Out of all the watches Rolex has released, most would agree that the Rolex Submariner is at the top of the list in terms of popularity. It could even be considered Rolex’s best watch, beating GMT-Master by a thin margin. But then again, Rolex is known for manufacturing great timepieces that are loved worldwide. Throughout all the years that Rolex has been in operation, the consistently high quality of its watches is solid proof of Rolex’s passion and its long-running vision.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the iconic Rolex Submariner, Rolex launched the Rolex “Kermit” Submariner. The name might sound a little odd at first, but there have been a stranger and more abstract watch names, with Seiko watches being a prominent example. In Rolex’s case, the “Kermit” name isn’t just a gimmick to catch attention—a quick look at the watch itself quickly reveals to us that it’s also a reference to the watch’s stunning green color scheme.
Considering Rolex’s long-standing history as a renowned watch manufacturer, it is no surprise that the company chose to create a tradition that would allow them to commemorate this history. According to this tradition, every time a Rolex watch model reaches its 50th anniversary, a new commemorative watch is introduced. In this case, the 50th anniversary of the Rolex Submariner was marked by the release of the Rolex Kermit 16610LV in 2003. As such, the Rolex Kermit was made specially to pay homage to the Rolex Submariner’s legendary status.
This review will shed light on Rolex’s commemorative traditions as well as how the Rolex Kermit watch came to be. What makes the Rolex Kermit special? Why is it named as such? Is it worth it to own a Rolex Kermit? Let’s find out.
The Rolex Submariner was first introduced in 1954. Since its release, it has easily ranked among the best diver’s watches on the planet. You might be a little confused as to why the Rolex Kermit was introduced in 2003, since strictly speaking, the Rolex Submariner would’ve been in its 49th year in 2003. The real reason for this is because Rolex had already been working on the Submariner since 1953, with the Rolex Turn-O-Graph. The Turn-O-Graph was the prototype for the Submariner, which explains the similarities in their designs. The Turn-O-Graph may not be an official Submariner predecessor on paper, but it cannot be denied that Rolex used it as the main blueprint for both the Submariner and the GMT-Master. As such, 1953 is considered the official birth of the Submariner, and so the 50th anniversary of the watch being in 2003 actually checks out.
You might also have noticed that the color green is an extremely prevalent one on most of Rolex’s special watches. Prime examples of this include the Rolex Hulk, Rolex GMT-Master Yellow Gold Green Dial, and, of course, the Rolex Kermit itself—both old and new versions. Based on Rolex’s philosophy, the color green is often associated with luxury and riches. With this belief, it is only appropriate for Rolex to use this particular color on their special watches. With the color green evoking lavishness, wealth, and luck, Rolex using this color perfectly captures and represents these aspects of their commemorative watches. Some might think that the color green is a little out of place on a professional, sportier dive watch, but Rolex has managed to complement it well with both gold and stainless steel cases. This is a big reason why many celebrities and watch enthusiasts simply adore the way Rolex utilizes this specific color.
In 2010, the Rolex Kermit 16610LV was unfortunately discontinued to make way for the release of the Rolex Hulk. The Hulk is an improved version of the Rolex Kermit, with a green dial and bezel. This is unlike the Rolex Kermit which has a black dial and a green bezel. The Rolex Hulk proceeded to become a mainstay in the Rolex Submarine line due to its popularity. It should be noted that although the Rolex Hulk is based on the Rolex Kermit, it is not actually considered a commemorative watch by Rolex.
A few years later, the Rolex Kermit made a triumphant return due to massive demand from fans all over the world. There is no doubt that the first Rolex Kermit was already a popular model during its release, but the Rolex Hulk was arguably even more popular, with several official Rolex stores having a shortage of said watch. The new Rolex Kermit 122610LV was introduced to satisfy the wants of the majority of their patrons. At a glance, there seem to be few obvious visible changes. Rest assured, however, that Rolex has added quite a few notable upgrades to the new Rolex Kermit, and we will be discussing each one below.
At first glance, the green bezel of the Rolex Kermit might look a little odd to watch connoisseurs. Most would agree that it is an unusual color, especially for a Rolex Submariner model. A closer look, however, reveals that Rolex did a great job of picking out a unique color to fit the legendary Submariner line. Although people were initially a little skeptical about this watch, the eventual popularity of the Rolex Kermit is not to be taken lightly. It is no surprise that many Rolex enthusiasts and watch connoisseurs want to get their hands on this watch. This is not just because it is a commemorative watch, but also because of its comfortable profile and luxurious design.
The visual similarities between the Rolex Kermit 16610LV and the Rolex Kermit 122610LV might make it hard for you to decide which one of the two to choose. But keep in mind that the 16610LV was discontinued almost two decades ago and has since been replaced by the newer 122610LV version—making the older one somewhat obsolete in terms of features and functions. Nevertheless, both Rolex Kermit watches are still highly-regarded members of the Submariner collection.
