Rolex Kermit: A Guide to the Collectible Submariner

Nov 27, 2020
Rolex Kermit: A Guide to the Collectible Submariner

There are a lot of colour choices when it comes to Rolex Submariner. On one hand, there’s the classic black for the minimalists. Meanwhile, there’s also a two-tone version for those who want something eye-catching. And for those in the middle who want to deviate from the usual black without drawing too much attention, there’s the Rolex Kermit.

True to its namesake, the Rolex Kermit comes with a bright green bezel combined with a black dial. And although it is not as popular as the other colourways, the Kermit has an interesting story behind it. Find out what made Rolex go with the green colourway below.

A Brief History of the Rolex Submariner

vintage Rolex Submariner ad
Photo from Jake’s Rolex World

Dive watches became a craze in the 1950s and, of course, Rolex was one of the biggest brands to enter the competition. With that said, the development of the Rolex Submariner began in 1953, which included a daring publicity stunt with Swiss explorer Auguste Piccard. Legend has it that Piccard dove 3,131.8 metres with his Bathyscaphe submarine while wearing a specially-designed Rolex.

After that, the Rolex Submariner went on sale in 1954 and while it’s not the same as the watch that Piccard used, it was heavily inspired by it. No doubt the Rolex Submariner instantly became a fan favourite. In fact, it is one of the models that Rolex is known for. With that, Rolex started releasing the Sub in different colourways, and one of those is the Rolex Kermit.

The Rolex Kermit Ref. 16610LV

To celebrate Rolex’s 50th anniversary in 2003, they released a Submariner with a reference number 16610LV. As mentioned above, the Sub was introduced in 1954, but Rolex opted to celebrate the 50th birthday of the Sub in 2003 since they wanted to count the year that they started developing the watch.

When the Rolex Kermit Ref. 16610LV first came out, it garnered mixed reactions from fans. Of course, the conservative enthusiasts hated it for its unorthodox colour choice. On the other hand, those who are getting bored with the usual black colourway gave it praise. Nevertheless, many fans grew to love the Rolex Kermit as the years passed by. Now, it is considered a collector’s item due to its uncommon bezel colour.

What does “LV” mean?

The two letters at the end of its reference number mean “lunette verte” and it literally means “green bezel”. The brand adds these two letters to models that are colour green including the Rolex Hulk and all other Rolex Kermit models.

Why did Rolex choose the colour green?

Green may be an unusual choice for a watch especially for a luxury brand like Rolex. But it turns out there is a story behind it and Rolex takes their branding seriously. As you may have noticed, Rolex has often used the colour green. From their watch boxes, hang tags, and even their logo. With their special model, they wanted to release something that reminds people of their roots.

They also believe that the colour green represents wealth, money, stability, and ambition, which is why this is a great choice for a 50th-anniversary edition. True enough, its colourway became its main selling point. Now, collectors search high and low to get this colourway, as it has a deeper meaning attached to it.

Rolex Kermit vs Rolex Hulk

Rolex Hulk and Rolex Kermit
Rolex Kermit (left), Rolex Hulk (right)

The Rolex Kermit is not the only green watch that Rolex has. In fact, it is often confused with the similar Rolex Hulk. Both have green bezels, so we recommend you to double-check the details of the watch before giving out your credit card to the cashier.

A quick and easy way to tell these two watches apart is the dial. While the Kermit bears a pitch-black background, the Hulk doubles down on the green. However, in certain lighting conditions, the green dial of the Hulk may look black in pictures, so you may want to view it from different angles.

Another way to differentiate the Rolex Kermit from the Hulk is the bezel. The Kermit uses aluminium material. On the other hand, the Hulk uses a newer technology called the Cerachrom (ceramic). Furthermore, the former’s bezel gives off a different shade from the latter.

Rolex Kermit Specs

Before we get into the hands-on review of the Rolex Kermit Ref. 16610LV 50th Anniversary Edition, here are the details that you should know:

  • Case material: Stainless steel
  • Case dimension: 40mm
  • Movement: Automatic
  • Power reserve: 50 hours
  • Water resistance: 300m

Rolex Kermit

Case

Like the classic Submariner models, the Rolex Kermit 16610LV retains its 40mm diameter and 20mm lug width. This is good news for a lot of people since it is considered a “sweet spot” when it comes to sizes. Furthermore, it is only about 13mm thick, which makes it comfortable for a lot of people. In terms of durability, you don’t have to worry as it’s made with 904L stainless steel construction that can handle a few bumps.

Dial

The Rolex Kermit 50th anniversary model introduced the Maxi dial to the Submariner lineup. This type of dial sports larger hands and indexes that are similar to the Rolex Yacht Master in 1991. To divers, this was a welcome upgrade as it improves legibility even when underwater.

Apart from the size of the indexes and hands, you’ll see the typical design of the Submariner. The Rolex Kermit 16610LV is a date model, meaning it has a date window beside 3 o’clock along with the iconic cyclops on top of it. Furthermore, it uses round indexes as its hour markers except for 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock. Meanwhile, the watch hands feature a Mercedes style.

On top of the dial is a sapphire crystal that protects it from scratches. This will give you enough peace of mind to not worry about scratching your grail watch.

Bezel

A closer look at the Rolex Kermit's dial and bezel

While the dial and case are nothing out of the ordinary, the bezel is where the Rolex Kermit stands out. As mentioned, the bezel sports a green colour that’s very similar to the character that it’s nicknamed after. Its aluminium material causes it to have a lighter shade of green. Apart from that, this material also develops its own unique character as it gets old, much like how bronze watches develop a patina based on the user’s habits.

