Love them or hate ’em, nicknames for Rolex watches are ubiquitous in the watch enthusiast space. Many collectors rely on Rolex nicknames rather than having to remember long reference numbers. Isn’t it easier to say “Batman” instead of “126710BLNR”? Plus, they’re also shorthand for a particular model, material, color, or style within one general collection. Again, it’s simpler to say “Batman” than to say “steel GMT-Master II with a blue and black bezel and Oyster bracelet.”
While most people know the nicknames for the most popular Rolex watches, unless you’re steeped in Rolex collecting culture, it can be hard to keep up with the dozens of Rolex watch nicknames out there. So, we’ve compiled your go-to guide to Rolex nicknames, which we’ll continue to update as new ones come up.
Scroll on through to see how many you recognize.
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Most GMT-Master watches have bi-colored bezels, which makes them easy to spot among the various Rolex models. These eye-catching bezel colors have paved the way for some of the most well-known Rolex nicknames.
Back to Basics: What is a GMT Watch?
A Rolex Pepsi is any GMT-Master watch with a blue and red bezel. The very first Rolex GMT-Master watch that debuted in 1955 featured a blue and red Pepsi bezel, and Rolex continues to offer this famed colorway on current models.
A Rolex Pepsi is also known as a BLRO, which is short for Bleu Rouge or Blue Red in French.
Rolex Pepsi References
- GMT-Master 6542
- GMT-Master 1675
- GMT-Master 16750
- GMT-Master 16700
- GMT-Master II 16710
- GMT-Master II 116719
- GMT-Master II 126710
- GMT-Master II 126719
Rolex Batman and Batgirl
A Rolex Batman is any GMT-Master II watch with a black and blue bezel and an Oyster bracelet. On the other hand, a Rolex Batgirl is a GMT-Master II watch with a blue and black bezel and a Jubilee bracelet.
Rolex Batman and Batgirl watches are also known as BLNR, which is short for Bleu Noir or Blue Black in French.
Rolex Batman/Batgirl References
- GMT-Master II 116710 (Batman only)
- GMT-Master II 126710
Rolex Root Beer
A Rolex Root Beer is any GMT-Master watch with brown in its bezel. Vintage GMT-Master Root Beer watches were fashioned from yellow gold or steel/yellow gold and featured brown and gold bezels. Modern GMT-Master II Root Beer watches are crafted from Everose gold and feature black and brown bezels.
See it on the wrist: Rolex Root Beer GMT-Master II
Rolex Root Beer References
- GMT-Master 1675/3, 1675/8
- GMT-Master 16753, 16758
- GMT-Master II 16713, 16718
- GMT-Master II 126711CHNR, 126715CHNR
A Rolex Coke is any GMT-Master watch with a red and black bezel. The red and black bezel colorway debuted in the early-1980s with the introduction of the GMT-Master II. Although Rolex no longer produces the Coke, they remain popular in the secondary market.
Rolex Coke References
- GMT-Master II 16760
- GMT-Master II 16710
Rolex Fat Lady
A Rolex Fat Lady is the nickname given to the GMT-Master II ref. 16760 (the first GMT-Master II produced) thanks to the watch’s thicker case. This reference is also known as the Rolex Sophia Loren due to the case’s curvy silhouette.
A Rolex Sprite is the nickname given to the GMT-Master II ref. 126720VTNR left-handed watch with a green and black bezel.
Rolex Clint Eastwood
The Rolex Clint Eastwood is the nickname given to the vintage two-tone GMT-Master ref. 16753 with a Root Beer bezel because the famous Hollywood actor wore one in several of his films.
Rolex Pussy Galore
A Rolex Pussy Galore is the nickname given to the GMT-Master ref. 6542 (the first GMT-Master produced). The name is taken from the character played by Honor Blackman who wore the watch in the James Bond film Goldfinger (1964).
A SARU is any GMT-Master II watch with sapphires and rubies set into the bezel. These red and blue stones mimic the style of a Pepsi bezel.
Rolex SARU References
- GMT-Master II 116758SARU, 116759SARU
- GMT-Master II 126755SARU
The most expensive Rolex watch (retail price wise) during its era, the Rolex Ice is the GMT-Master II 116769TBR, which is a white gold model paved entirely in diamonds. Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo wears one.
