If you’re in the sneaker world, you know that certain shoes come with multiple names. Some of these names are more official than others, but each of them being unique and telling a story. For example, the first colorway of the famous Air Jordan 1 got its name simply from its black and red colors. But when Michael Jordan debuted his first shoe with Nike on the court back in 1985, the shoe was banned from the NBA because of its violations of uniform rules. Since then, the shoe has been dubbed the Jordan 1 Banned. A few years later, sneaker enthusiasts coined their own term Bred, a combination of black and red.
This act of creating new names for collectible items is also found in the Watch world. Just like sneakers, watches have a huge collecting community that has created nicknames for some of their most notable models. These nicknames add a level of playfulness to watches for longtime enthusiasts and newcomers to the game.
Rolex is a brand notorious for having some of the most well-known models and alternative names. Even though they are unofficial, these names have been so colloquial that they are referenced around the world.
Originally designed at the request of PanAm airlines to meet the needs of their transcontinental pilots, the red and blue bezel on this specific Rolex model is considered a classic amongst the GMT class. As the watch became more commercialized, it was given the name “Pepsi” based off of the beverage company with synonymous colors.
Can’t talk about Pepsi without mentioning Coke. The popular soft drink was also paired with a GMT Master, with this one sporting a black and red bezel. Even though there is no black in the exact design of the ubiquitous logo, the similarities in the colors make it easy to name and recognize.
This GMT introduced a their Cerachrom bezel to replace the original aluminum design. In the past, Rolex said that working on ceramic bezels was extremely difficult based off of the material, making two-toned bezels seem like an unattainable dream. But, back in 2013, Rolex introduced the design of their new GMT model, which made waves within the watch community. This black and blue toned bezel was later given the name “Batman” based off of the caped crusader’s often themed colors.
Following the same superhero path, the “Hulk” Submariner was given its nickname based off of its green color on both the bezel and dial. A green bezel was first introduced in 2003 as a 50th anniversary release of the Submariner model, and continued with a green dial in the reference 116610LV. The “Hulk” nickname can also be referencing the updated Submariner’s thicker body and wider lugs, being compared to the green monster’s huge size.
The reference 16610LV was the first to bring green to the Submariner family, and it also previewed the larger hour makers to come in the following generation. This model released in 2003 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Submariner line. Since then, the watch community gave the nickname based on its similarities to the Jim Henson created character.
The Smurf Submariner follows the same line of memorable childhood characters. This Submariner is a fresh take on the previous models, being packed with 18K white gold. The watch gets its name based off of the blue bezel and dial with hits of white, resembling the small characters from the show.
The white dial models of the Explorer II are referred to as “Polar” – a reference to the ice covered poles. The white dial first appeared in the reference 16570 and has come to be a staple of the Explorer II. The contrasting black details make it particularly popular with enthusiasts.