Do not be deceived into thinking that the green bezel is the only thing that makes the Rolex Kermit a great watch. While it is an outstanding design, the Kermit still manages to create its own identity in other ways, truly setting itself apart from other Submariner watches and solidifying its purpose as a 50th-anniversary watch.
The features and functions of the Rolex Kermit do not go astray from the usual Submariner blueprint. This means that the Kermit possesses all the functions that you would expect a luxury dive watch to have. The 1953 Turn-O-Graph’s primary functions were limited to a unidirectional rotating bezel and a straightforward dial that consisted mainly of time indicators. These features were later inherited by the Rolex Submariner and can be found in the Rolex Kermit as well.
With that in mind, here are the specifications of the Rolex Kermit watch.
Case, Crown, and Bezel
Since Rolex Submariner watches feature a 41mm case, both the Rolex Kermit 122610LV and the 16610LV also follow suit with the same case size. The case of the Rolex Kermit is made from a 904L corrosion-resistant stainless steel case, so it can withstand most impacts and scratches. The bracelet is made from the same material and makes use of the Oysterlock technology, which keeps it secure on your wrist and minimizes any risk of it coming loose. The Rolex Kermit has a thin profile with very little heft, making for a very comfortable fit on the wearer’s wrist. The green bezel, which is the highlight of the watch, rotates unidirectionally, something that is true of the bezels of all Submariner watches. The green bezel also has 60-minute markings to provide a more accurate and clear reading of the time. The bezel also comes with silver gear-like edges, which provides wearers with a better grip even if they are wearing gloves or in a wetsuit, which is especially useful for a dive watch.
One difference that the new 122610LV has from the original Rolex Kermit is that it uses a darker shade of green on the bezel. Not only does it look different from the first Rolex Kermit watch, but it also creates a more solid and tasteful design that surpasses the bright green hue of the 16610LV.
The case of the Rolex Kermit is both scratch-resistant and shock-resistant. In addition, the Rolex Kermit possesses 300m of water resistance, well above the ISO rating for standard diver’s watches. The solid, screwed-down caseback of the Rolex Kermit is also effective at keeping moisture from leaking into the watch, thus protecting the inner mechanisms safe from foreign elements. It cannot be denied that the Rolex Submariner collection is well-known for its durability, and this is true of the Rolex Kermit as well.
The Rolex Kermit also features a screwed-down crown that is similar to those of other Submariner watches. The Rolex logo is etched on the surface of the crown, and its teeth edges make it easy to use when configuring the time or when hand-winding. In addition, many Rolex watches offer a particularly easy way of winding. All a wearer has to do is unscrew the crown counterclockwise and switch to clockwise to initiate the winding process. The watch will not indicate that it is fully winded. Instead, it allows you to keep rotating the crown while keeping the watch fully winded. This may be a little confusing at first, especially for beginners, but it is a fool-proof design that many Rolex watches adopt, including the Rolex Kermit.
Much like the first Rolex Kermit model, the new 122610LV stayed true to the stark black dial tone. Not only does it provide consistency to the design, but it also goes to show how well-loved the black dial and green bezel combination of the Kermit is. It is a minimalistic, professional design that still manages to stand out in a crowd.
The Rolex Kermit is an analog watch that uses silver-toned hands and applied indices. White minute markers can be found on the outer rim of the dial. The date aperture is found at the 3 o’clock position and has a date magnifier fitted over it as part of the sapphire crystal. The combination of the black dial and the white markers is a specially popular combination found on many Rolex dive watches. It serves to provide better visibility in the dark, especially underwater. This is further emphasized on the luminous material applied to the hands and indices of the watch. It is also worth noting that the Chromalight display technology is used on the dial. This means that, apart from the Super-Luminova coating on the hands and indices, the Rolex Kermit also emits a different form of light to ensure maximum legibility at all times. The sapphire crystal offers a scratch-resistant surface for greater protection both underwater and on land.
Initially fitted with the 3135 automatic caliber movement, the Rolex Kermit 16610LV provides the same accuracy and reliability that older Rolex Submariner watches are accustomed to. The 3135 caliber was the main movement used in older Submariner watches before Rolex decided to change it into the 3235 caliber movement. The 3135 caliber has 31 jewels to prevent excess wear and tear and has a consistent rate of 28,800 VpH. It also provides a 50-hour power reserve.
Now, the new Rolex Kermit 122610LV uses a more updated version of the 3135, which is the 3235 automatic caliber movement. Not only does it have the same solid 28,800VpH, but it also provides a 70-hour power reserve that is significantly longer than the previous movement. This self-winding movement was introduced in 2017, with the intent of creating a more powerful caliber movement that is still reminiscent of the features found on the 3135 caliber movement. The 3235 automatic caliber movement uses a paramagnetic oscillator as its balance mechanism, which gives the caliber more reliability in terms of synchronization and the winding factor. The 3235 is a massive improvement on the 3135 in many ways, which allows for maximum utility for its wearers—particularly professionals.