Although the legitimacy of these models is debated, a Rolex Blueberry is any vintage GMT-Master ref. 1675 watch with a blue bezel insert, rumored to be custom-made for the United Arab Emirates military.
Vintage Rolex GMT-Master ref. 1675 watches with pointy crown guards are nicknamed Cornino, which is Italian for horn.
Taken from the famed supersonic commercial jetliner, Rolex Concorde watches are vintage GMT-Master ref. 1675 watches in yellow gold.
Rolex Pink Panther
The Rolex Pink Panther refers to a vintage GMT-Master ref. 1675 with a bezel that’s transformed into a vibrant fuchsia color. The watch is sometimes also called the GMT-Master Fuchsia.
Rolex submariner watches are some of the most famous in the world, beloved by celebrities, fictional characters, and regular folks alike. Many of these iconic divers made by Rolex also go by notable nicknames.
The Rolex Hulk refers to the Submariner ref. 116610LV, which features a green ceramic bezel and green dial. While Rolex no longer produces the Submariner Hulk, it remains one of the most popular models on the secondary market.
The Rolex Kermit refers to the Submariner ref. 16610LV, which was the first Submariner fitted with a green bezel. This Submariner with a green aluminum bezel and black dial was introduced to celebrate the collection’s 50th anniversary in 2003.
The Rolex Starbucks is what the current green Submariner ref. 126610LV is known as. The watch features a green ceramic bezel, a black dial, and a larger 41mm case. The watch is sometimes also called the Cermit: Ceramic + Kermit.
The Rolex Bluesy is any two-tone yellow gold and stainless steel Rolex Submariner watch with a blue bezel and dial.
Rolex Bluesy References
- Submariner 16803
- Submariner 16613
- Submariner 116613
- Submariner 126613
The Rolex Smurf is the now-discontinued white gold Submariner ref. 116619LB, characterized by its blue ceramic bezel and blue dial.
Rolex Cookie Monster
The Rolex Cookie Monster is the nickname given to the current white gold Submariner ref. 126619LB, which includes a blue ceramic bezel and black dial.
Rolex James Bond
The vintage Submariner ref. 6538 is known as the James Bond because it appeared in several 007 films starring Sean Connery including Dr. No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963), and Goldfinger (1964).
MilSub is the nickname given to vintage Submariner ref. 5513 and 5517 watches made for the British Ministry of Defense (MOD). Since these military-issued Submariners had to adhere to standards set out by the MOD, they features some distinct design traits such as fixed bars for straps, a tritium “T” marking on the dial, sword-shaped hands, and hash marks for each of the 60 minutes on the timing bezel.
Rolex Red Submariner
The Rolex Red Submariner is the nickname of the vintage Submariner ref. 1680 watches with the SUBMARINER name printed in red on the dial.
A number of Rolex Sea-Dweller models have also earned themselves nicknames, notably among them the “James Cameron” and the “Double Red”.
Rolex James Cameron
The Rolex James Cameron is any Deepsea watch with a blue-to-black gradient dial. This special dial was made to honor James Cameron’s recording-breaking dive into the Mariana Trench in 2012.
Rolex James Cameron References
- Deepsea 116660
- Deepsea 126660
- Deepsea 136660
Rolex Double Red Sea-Dweller
The Rolex Double Red Sea-Dweller (also known as the Rolex DRSD) is the nickname given to vintage Sea-Dweller ref. 1665 watches with two lines of text (SEA-DWELLER // SUBMARINER 2000) printed in red on the dial.
Rolex Great White
The Rolex Great White refers to any vintage Sea-Dweller ref. 1665 watch with all white text on the dial.
Rolex Triple Six
The Triple Six is the nickname given to the Sea-Dweller ref. 16660, which was introduced in 1978 and the first Sea-Dweller to feature a sapphire crystal.
Arguably the most valuable of all Rolex watches, Daytona chronographs are highly sought-after across vintage, retail, and secondary markets. Some Daytona models are especially famous, often known by their very own nicknames.
Back to Basics: What is a Chronograph Watch?
Daytona watches with white dials with black sub-dials are often called the Panda. Panda is a relatively common nickname in the watch world, given to chronograph watches with white dials and black subdials.