Functionality-wise, the bezel is unidirectional, which is a standard for dive watches. Moreover, it has 120 clicks and is smooth to rotate. Indeed, this watch can be used for recreational diving and is not just for show.

Movement

When it comes to its engine, you can expect the same quality of craftsmanship from other Rolex models. It uses the Calibre 3135 automatic movement, which can be seen in various models from the brand, including the Rolex Datejust. And as proof of its high quality, this movement is certified as a superlative chronometer by the COSC. To the unacquainted, it is a designation that’s reserved for high-precision watches. Many experts believe that this is one of Rolex’s most successful movements.

Moving on to the important bits, it has 31 watch jewels and runs at a frequency of 28,800 vph. It also utilises Rolex’s KIF system to protect it from shocks. With that said, I wouldn’t be surprised if this timepiece lasts you a few generations.

Bracelet

Rolex Kermit bracelet

Just like its case, the Rolex Kermit’s bracelet is made with 904L steel. That being said, it can survive years of use and still be fine. It also features the Rolex Glidelock extension system, which allows easy adjustments in 2mm increments. This system is for divers who need to secure their watch when wearing a diving suit. Aesthetics-wise, the Rolex logo is stamped on the clasp just like the other models.

The Different Versions of the Rolex Kermit

When hunting for your next Rolex Kermit, it is important to know the different versions available aside from the 50th-anniversary model. Do note that these variations are very subtle, so you have to look closely when inspecting a watch. Nevertheless, each of these models is fantastic and you can never go wrong with any of these Rolex Kermits.

1. 2020 Rolex Kermit

Rolex Kermit 2020 model

2020 Rolex Kermit specs:

  • Case material: Stainless steel
  • Case dimension: 41mm
  • Movement: Automatic
  • Power reserve: 48 hours
  • Water resistance: 300m

Why Is It Good?

Even the pandemic couldn’t stop Rolex from releasing a new lineup last September. One of those models is the Rolex Kermit 2020 Edition with the reference number 122610LV. Although at first glance, it looks exactly like the Kermit 16610LV, there are a few key differences that make this a different watch. Firstly, it has a slightly larger case with 41mm instead of the usual 40mm. Considering that the Rolex Kermit is a dive watch, the extra millimetre is a welcome addition to make it feel more robust.

The second difference is a bit more obvious: the bezel. Unlike the Ref. 16610LV, the 2020 version sports a bezel with a darker shade of green. In fact, its shade is closer to the Rolex Hulk’s bezel. This is because Rolex opted for a ceramic material instead of aluminum. Beyond aesthetics, this bezel still holds the high standards of Rolex with easy-to-read markers and tactile clicks.

Under the dial, it uses an in-house Calibre 3235 automatic movement. It is a Swiss chronometer-certified by the COSC and is tested again by Rolex to make sure it passes their “Superlative Chronometer” standard. This means that the watch averages an accuracy rating of +/- 2 seconds per day.

You can’t go wrong with any of the two Rolex Kermit models. Both feature excellent movements and both are durable enough to be passed on to future generations. I guess the only deciding factor will be the size (40mm vs 41mm) and the shade of green on the bezel.

2. Rolex Kermit Flat 4

Rolex Kermit Flat 4

Rolex Kermit Flat 4 specs:

  • Case material: Stainless steel
  • Case dimension: 40mm
  • Movement: Automatic
  • Power reserve: 50 hours
  • Water resistance: 300m

Why Is It Good?

It is very easy to miss the differences between the Rolex Kermit Flat 4 and the 50th-anniversary model. Even some collectors are having a hard time telling the difference between the two. However, I can’t blame them because the only variation the Flat 4 has is the font of the number 4 on the bezel. Bet you didn’t see that too, did you?

If you look closely, the 4 on the Flat 4’s bezel has a gentler angle, whereas the 50th-anniversary edition has a pointy one. Only models with Y (2003) and F (2004) serial numbers feature this font. The bezel also comes with a lighter shade, but other than that, there are no other differences between the two models aesthetically.

The inside is very similar as well. Case in point: the Rolex Kermit Flat 4 also runs on the automatic calibre 3135, which means it delivers the same precise timekeeping as the 50th-anniversary model. That being said, you don’t have to think hard about choosing between Flat 4 and the other model. In my opinion, the only reason to choose one over the other is if you’re very meticulous about the smallest details of your watch.

Should you buy a Rolex Kermit?

The answer to this question depends on your needs, your style, and your affinity for the brand. For instance, if you’re looking for your first watch, then it might be better for you to skip this one and go for the Black Rolex Submariner instead. The Kermit’s bright green bezel is not versatile enough to be worn every day. However, you can get away with using it as a daily driver if you’re sure that your whole wardrobe blends well with it.

On the other hand, if you’re a long-time collector looking to complete the Submariner lineup, then I’m sure this watch will make you happy. The fact that it’s a 50th-anniversary edition and the meaning behind its colourway will prove to be a nice story to tell the next time you meet with fellow watch enthusiasts.

Final Notes

The Rolex Kermit was the perfect way for the Big Crown to celebrate the Submariner’s 50th-anniversary. Its eye-catching aesthetics made it a collector’s item in an instant and it made the Submariner lineup a bit more fun. We can’t wait to see what Rolex has in store for the Sub’s next big anniversary.

 

 

Can’t get enough of the Rolex’s interesting colourways? Check out our review on the Rolex Batman!

Photo credits: Featured photo courtesy of Rolex

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