Rolex originally introduced the red and black bezel color combination on their first GMT-Master II model (aka the Fat Lady). This particular bezel quickly became known as the “Coke” bezel in reference to its colors and keeping with the soda nickname theme. The current collection of GMT-Master II watches offered by Rolex all include ceramic bezels and the Coke color combo is notably missing — the last model that was made available with the Coke bezel was the GMT-Master II ref. 16710.
When the Rolex GMT-Master was unveiled in 1955 it was a true pilot’s watch as it was specifically created for Pan Am pilots to keep track of two different time zones while they flew across the skies. An important component of the GMT-Master was its dual colored bezel to allow wearers to differentiate between day and night hours. The original Rolex GMT-Master had a blue and red bezel, which is now affectionately known as the “Pepsi” bezel due to its resemblance to the logo colors of the popular soda. Since its inception, the Pepsi bezel has been found on several different versions of both the GMT-Master and GMT-Master II watches, including a contemporary version in ceramic.
One of the most popular GMT-Master II models offered by Rolex today is the GMT-Master II ref. 116710BLNR, also known as the “Batman” — named so for its blue and black colors on the Cerachrom ceramic bezel. When Rolex first introduced the ceramic bezels, they were all presented in one color as the company noted that making dual colors would be impossible. Yet, a few years later, they managed to overcome the challenges and produce a bi-colored ceramic bezel. The stainless steel Rolex Batman is almost as famous as the superhero character it’s named after.
In the early 1960s, Rolex introduced a two-tone version of the GMT-Master with the Rolex ref. 1675/3. To complement the mix of steel and yellow gold, the GMT-Master ref. 1657/3 was outfitted with a brown and gold bezel insert, gaining its nickname “Root Beer” for its resemblance to the brown soda. In the 1980s, Rolex then launched the GMT-Master II ref. 16753 — another two-tone model also sporting the Root Beer bezel. The GMT-Master Root Beer is sometimes also referred to as the “Clint Eastwood” since the famous actor wore his while starring in a few movies.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the legendary Submariner, Rolex launched the Submariner ref. 16610LV in 2004. The most striking feature of the commemorative Rolex Sub was its green bezel — which is why it is nicknamed after the popular green frog from the Muppets, “Kermit”
In 2010, Rolex updated their green Submariner with the ref. 116610LV. Greener than its predecessor thanks to its green dial and green ceramic bezel configuration, coupled with the watch’s wider lugs and broader lume plots led to a more impressive nickname — the “Hulk”.
An unpopular nickname, yet still used in some Rolex collecting circles, the Rolex “Smurf” is sometimes used to refer to the Rolex Submariner ref. 116619LB. Its 18k white gold body, blue dial, and blue bezel configuration recalls the blue and white colors of the Smurfs cartoon characters.
JOHN PLAYER SPECIAL
The Rolex Daytona Paul Newman ref. 6264 and the Rolex Daytona Paul Newman ref. 6241 dressed in gold with a black acrylic bezel and a black dial earned the John Player Special nickname in reference to the black and gold racecars of the Lotus Formula One team sponsored by the JPS cigarette company. These are extrememly rare models within the immensly popular Rolex Paul Newman line and subsequently, demand very high prices at auction.
The Rolex “Polar” refers to any of the white dial versions of the Explorer II series of watches catering to the adventurous. This can include the vintage Explorer II ref. 16550, the Explorer II ref. 16570, and the latest version, the Explorer ref. 216570. The icy cool look of the Explorer II ref. 216570 Polar features a broad 42mm stainless steel case, a white dial with the distinct orange 24-hour hand, and a stainless steel 24-hour bezel.