Rolex Panda References
- Daytona 126500LN
- Daytona 116500LN
- Daytona 116519
- Daytona 6239, 6241, 6240, 6262, 6264, 6263, 6265
Rolex John Mayer
The John Mayer is the nickname given to the yellow gold Daytona ref. 116508 fitted with a green dial. The watch gained its moniker after musician John Mayer talked about it during a highly watched interview on YouTube. Rolex discontinued the exceedingly popular Daytona John Mayer in 2023.
Rolex Rainbow Daytona
The Rolex Rainbow Daytona is any Daytona watch that features multi-colored sapphires set into the bezel. Daytona Rainbow models are available in yellow gold, white gold, and Everose gold.
Rolex Rainbow References
- Daytona 116599RBOW
- Daytona 116598RBOW
- Daytona 116595RBOW
Rolex Eye of the Tiger
The Eye of the Tiger is the nickname given to the yellow gold Daytona ref. 116588TBR, introduced in 2019. This special “off-catalog” gem-set Daytona features baguette diamonds set into the bezel and a black lacquer dial intertwined with diamonds.
The Rolex Platona refers to any platinum Daytona watch.
Rolex Platona References
- Daytona 126506
- Daytona 116506
- Daytona 116576TBR
Rolex Beach Daytona
The Rolex Beach Daytona refers to special sub-collection of four white gold Daytona ref. 116519 watches made in the 2000s that featured colorful dials with matching colorful straps made from exotic leather. The four colors of the Beach Daytona watches are yellow, turquoise blue, green, and pink.
The Leopard is the nickname given to the Rolex Daytona ref. 116598SACO with a leopard-style dial, cognac-colored sapphires set into the bezel, and a leopard-patterned leather strap. The Leopard is the nickname given to the Rolex Daytona ref. 116598SACO with a leopard-style dial, cognac-colored sapphires set into the bezel, and a leopard-patterned leather strap.
The nickname SACO can refer to any Rolex Daytona with cognac-colored sapphires set into the bezel. SACO is short for SAphirs COgnac, French for cognac sapphires.
Rolex SACO References
- Daytona 116578SACO,
- Daytona 116588SACO
- Daytona 116598SACO
Rolex Zenith Daytona
Made from 1988 to 2000, Rolex Zenith Daytona watches are known as such because they run on Zenith El-Primero-based chronograph movements called Caliber 4030.
Rolex Zenith References
- Daytona 16520
- Daytona 16523
- Daytona 16528
- Daytona 16529
- Daytona 16518
- Daytona 16519
Rolex Chairman Daytona
Produced in 1991, the yellow gold ref. 16528 with a galvanized ocean blue dial is often called the Chairman Rolex Daytona. It’s rumored that only 10 of these pieces exist as they were made for high-level Rolex executives and never produced for the public.
Patrizzi refers to a particular dial design found on select Daytona reference 16520 watches where the subdials transformed from white to beige or brown due to a manufacturing defect. Daytona Patrizzi watches are named after Osvaldo Patrizzi (watch expert and founder of Antiquorum), who discovered the anomaly.
Rolex Paul Newman
Daytona watches that are nicknamed Paul Newman are vintage four-digit references that are fitted with special dials, which were officially called exotic dials. These Daytona Paul Newman dials are characterized by contrasting sub-dials, Art Deco-style numerals, square-tipped hashmark, and other design details.
Actor and racecar driver Paul Newman was often seen wearing a Rolex Daytona with an exotic dial when he was alive, which explains the now-famous nickname. It’s been reported that Italian auctioneers coined the moniker in the 1980s to boost sales of this once slow-selling Rolex watch. In 2017, Paul Newman’s very own Rolex Daytona “Paul Newman” sold for a record-breaking $17.8 million at auction.
Price Guide: How Much Can I Get for My Rolex Daytona?
Rolex Paul Newman References
- Daytona 6239
- Daytona 6241
- Daytona 6262
- Daytona 6263
- Daytona 6264
- Daytona 6265
Rolex Big Eye and Big Red
Big Eye Daytona watches refer to vintage pieces with larger than normal subdials.
Rolex Big Red
Big Red Daytona models include a large DAYTONA inscription printed in red on the dial, right above the subdial at 6 o’clock.
The Daytona Solo is a particular ultra-rare version of the vintage reference 6240 with only the word “Rolex” on the dial and nothing else.