Rolex Kermit vs Rolex Hulk
As mentioned before, the Rolex Kermit 16610LV was discontinued and was partially replaced by the Rolex Hulk in 2010. A comparison of these two popular watches is more than justified considering their similar designs and their places in the Submariner collection. The Rolex Hulk provides a chunkier profile that distinguishes itself from the Rolex Kermit. It has a much thicker, bulky profile that is the opposite of Rolex Kermit’s thin case design. The lugs are also thick, which adds to the hefty weight of the watch. That being said, the Rolex Hulk has a 40mm stainless steel case, which is actually a millimeter smaller in diameter than the Rolex Kermit.
The green dial and the green bezel of the Rolex Hulk also deviate slightly from the shade of the Rolex Kermit’s green bezel. While the 16610LV uses a bright shade of green, the Rolex Hulk uses a darker shade to match the green dial. This gives it a subtle and refreshing color that does not stand out too exaggeratedly.
Following the introduction of the 3235 caliber movement in 2020 as the new main movement of the Submariner line, Rolex decided to discontinue the Rolex Hulk watch. As a result of this, the newer version of the Rolex Kermit was launched and came equipped with improved features, including the new 3235 caliber movement.
The choice of a Rolex Hulk as opposed to a Rolex Kermit really is an issue of preference. Both models have a lot in common, but the size and stature of the cases greatly affect the way these watches are worn. If you have a larger wrist, or if you just prefer a heftier watch that you can really feel around your wrist, then the Rolex Hulk is the right watch for you. But if you prefer a slimmer, more lightweight watch, then the Rolex Kermit 16610LV 122610 LV will surely provide you with the comfort you desire.
The retail price for the Rolex Hulk 116610LV is currently $9,050. It is cheaper than both the old and new Rolex Kermit watches. However, since Rolex announced the Hulk’s discontinuation, the market for pre-owned Rolex Hulk watches has risen significantly. Currently, the average price for a pre-owned Rolex Hulk 116610LV is at a whopping $24,000, almost the same price as the Rolex Kermit 16610LV. Pre-owned Rolex Hulks are certainly worth a pretty penny at the moment, so you should be vigilant when shopping for a pre-owned watch and check to ensure that the piece you are getting is authentic so as to avoid losing an unnecessary amount of money online.
Rolex Kermit Price Range
It is a well-known fact that Rolex watches fall on the expensive side of the spectrum when it comes to watch prices. The approximate price for a Rolex Submariner can reach up to $20,000 above, depending on the model. Some Rolex Submariners can be found at $8,000, but this is most likely the lowest price you could get for a Rolex luxury watch. The price for the new Rolex Kermit 122610LV is approximately $10,000 in retail. Take note that the prices for these watches may change over time, depending on the demand.
For those who prefer the original version of the Rolex Kermit, keep in mind that it has long been discontinued by Rolex and is no longer available in official stores. As such, the Rolex Kermit 16610LV can only be found on the second-hand market. These prices tend to be more expensive due to their commemorative status as well as their rarity in the market. The prices for pre-owned Rolex Kermits usually cost $23,670, although the price can vary greatly depending on the condition of the watch and the seller.
Compared to the average prices of the Rolex Submariner collection, the retail price of the Rolex Kermit is not as bad as it seems. In fact, it is far more affordable than its fellow Submariner watches, making it a great choice for people who are working with a strict budget.
Why You Should Buy This Watch
There are a few reasons why buying the Rolex Kermit watch is a great decision. First and foremost, the Rolex Kermit holds a special status in the world of Rolex. Not only does it have a different design that stands out from the whole Submariner collection, but it also symbolizes just how far the legendary Rolex Submariner has come. Consistently maintaining overwhelming popularity from all over the world for 50 solid years is not an easy feat. In fact, luxury watch companies are only capable of that by constantly introducing innovative watch designs and high-functioning caliber movements, which speaks to the quality the Rolex Submariner has consistently put out over the years.
The Rolex Kermit represents the rich heritage and passion that Rolex poured into each of their watches. If you are a watch enthusiast, a collector, or someone who just wants a taste of the luxurious world of horology, the Rolex Kermit is definitely a great watch to go with.
At first, there were several people who are a bit sceptical about the design choice of Rolex when introducing the Rolex Kermit. Can we really blame them? The green color is very unusual, especially when found on a Rolex Submariner. But then again, Rolex blew everyone’s minds when they made it work. With a tastefully dark shade of green plus a sleek black dial, the Rolex Kermit offers a smoother design scheme that masterfully synchronizes with its intended purpose as a dive watch.
The Rolex Kermit is definitely an amazing watch to commemorate the Submariner’s 50-year journey. In particular, the Rolex Kermit’s comeback in 2020 has defied all odds, and once again relived the top-notch watchmaking quality of Rolex.
Still looking for the right dive watch for you? Check out our Rolex dive watch collection—you might find the perfect piece to accompany you on your next underwater adventure.
Featured image courtesy of Rolex