Many Rolex Replica Watches have earned nicknames that – while entirely unofficial – are now commonplace among Rolex collector terminology. Other than the names of the different watch lines, the only official “names” that Rolex gives their timepieces are the reference numbers that correspond to a particular watch’s model, configuration, and materials.
With that in mind, some of the nicknames that various Rolex watches have acquired over the years have become so commonly-used and widely-accepted that they are about as “official” as a name can be without Rolex explicitly printing them in their catalogues.
Below is a brief overview of some of the most common Rolex nicknames and the different watches that have earned them. By no means is this list exhaustive; however the nicknames on this list are so commonly used, that you will most certainly come across them, if you have not already.
While the red and blue bezel insert of the first GMT-Master was originally produced in its now-iconic color scheme to match Pan-Am Airlines’ company colors, a Rolex GMT-Master Replica with red and blue bezel insert is frequently referred to as a “Pepsi” GMT due to the insert’s resemblance to the famous soda company’s logo.
Any Rolex GMT-Master or GMT-Master II can be called a Pepsi GMT, as the name really only refers to the watch’s bezel insert; however as the only Rolex currently in production with a red and blue bezel insert is the solid white gold GMT-Master II, the Pepsi nickname is most frequently used in conjunction with vintage watches.
Coke / Coca-Cola
In the same way that Rolex GMT-Master and GMT-Master II watches with red and blue bezel inserts get called Pepsi GMTs, those with red and black inserts have acquired a nickname that corresponds to the other leading cola manufacturer.
Although the Coca-Cola Company’s colors are actually red and white, the overall color profile of a stainless steel GMT with its black dial and red and black bezel insert, is not all that dissimilar to a full bottle of Coca-Cola, with its bright red and white label contrasting against the dark-colored fluid inside.
Keeping with the soda theme and Rolex’s GMT line of watches, those with brown dials and inserts have earned the nickname “Root Beer” GMTs. The brown dial and bezel insert configuration most frequently appears on Rolesor (two-tone) versions of Rolex’s GMT; however some all-gold renditions can be found with brown dials and bezel inserts.
The brown and gold color profile of Root Beer GMTs is vaguely reminiscent of a frothy glass of root beer; however it is likely that the “Root Beer” nickname was primarily a result of two other GMT-Master watches having soda-related names. Regardless, the “Root Beer” nickname has stuck, and it has become a mainstay in the world of Rolex collecting.
The green Rolex Submariner with Green Cerachrom (ceramic) bezel insert (reference 116610LV) has earned the nickname the “Hulk” due to its all-green color profile and thick case design. Although it is not the first time that Rolex has used the color green on the Submariner line of watches, the “Hulk” (released in 2010) marks the first time that both the dial and bezel insert have been manufactured in any color other than black or blue.
While a purple strap would be required in order to fully embrace the “Hulk” nickname, the thick construction of the redesigned Submariner case, combined with the all-green color profile of the reference 116610LV, makes for an overall appearance that is understandably reminiscent of Marvel Comics’ famous, green superhero.
While the all-green Submariner has earned the nickname the “Hulk”, another one of Rolex’s contemporary sport watches has also found itself with a superhero nickname. GMT-Master II watches that have been fitted with black and blue Cerachrom bezel inserts and blue 24-hour hands are frequently called “Batman” GMTs due to their dark color profile that embraces similar hues to Gotham’s superhero from the old DC comic books.
Many people know Rolex’s Day-Date line of watches simply as the Rolex “President.” While the “President” name actually only applies to a specific style of bracelet, it has become possibly the most commonly used nickname in the world of Rolex ownership.
The President bracelet was designed specifically for Rolex’s Day-Date line of watches, and it is only constructed from solid platinum or 18-karat gold. The President nickname is the result of a long history of Day-Date ownership by a number of different United States Presidents, and over the years, the President name has become synonymous with Rolex’s Day-Date line of watches.
One of the Holy Grails of Rolex collecting is a Paul Newman Daytona. The only thing that separates a “Paul Newman” from an ordinary vintage Rolex Daytona is the dial, which slightly differs in font, colors, and configuration. Although subtle, the differences give it a more exotic, somewhat retro appearance.
Originally, Rolex had trouble selling these slightly unconventional Daytona dials, and most customers of the time preferred their watches to have a more traditional appearance. Due to their lack-luster sales, Rolex produced a relatively small number of these exotic dials, making them quite rare and valuable among collectors today.
According to legend, Paul Newman wore one of these Rolex Daytona watchs during a photo shoot for an Italian magazine, and due to Newman’s star-power and a strong Italian collector/dealer network, these funky-dialed Daytona chronographs – that saw such poor sales numbers during the 1960s and 1970s –became a huge phenomenon in the world of watch collecting during subsequent decades.
As a tribute to filmmaker James Cameron’s successful 2012 descent to the deepest part of our planet’s ocean, the Mariana Trench, Rolex released a special edition of its Sea-Dweller line of watches, the Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller with D-Blue Dial.
Rolex supplied Cameron’s mission with a specially designed timepiece that was built to withstand the massive pressures present at the bottom of the ocean; and to celebrate their achievement (and Cameron’s), they released a special edition of their Deepsea Sea-Dweller watch, which has since earned the nickname, the “James Cameron.”
The only difference between the “James Cameron” and the regular Deepsea is the dial of the watch, which fades from deep blue to black, and has the Deepsea name printed in bright green letters.
Steve McQueen / Freccione
As the original Rolex Explorer II, the reference 1655 has acquired a variety of different nicknames over the years, including “Il Freccione” and the “Steve McQueen.”
“Il Freccione” roughly translates to “the arrow” in Italian, which is an obvious reference to the first Explorer II’s most noteworthy feature: its large, bright orange, 24-hour hand.
As for the “Steve McQueen” nickname, its origins trace back to a Rolex advertising campaign from the 1970s, in which the watch manufacturer had used McQueen’s image to try to boost sales of the slightly obscure watch designed for speleologists.
Despite sharing his name, the reference 1655 was never actually worn by Steve McQueen. In his personal life, McQueen chose to wear a stainless steel Submariner; however the high-profile advertisement campaign made such an impression that the reference 1655 Explorer II will forever be known as the “Steve McQueen.”
The “Thunderbird” nickname applies to any Rolex Datejust watch that is fitted with a rotating bezel (also known as a Turn-O-Graph). During the late 1950s, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbird squadron frequently used Rolex watches with rotating bezels. Rolex took full advantage of this marketing opportunity and released a special series of Datejust watches fitted with rotating bezels and the Thunderbird’s logo printed on the dial.
Today, a Datejust with a rotating bezel is branded as a Turn-O-Graph; however the Thunderbird nickname lives on, and all rotating-bezel Datejust watches are affectionately called “Thunderbirds” by many members of the Rolex collecting community.