The 'LV' suffix on the model number is short for 'Lunette Vert' which means 'green bezel'. Its bold, all-green colour scheme is reminiscent of the Marvel superhero, making it instantly recognizable and highly sought after by collectors.

Starbucks - Rolex Starbucks released in 2020 under reference 126610LV was also referred to as the “New Kermit” or the “Cermit” refers to the new green bezel Submariner model. The 126610LV replaced the 116610LV, also known as the 'Hulk'. The new 126610LV Submariner 'Starbucks' followed the same aesthetic as the 'Kermit' with green bezel, black dial, and Oyster bracelet. The 'Starbucks' was fitted with the latest Cerachrom bezel insert which replaced the aluminium insert seen in the 'Kermit'. The Rolex Submariner 'Starbucks' features a 41mm diameter case and is fitted with the Rolex 3235 calibre movement.

Smurf – The Rolex Submariner 'Smurf' is a blue dial, and blue bezel Submariner Date model with reference number 116619. The 'Smurf' was first introduced in 2008 and discontinued in 2020. This Rolex was made from all 18ct white gold which gave the watch some recognisable weight. The all blue aesthetic was reminiscent of the Smurf cartoon character. The Submariner Smurf has a 40mm case diameter and fitted with 3135 Rolex movement.

James Bond - Several Rolex models have been worn by the famous spy in various films, but the Rolex "James Bond" watch typically refers to the original Submariner, model 6538. Produced by Rolex between 1954 and 1959. The Rolex Submariner 6538 became famous when worn by the late Sean Connery’s while portraying James Bond in the 1962 film Dr. No. The watch is recognisable by its 'Big Crown' which is 8mm.

James Cameron – The Rolex 'James Cameron' is a special edition Deepsea Sea-Dweller with a unique blue gradient dial named the D-Blue dial. This watch was released by Rolex to honour the film director James Cameron in his historic solo dive to the deepest part of the ocean, the Mariana Trench in 2012. The Rolex Deepsea 'James Cameron' was released in 2014 on model reference 116660 with a 44mm case and the ability for the watch to reach depths of 3900m or 12,800ft.

Rolex Watch Terminology

AD: 'AD' stands for 'Authorised Dealer'. These are shops who are authorised to sell brand new Rolex watches. 'AD's' are supplied their stock direct from Rolex, and are a very select few jewellers who are approved to sell new Rolex watches. You can see a directory of authorised dealers on the Rolex website.

Aftermarket: This refers to any parts added to a Rolex watch that are not manufactured by Rolex, sometimes referred to as 'custom'. It can be often seen with dials, and diamond bezels, where a third party company has manufactured a dial or diamond bezel to fit a specific Rolex watch.

Bezel: The bezel is the ring shaped component surrounding the watch dial. The bezel can be purely aesthetic or serve a specific purpose like seen in the GMT Master and diving watches. In the GMT-Master and Submariner models the bezel can rotate in the Datejust models the bezel is fixed and is often made of white or yellow gold.

Box & Papers: This term is used to describe a watch that comes with its originally supplied box and the watches original warranty papers. The warranty papers/card will feature the Rolex watch serial number and are unique to each watch.

Cerachrom: The Cerachrom bezel was released in 2005. This is the Rolex developed material used in the bezel inserts of modern Rolex watches. Cerachrom replaced the previous aluminium bezel inserts. The key benefits to this upgraded material are, scratch resistance, durable and hard wearing, fade resistant, UV resistant, glossy finish. Although the previous aluminium bezels are now a favourite of collectors, these inserts were easily scratched and susceptible to colour fading.

Crown Guard: The crown guard are the two metal protrusions that sit either side of the screw down crown on the watch case. The crown guards as the name suggests are their to guard the crown against damage.

Cyclops: A magnifying lens above the date window, the Cyclops lens is named after the one-eyed giant of Greek mythology. This feature enhances the date's readability and is a signature element of many Rolex models.

Full Set: This describes a watch that comes complete with all accessories and links, as it would have come out of the Rolex dealership when new. A full set Rolex will usually include, 2 swing tags, Rolex papers, Rolex Box, watch guide, warranty manual, and Rolex wallet, and all bracelet links. A Rolex watch coming as a full set can be seen as more desirable and potentially higher value to a prospective buyers.

Jubilee Bracelet: The jubilee bracelet is one of Rolex's most iconic and easily recognisable watch bracelets, this bracelet is made of a five piece link and can be often seen made out of a combination of steel and 18ct gold, or full steel. This bracelet was developed specifically for the Datejust launch in 1945.

Maxi Case: The Rolex 'Maxi Case' also known as the 'Super Case' refers to a specific case design that was introduced on the GMT-Master II and Submariner models in the mid 2000's. The Maxi Case was seen introduced on the Submariner range on the 116610LN reference. The case was still 40mm in size but wore very differently on the wrist. The main differences were larger lugs, broader crown guards, wider bezel, and thicker profile.

Maxi Dial: The Maxi Dial refers to a Rolex dial that has larger hour markers and thicker hands.

Oyster: The Oyster case is the foundation of Rolex's fame, representing the world's first waterproof watch case. When seeing the word 'Oyster' written on the dial this indicates a waterproof watch. This innovation has become synonymous with Rolex, emphasising the brand's commitment to durability and precision.

Oyster Bracelet: The Rolex Oyster bracelet is a hard wearing and robust 3 piece link metal bracelet introduced by Rolex in the late 1930's. The Oyster bracelet was designed for durability and comfort, making it the ideal sports watch bracelet. Recognised by its large broad flat links, the Oyster bracelet is a simpler and more utilitarian bracelet compared to the Jubilee and is why its seen on the sports watches such as the Submariner and Sea Dweller. The Oyster bracelet features a unique closing system called the Oyster lock clasp which prevents accidental opening.

Parachrom Hairspring: A unique movement feature developed by Rolex, the Parachrom hairspring is made from a special alloy that is resistant to magnetic fields and up to 10 times more resistant to shocks. The latest iteration of this movement component is identifiable by its blue colour.

Perpetual: This term refers to Rolex's self-winding movement that allows the watch to run continuously while wearing. The watch movement harnesses energy through the natural motion and rotation of your wrist. The self winding movement is an incredible piece of engineering. When you see 'Oyster Perpetual' on the Rolex dial that refers to the cases waterproofness and auto winding movement.

Quick set: This term is used to describe a Rolex watch that is equipped with the quick set date feature. So you can adjust the date without having to move the hour and minute hands forward 24 hours. On a quick set watch the date can be set independently of the time setting, making the date change process much easier and quicker. The quick set function on a Rolex is usually on the first pull out setting of the screw down crown.

Rolesor: This is a term coined by Rolex to describe the use of gold and stainless steel together in a watch. Most obviously seen on a Rolesor bracelet, with stainless steel and 18ct yellow gold running through the centre.