WHO STARTED CALLING THE ROLEX SUBMARINER THE HULK?
Arguably one of the most famous watches in not just the collection within Rolex, but the entire world, the Rolex Submariner is something of an iconic legend. A watch that changed how people saw them, used them and to a certain degree how they wore them. From the first ever Submariner released by Rolex in 1954 to the modern day Sumabriner in 2023, you can see the clear resemblance to its origins. Like a Porsche 911, the Submariner has aged incredibly well paying tribute to its heritage whilst carrying modern technology and improvements. However, with all the different variations of the Submariner, and even Rolex models all together some were subject to acquiring a super hero’s name. So who did start calling the Submariner the hulk and why?
Going back in time to Rolex in 2010, they surprised everyone with a new variation of the Submariner, exactly the same proportions and movement as the all black date Submariner (ref 116610LN) but instead it featured a green bezel and dial. It was so much of a shock that until 2019 you could even buy a Submariner Hulk less than retail! Almost impossible to imagine now but it was not a very popular watch, perhaps due to its quirky colour or other reasons but regardless, it was a hard watch for Rolex to sell. Like almost all watches from Rolex that get discounted, it grew in popularity rather quickly and is now a very sought after watch on the grey market.
With so many different variations of the Submariner existing, having nicknames for them really helps people know exactly which watch it is you are talking about. It’s hard to pinpoint an exact date but there were references of the Rolex GMT benign referred to as the Pepsi as far back as the early 2000’s. With the growth of social media platforms and more people being able to post pictures, nicknames caught on very quickly so it wasn’t long until the Rolex all green Submariner received its nickname.
Source : Time & Tide
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The term ‘hulk’ for the all green Submariner was coined similarly to how the other models in Rolex received their superhero names. Based on its colour scheme, the GMT master two with the blue and red colours became known as the ‘pepsi/ superman’. The GMT master two with the blue and black bezel became known as the ‘Batman’ due to its colour scheme resembling Batman, and the model on the jubilee became known as the ‘Batgirl’. The 50th anniversary Rolex Submariner became known as the ‘Cermit’ as the green bezel resonated with Cermit the frog.
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The solid White gold Submariner (ref 116619LB) became known as the Smufr and the newer version (ref 126619LB) with only a blue bezel has been nicknamed the ‘Blueberry’. Therefore, it was only fitting that an all green coloured Rolex Submariner was given a superhero name and naturally due to its full green look, the ‘Hulk’ seemed most appropriate. With the older generation of Submariners (ref 116610LV) being a bit boxier, the strong shape, sporty performance and green colour all made sense for it to be labelled as the Hulk.
It is naturally very difficult to find the exact origin of who and when the green Submariner was first called the Hulk. However, through research it appears it got its name much like all the other Rolex models, watch forums and social media accounts slowly one by one started referring to it by its superhero name. Within a relatively short amount of time, watch articles are published and then that further solidifies its nicknames. So to answer the question who started calling it the hulk…You did! Perhaps not specifically you did start it but other watch enthusiasts did, you can even see it happening now with the new Rolex Submariner 41mm with the green bezel. You would have noticed that little by little more posts on Instagram started calling it either the Startbucks or Cermit.
No one will ever know the exact origin and likely many people would like to claim it was themselves. However it was just a good few accounts that started referring to the watch with the nicknames and more and people liked it so continued to use it and that's how they got so popular. From all the videos made about the Hulk, you can find certain videos referring to the all green Submariner as the hulk for as early as just under 1 year after the hulk was released in 2010.
The Rolex green Submariner very quickly became famously known as the Hulk and if you watch any videos on YouTube that feature the all green Submariner, they’ll almost always refer to it as the Hulk. A great thing about all the nicknames for Rolex watches is that instead of trying to describe the watch or remember a reference number that not many know, you can say one name and everyone knows exactly what watch you are referring to. Another great thing about the Hulk is the colour and the amount of fun you can have with changing the strap out for a rubber strap.
Look no further than the business Tycoon Kevin O’Leary (aka ‘Mr Wonderful’) who put all his watches in a red rubber strap, but the Hulk on a red rubber strap like one offered at ZEALANDE is an incredible look. Or alternatively a white rubber strap is really nice because it puts the focus on the beautiful shade of green on the Hulk’ dial and bezel. So head over to the ZEALANDE website to select the perfect rubber watch strap to make the Hulk look that extra bit special!