Rolex and green – a happy symbiosis or one of history's bad jokes?

Rolex and green – a happy symbiosis or one of history's bad jokes?

That's a matter for endless debate, of course, because in the year when the colour green was introduced at Rolex, it was a highly contentious issue. Whatever happened to being elegant and understated? What's this froggy colour all about? And yes, the watch quickly acquired its nickname: the Rolex Submariner Rev. 16610LV was soon known as the Rolex "Kermit". That's right, the frog character from the Sesame Street show. And subsequent models in green were given similarly descriptive names such as "Hulk" or "Starbucks".

But let's take one thing at a time. 2003 was a special year: Rolex was due to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the launch of its Submariner wristwatch. And, as is the way of these things, the people in charge at Rolex wanted to mark the occasion with something special. And there you are: the Rolex "Kermit" was born. It certainly caused some controversy, but history has taught us one thing: the colour green is here to stay at Rolex. Despite all the doomsaying (and croaking).

In fact, Rolex's connection with this colour is ubiquitous: on logos, boxes, labels, if you have an eye for Rolex, you see green wherever you look. Or perhaps the use of this bright colour has to do with the market in China, where deep green traditionally stands for success? Perish the thought!

"Kermit" and "Hulk" make their mark

Be that as it may, the "Kermit" and "Hulk" and so on became big sellers and are now firmly established in the world of exclusive timepieces. The first green Submariner Rolex, the "Kermit", was made to mark the 50th anniversary. Until then, colour had been frowned upon for professional watches, but in 2003 the holy grail of sobriety was sacrificed on the altar of a new design statement. At least that's what the purists among Rolex enthusiasts thought. The look of the Submariner had been ruined, or so they believed.

But today, if we consider the value of these timepieces with a degree of detachment, it can definitely be said that wearing a Rolex in green makes a statement. As we have said: they're here to stay. That has been demonstrated by the unstoppable success of other green versions like the "Hulk" and "Starbucks". There's certainly no end to the demand for these models on the vintage market.

By the way, a snippet of additional information: LV stands for the French "lunette verte", meaning green lunette or bezel.

Would you like to know more about Rolex's in green – or any other kind? We look forward to hearing from you and will be pleased to help.

"Kermit", "Hulk" and co.

Rolex "Kermit" Ref. 16610LV: 
  • Black dial with a green bezel insert
  • 40 mm
Rolex "Hulk" Ref. 116610LV: 
  • Bezel and dial in rich green 
  • Looks lighter or darker, depending on the way the light falls 
  • 40 mm
Rolex "Starbucks" Ref. 126610LV
  • Successor to the Rolex "Hulk" 2020 
  • Black dial and green Cerachrom bezel
  • 41 mm
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