Rolex John Player Special
Nicknamed after the ’70s-era John Player livery found on Lotus Formula One team cars, the Rolex John Player Special refers to vintage yellow gold Daytona watches (references 6241 and 6264) with black bezels and black dials with gold subdials.
Datejust and Day-Date Nicknames
The Datejust and Day-Date are two of Rolex’s most famous classic watches, each defined by the calendar indications on their dials. Some Datejust and Day-Date watches have gained nicknames due to distinct design details.
Wimbledon refers to any Rolex Datejust watch fitted with a slate green dial with green-outlined Roman numeral hour markers.
Rolex Wimbledon References
- Datejust 36 126234, 126233, 126231, 126200
- Datejust 41 126300, 126334, 126331, 126333, 126303, 126301
- Datejust II 116333, 116334
Rolex Thunderbird refers to any Datejust Turn-O-Graph watches, characterized by rotating timing bezels. The Rolex Turn-O-Graph became the official watch of the United States Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron (better known as the Thunderbirds) in the 1950s, which explains the origins of the nickname.
Rolex Thunderbird References
- Datejust Turn-O-Graph 116264, 116261, 116263
- Datejust Turn-O-Graph 16250 16263 16253 16264
- Datejust Turn-O-Graph 1625
- Datejust Turn-O-Graph 6609, 6202, 6309
Rolex Buckley Dial
The Buckley dial is characterized by painted Roman numerals found on older Datejust watches. This particular dial style is named after Rolex collector and dealer, John Buckley, who popularized the design.
The Rolex President or Presidential is the unofficial but ubiquitous nickname of the Day-Date watch. The name is not only derived from the Day-Date’s bracelet, which is officially called the President bracelet but also from the fact that many world leaders, including American presidents, have worn the Rolex Day-Date.
See it on the wrist: Rolex “President” Day-Date 40 -White Gold, Green Dial m228239-0033
More on the Rolex Day-Date: The Ultimate Rolex Day Date Price Guide
Rolex Texas Timex
Rich Texans couldn’t get enough of gold Rolex Day-Date watches thanks in large part to it being the go-to timepiece of President Lyndon Johnson (a Texas native). These flashy signals of wealth became so omnipresent in certain circles in the Lone Star state that the Texas Timex moniker eventually stuck; the nickname even grew to eventually describe any full gold Rolex watch.
The rare vintage Rolex ref. 5100 quartz watch is affectionately known as the Rolex Texan due to its beefy silhouette and full gold construction.
More about Rolex Quartz: Rolex Quartz Watches – The Complete Guide
Produced in the 1970s and 1980s, Rolex Stella watches refer to Day-Date watches with hard enamel dials, often made in vibrant colors like turquoise, coral, red, yellow, and so on.
Some vintage Rolex Day-Date and Datejust watches feature a textured finish (on the bezel, bracelet links, or both) that resembles bark.
Explorer I and II Nicknames
Rolex Blackout Explorer
The Blackout Explorer is the nickname given to some rare Explorer ref. 14270 watches made for a brief time in the 1990s that featured black Arabic numerals rather than the customary white ones.
The Rolex Polar nickname refers to any Explorer II watch with a white dial.
Rolex Polar References
- Explorer II 16550
- Explorer II 16570
- Explorer II 216570
- Explorer II 226570
Rolex Steve McQueen ( Freccione)
The Rolex Steve McQueen refers to the vintage Explorer II 1655 because it was erroneously reported that the actor wore one. The Explorer II 1655 is also known as the Freccione, derived from the Italian word for arrow in reference to the watch’s prominent arrow-tipped orange hand.
Other Rolex Nicknames
In addition to the model-specific Rolex nicknames we outlined above, there are others worth knowing that describe particular design traits, notable vintage models, or rare one-off pieces. Many of dials mentioned below are covered in greater detail in our Complete Guide to Every Special Rolex Dial Ever Produced.
Rolex Tiffany Dial
A Rolex Tiffany refers to any Rolex watch that’s co-branded with the Tiffany & Co. logo on the dial. Tiffany & Co. was once an official retailer of Rolex watches and had the authority to stamp Rolex dials with its logo.
Rolex Sigma Dial
A Rolex Sigma dial refers to any vintage Rolex dial with tiny Greek letters Sigma on the bottom of the dial to indicate the hands and hour markers are made from 18k gold.
Rolex Nipple Dial
Rolex Nipple dials describe dials on select vintage Submariner and GMT-Master watches where the faceted hour markers are slightly raised and filled with lume.
