The Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date is further proof that one should keep an eye out for the colour green when shopping for a Rolex
Part of the fun in collecting Rolex watches is scoring coveted models that have been nicknamed by the fans, from the Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona ‘Paul Newman’ to Oyster Perpetual
GMT-Master II affectionately referred to as the ‘Pepsi’ and ‘Batman’. With the release of Rolex’s 2020 line-up in September, collectors have been quick to identify a model as the standout – the one that revives a particular amphibian Muppet moniker.
We are, of course, talking about the Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date in Oystersteel, which many have dubbed the new ‘Kermit’. That was also the pet name given to the Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date with a similar green bezel and black dial combination, which was discontinued in 2010.
Similar terms of endearment aside, the new Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date is so much more than a mere reissue of the original model that garnered the nickname ‘Kermit’. Besides reinstating the familiar colourway, it flaunts a host of updates given to the Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date collection this year.
For starters, its Cerachrom bezel insert is an upgrade on the original’s aluminium component in terms of scratch- and corrosion-resistance, with an exceptional ability to retain its colour and lustre. Meanwhile, the watch’s case size has been bumped up by 1 mm to 41 mm, a first for the Submariner family. That said, the Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date does not seem bulkier, thanks to a more streamlined profile with slimmer lugs, as well as a remodelled bracelet featuring the Oysterlock folding safety clasp and Rolex Glidelock extension system.
Powering the watch is another first for the Submariner Date range – the calibre 3235. Endowed with the Superlative Chronometer certification, the self-winding mechanical movement is equipped with the latest in watchmaking technology Rolex has to offer, including the patented Chronergy escapement, blue Parachrom hairspring, and Paraflex shock absorbers.
Touted by many as the face of the new-generation Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date, it is perhaps no accident that the new ‘Kermit’ is fitted with this distinctive bezel, a fact that is not lost among ardent observers of the brand. After all, green is the colour most often associated with Rolex.
Looking back at Rolex’s history, it is not difficult to identify milestone models sporting the lush hue in one form or another. For instance, the Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2005 with an 18 ct yellow gold model that came with a rich green dial that was the first-ever Rolex watch to be furnished with a Cerachrom bezel insert.
When Rolex revived the Oyster Perpetual Milgauss in 2007, the collection debuted a unique green-tinted sapphire crystal that was perfected through a proprietary process so complex that the manufacture deemed it unnecessary to patent it. Moving up the luxury scale, the 60th anniversary of the Oyster Perpetual Day-Date was marked by a handsome pair of timepieces in 18 ct Everose gold and 18 ct white gold, both flaunting the same sunray finished dial in an unusual shade of green.
‘Hulk’ To ‘Kermit’
The Submariner family is no stranger to the green hue, thanks to the aforementioned original ‘Kermit’ that was launched in 2003 to celebrate the collection’s 50th anniversary. In addition to introducing Rolex’s official colour to the Submariner, it also brought the ‘maxi’ dial with it, characterised by larger lume-filled indexes and hands for enhanced legibility. Quickly becoming a cult favourite, hence earning it its ‘Kermit’ nickname, the said model is also a bona fide collectible due to its relatively short production run.
In place of the ‘Kermit’, Rolex released another Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date model in 2010 that doubled down on the green theme – its green bezel insert heralded the arrival of Cerachrom to the family of divers, and its dial was dubbed ‘green gold’. Satiating watch lovers yearning for a heftier Submariner, it featured the ‘super case’ that bulked up the lugs and crown guards for a more masculine look while maintaining the 40 mm case size. It is no wonder that this model is referred to as the ‘Hulk’ by its admirers.
With the release of the new Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date ‘Kermit’ this year, the ‘Hulk’ is officially discontinued, signalling a new era for the iconic divers’ watch, another milestone marked in green. If history is any indication, one should always keep an eye out when Rolex bestows the verdant shade on a timepiece. And we cannot think of a better way to start than with the latest ‘Kermit’.
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