Everything You Need to Know About Rolex Nicknames [Part 2]

In our last article we discussed a lot of Rolex nicknames. But there are more! That is exactly what we will cover in this article.

'Root Beer'

Rolex GMT-Master Root Beer

Photo credit by Millenary Watches

Next to the Coke and Pepsi, we have another beverage inspired look from Rolex: the root beer. These watches also belong to its GMT-line and feature a brown dial and inserts.

'Paul Newman'

Rolex Daytona Paul Newman

Photo credit by TownAndCountryMag

Do you know which Rolex holds the record for the highest auction amount?

Well, it is a specific Rolex Daytona, which was worn by Paul Newman during a photoshoot for an Italian magazine. It went out for a whomping $17.8 million.

Now, the interesting part is when this specific model of Rolex Daytona premiered, it wasn’t taken kindly due to the subtle differences in its dial from its siblings.

However, once Paul Newman sported it, subtle font, color, and configuration differences, which were once frowned upon, became a style statement.

'James Cameron'

Rolex James Cameron Deepsea Sea-Dweller

Photo credit by Watchtime

The nickname “James Cameron” is associated with a special edition of Rolex’s Sea-Dweller line, which was released to accompany James Cameron on his exploration of the deepest part of the ocean, commonly known as the Mariana Trench.

It had a specialized design to withstand the extreme pressure that it would face while exploring an area that had never been seen by mankind before.

In terms of aesthetical difference, this model is similar to the other Sea-Dweller models with the only difference being the dial and case size (James Cameron has a 44 mm case while the other Sea-Dwellers have a 43mm or 40mm one). It has a combination of deep blue and black and fades from the lighter color to the darker one.

In terms of water depth, the ‘James Cameron’ was designed to function without any issues up to 3.900 meters (or 12.800 ft), whereas, the recent Sea-Dwellers have a depth rating of up to 1220 meters (or 4.000 ft).

'Il Freccione/Steve McQueen'

Rolex Explorer 2 Freccione/Steve McQueen

Photo credit by Bob's Watches

If you look at the Rolex Explorer II’ reference 1655, the first thing that you would probably notice is its bright orange 24-hour arrow.

Due to this prominent design feature, people started calling it II Freccione, which is an Italian word that translates to “the arrow”.

Now, that’s one name down, what’s the origin of the other?

Steve McQueen was the face of this watch model during its advertising campaign in the 1970s, which resulted in it being called the Steve McQueen.

However, in actual life, he never wore this watch; his preferred timepiece was a stainless-steel Submariner.


Rolex Datejust Turn-O-Graph Thunderbird

Photo credit by Bob's Watches

In the second half of the 1950s, one of the US Air Force squadrons, the Thunderbird, started accessorizing with Rolex Datejust watches having rotating bezels.

When Rolex noticed this, they took it as a marketing opportunity and released a specific line of Datejust watches that featured rotating bezels and the Thunderbird’s logo.

Looks like this advertisement stunt was pretty successful because this series of Datejust watches are still lovingly referred to as the Thunderbirds.


Rolex Perpetual Precision Padellone

Photo credit by Hodinkee

Many of you might not be familiar with what a Padellone is. It is an Italian word that translates to a “large frying pan”. Interesting, right?

This nickname is associated with one of the vintage Rolex models, which came out in 1949. We are talking about the Rolex Moonphase 8171, which had a peculiar design in terms of that time’s preferences.

During the 1950s, small watches were manufactured with cases in the late 20mm range, and thus, the Moonphase 8171 stood out when it was first introduced with a 38mm case. 

However, watch enthusiasts regard it as one of the most well-proportioned and feature-rich watches of all time. It had a triple calendar function, with a moonphase complication.

'Red Line'

Rolex Submariner 1680 Red Line

Photo credit by A Blog To Watch

Do you know what’s the first Submariner to use the date complication?

Well, it’s the one that you’re seeing in the image, the reference 1680. Initially, Rolex wanted to stick with the time-only version of the Submariner line, but with this model, they switched their strategy, and thus, it has a special place in almost every diver watches’ enthusiast’s heart.

When the reference 1680 was first released, it’s dial surface had its name on it in red ink. However, Rolex changed it with white ink in the second half of the production, which still continues.

As most of you would have probably guessed, the first batch of 1680, which had the red ink, became famous by the name of Red Line. 

The Red Lines are quite rare because Rolex used to replace these watches with the ones with white text when they came for scheduled maintenance.

'Double Red Sea-Dweller (DRSD)'

Rolex Sea-Dweller 1665 Double Red Sea-Dweller (DRSD)

Photo credit by Hourglass

The Double Red Sea-Dweller or DRSD’s story is similar to that of the Red Line. When the Rolex Sea-Dweller reference 1665 was first released, it had two red lines of text on the dial, which had both Sea-Dweller and Submariner written in them.

However, just like the Red Line, after some years, Rolex discontinued this practice and switched it with all white text. Due to this design change, Rolex enthusiasts named the reference 1665 as DRSD, short for Double Red Sea-Dweller.

'Great White'

Rolex Submariner 1665 Great White

Photo credit by Bob's Watches

As we mentioned earlier, when the Rolex Sea-Dweller reference 1665 was released, it had both Submariner and Sea-Dweller written on its dial, which blurred the distinction between the two watch lines.

In order to counter this issue, Rolex modified the reference 1665 in 1977. This modification separated Sea-Dwellers from Submariners and turned the former into a separate line.

The changes included the conversion of red text to white and removal of “Submariner 2000” from the dial.  In order to mark this watch as the transforming model in history, Rolex enthusiasts remember it as All-White.

Since the first All-White came out, there has been various variation in this watch model, but the most treasured one still remains the first design that marked the inauguration of the Sea-Dweller line.


Rolex 6062 Stelline

Photo credit by Monochrome Watches

One of the most favorite Rolex of vintage watch collectors is the reference 6062, which is a close relative of the reference 8171 Padellone that we discussed earlier. It is an excellent combination of functionality and beauty, with its triple calendar and moonphase specs and a dial that resembles a galaxy.

Now, let’s talk a bit about its nickname, Stelline. It is an Italian word that translates to “little star”. After reading the translation and viewing the image, most of you would have pretty much guessed that its star-shaped hour markers are the reason behind its unique nickname.

The Rolex reference 6062 was produced for a very limited time, specifically the one with the star-shaped hour markers, and thus, is very rare. Also, its beauty and impressive specifications have made it a gem in the eyes of vintage watch collectors and Rolex enthusiasts.

These are some of the most famous nicknames of various Rolex watch models with their origins. Make sure to check out part 1 as well in case you haven't read it yet.

Which one’s your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published