Rolex Serti Dial
Derived from the French word “sertissage” (setting), a Rolex Serti dial refers to gem-set hour markers. This nickname is most commonly used to describe vintage Submariner and GMT-Master watches with indexes set with precious gems like diamonds, rubies, and sapphires.
Rolex Rail Dial
A Rolex Rail dial denotes a vintage dial where the letter “C” in “Chronometer” aligns with the letter “C” in “Certified” in the ‘Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified’ inscription.
Rolex California Dial
A California dial refers to one that mixes Roman numerals, Arabic numerals, and shapes for the hour markers–you can see this distinct layout on several Panerai watches. Rolex patented this design in 1941 and called it the “Error-Proof” dial. The California nickname was only adopted around the 1980s and there are a few theories as to its origins. The leading theory is that a California-based dial refinisher named Kirk Rich specialized in making this dial design for Rolex Bubbleback watches for the Japanese market.
Tropical is often used to describe vintage Rolex dials that have transformed in color due to a chemical defect. The name comes from the fact that watches that were exposed to more sun and salt water tended to morph more easily than others.
Rolex Bart Simpson
The Rolex Bart Simpson refers to select vintage Submariner ref. 5513 watches (produced around 1966) where the Rolex coronet resembles the head of the famous yellow cartoon character.
Rolex Exclamation Point and Underline Dial
In the early part of the 20th Century, radium was the standard luminous material used on watch dials. However, it was soon discovered that while effective for glowing, radium was a highly dangerous substance. Therefore, watchmakers switched over to safer tritium as their go-to lume. Rolex Exclamation Point dials (characterized by a small circle under the 6 o’clock rectangular marker, which together looks like !) that rolled out around 1962 denote less radium used on the dial to adhere to new Atomic Energy Commission regulations.
On the other hand, Rolex Underline dials (characterized by a small horizontal line found above or below the hands placed near text) introduced around 1963/64 signifies even less radioactive material and the start of the transition from radium to tritium.
Rolex Bubbleback watches are a sub-collection of vintage Rolex pieces that feature bubble-like protruding casebacks. The curvy caseback was necessary to make room for the rotor that served to wind up the then-new Rolex Perpetual automatic movement.
Rolex Jean-Claude Killy
Named after the champion skier (and brand ambassador), Rolex Jean-Claude Killy watches describe a group of vintage Rolex Dato-Compax chronograph calendar references (4768, 4767, 5036, 6036, and 6236).
Rolex Bao Dai
The Rolex Bao Dai is the nickname given to a one-of-a-kind Rolex ref. 6062 purchased by the last Emperor of the Nguyen dynasty of Vietnam in 1954. When the Bao Dai watch was auctioned for over $5 million in 2017, it was the most expensive Rolex sold at the time.
The Rolex Unicorn is the nickname of a one-of-a-kind (and controversial) white gold Daytona ref. 6265 that once belonged to famed Rolex collector John Goldberg. The watch was auctioned in 2018 for $5.9 million.
Derived from the French word bombé (which means cambered or arched), Rolex Bombay is used to describe vintage pieces with arched lugs.
Octopus refers to ornate Rolex bracelets that are set with precious gems that resemble the suction cups of an octopus.
Taken from Italian for “big frying pan,” the Rolex Padellone is the nickname bestowed upon the vintage Triple Calendar Moonphase ref. 8171, which featured a 38mm case that was considered large for the era.
The Albino nickname can refer to two different Rolex watches. The Albino GMT-Master watches are very rare examples of the reference 6542 with white dials. Similarly, Albino Daytona watches feature monochromatic silver dials without contrasting subdials. One famous example of an Albino Daytona was a reference 6263 owned by Eric Clapton and sold at auction in 2008.
How Does a Rolex Watch Gain a Nickname?
So, how exactly does a Rolex watch gain a nickname? They can come from a variety of sources including passionate collectors, dealers, writers, and even YouTube content creators. In the 1980s and 1990s, auctioneers were known to coin catchy nicknames to encourage sales.
These days it’s not uncommon to find forums discussing potential nicknames for new Rolex watches. For instance, there’s some chatter about nicknaming the latest yellow gold GMT-Master II with a grey and black ceramic dial the Guinness; let’s see if that sticks.