by Dana Li
Ahhh, the Rolex Submariner… one of the most well-known, if not, the most well-known watch in the world. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or someone who doesn’t know a thing about watches, chances are you’ll recognize this iconic piece. Originally created as a tool watch for divers, the Submariner has become a staple in watch collections and has come in different variations with precious metals and additional dial and bezel colors over the years. In this post, I’ll be highlighting the Rolex Submariner “Kermit”, named after its black dial and green bezel.
I definitely prefer my vintage watches, but this modern Rolex Submariner is nothing short of amazing. Shout out to my AD for making dreams come true :)
Why I Love It
There are few watches out there that remain relatively unchanged throughout time. It doesn’t matter if you have one of the first Submariners or the newest release, the watch is instantly recognizable and has maintained its classic design throughout the years.
While the original black bezel and black dial of the Submariner looks incredibly sleek and makes the watch functional for those truly using it as the tool watch it’s meant to be, the addition of the green bezel gives the watch a subtle, colorful twist that I love. Unlike the Rolex Hulk Submariner with its green dial and bezel, the Kermit offers a more understated look that can be dressed up or down.
Rolex released the first Submariner in 1953 with the reference 6204, which was all black and came with a gilt or honeycomb dial. Side note, if I could have any Submariner in my collection (price tag and rarity aside of course) the honeycomb dial ref. 6204 would definitely be my choice because WOW, talk about a beautiful watch. Contrary to popular belief, the Submariner was not the first dive watch to be commercially available. Omega and Panerai had designed dive watches in the 1930s, many years before Rolex released its version.
As recreational diving exploded in popularity after the second World War, Rolex began developing their first dive watch offering. In 1926, Rolex had developed the first hermetically sealed watch case known as the Oyster case, which made the watch waterproof and more wearable in daily conditions. Five years later, the brand developed its self-winding Perpetual movement, effectively transforming the wristwatch into a practical everyday tool. These two key innovations were fundamental in Rolex’s design of the Submariner.
Although Rolex wasn’t able to incorporate its unidirectional bezel until the 1980s because of Blancpain’s patent, it was able to produce the first commercially available dive watch that was able to descend to a depth of 100 meters or 330 feet, thanks to the Twinlock crown it developed to keep water out of the watch. Because of its functional capabilities, the Submariner was leveraged by a number of important organizations from the British Royal Navy to the French deep-sea diving company COMEX (Compagnie Maritime d’Expertise). These MilSub (from the British Royal Navy) and COMEX Rolexes are now some of the most collectible Submariners out there and come with amazing stories.
The Submariner also worked its way into pop culture, with the watch being heavily featured in the James Bond movies. Sean Connery wore the reference 6538 “Big Crown” in Dr. No and the watch continued to be featured in later Bond movies, that is until Omega cemented its place among the Bond watches.
The “Kermit” Submariner
In 2003, Rolex released the first edition of the Kermit to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Submariner. The reference 16610LV was in production for about 7 years and had an aluminum green bezel, which has taken on a beautiful patina in some of the earlier Kermit watches. The model was discontinued in 2010 and replaced with the Hulk Submariner (ref. 116610LV), which remained in production until 2019. Rolex then reintroduced the Kermit Submariner with a Cerachrom bezel (ref. 126610LV) and it has since remained in production. In 2021, Rolex updated the case to the Submariner line, increasing the size to 41mm and refining some of the bulkier edges in the previous iterations.
The Kermit Submariner is extremely wearable thanks to the black dial and green bezel combination. The pop of color on the bezel is a great accent on the watch but is subtle enough for every day wear. The Kermit is on the larger side with a 41mm case, but it fits well on a thin wrist (mine is 15 cm when measured with a measuring tape wrapped around for reference) and will wear just as well casually and dressed up.
The stainless steel Oyster bracelet is also the most comfortable bracelet I’ve worn. With the glide lock system, you can adjust the bracelet 2mm to create the perfect fit. Although I love vintage Rolexes, the modern Oyster bracelet gives much more flexibility for sizing and wears well on everyone.
For a 41mm watch, the Rolex Submariner wears incredibly well. Also, I just love the way the sun hits the green bezel in this photo.
With its green bezel and refined 41mm case, the Rolex Kermit Submariner is a great choice that will wear well on anyone, including those with a smaller wrist. If you love to see your watch patina over the years like I do, the original 50th anniversary Kermit with the aluminum bezel can be a fantastic choice if you don’t mind paying a premium. The Cerachrom bezels on the new Submariners will retain their color for years to come and are not meant to fade over time. Kermit or not, the Submariner is an absolute classic that will find its way into any serious watch collector’s collection at some point.