How the Rolex Submariner Kermit Evolved to the Rolex Submariner Hulk
Rolex has a long history in the luxury watch market. The Submariner has been one of its most popular and iconic Rolex models. They introduced the Rolex Submariner Kermit for the Submariner 50th anniversary. This evolved into the Rolex Submariner Hulk that is a modern classic that represents the best of form and functionality.
History of the Rolex Submariner
Back in 1953, René-Paul (then on the Rolex board of directors) came up with the idea to create a watch that was able to function underwater while still maintaining it’s aesthetic. This was important to him since he was also a diver. He wanted it to be a true diver’s watch.
Rolex even consulted with Jacques Cousteau to make sure the watch was right. This led to extensive testing, including attaching this new watch to the hull of a deep-diving submarine. The submarine descended about 3100 meters below the surface of the ocean. When the submarine came back, Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf discovered the watch was still intact and functional. Testing with divers followed.
By the 1954 Basel Fair, now called BaselWorld, introduced the Rolex Submariner and placed the watch on the market later that year. The Submariner at the Basel Fair stood out with the following features:
- A matte black dial
- Luminous hands and rotating bezel
- Water-resistant up to 100 meters
- There was automatic movement under the skin
- It employs a screw-down crown by way of Twinlock engineering
Later, Rolex incorporated changes to the Submariner model, including crown guards and omnidirectional bezels, upgraded the movement, tweaked the design, experimented with new materials, and the placement of the name “Submariner” on the dial. Since 1953, the Rolex Submariner has not only defined what a diving watch could be but also defined what the sports watch could be.
What is the Rolex Submariner Kermit?
Rolex celebrated the 50th anniversary of the iconic Rolex Submariner in 2003. This 2003 anniversary confuses some people since Rolex first introduced the Submariner watch at the Basel Fair in 1954, but Rolex had working models in 1953. The Swiss watchmaker specially released a new Submariner model with a jet black dial and a bright green bezel to commemorate the occasion.
This anniversary watch is technically the Rolex Submariner Ref 16610LV but earned the nickname “Kermit” after the beloved Muppet character. The LV stands for lunette verte, which is French for the green bezel. The “Kermit” Submariner was also the first watch to introduce the Maxi dial, which includes larger hour markers than former models.
Since its introduction, Rolex discontinued the Rolex Submariner 16601LV “Kermit,” but you can find this watch on the secondhand market for a price.
What is the Rolex Submariner Hulk?
Rolex then released another green Rolex Submariner at Baselworld 2010. The watch was the Rolex Submariner 116610LV, and collectors nicknamed the watch “Hulk.” This Rolex Submariner watch features a green bezel, a rich green dial to match, plus a bulkier case, and wider lugs that go hand in hand with its superhero moniker Hulk. The “Hulk” happens to be the first Submariner watch with a matching dial and bezel in colors other than black or blue.
Rolex made a major upgrade with the bezel insert material with the Submariner Hulk. The bezel insert went from aluminum to Cerachrom (ceramic). Thus, Rolex created a modern Submariner watch that is highly scratch-resistant and impervious to fading and corrosion.
Rolex crafted the watch case from a super durable 904L stainless steel. This is the same kind of steel they use in the aerospace industry. Adding to this robust watch is the comfortable Oyster bracelet that snaps together with the Gridlock clasps, which allow the wearer to make adjustments for your comfort without the need for tools.
The Hulk was initially met with some apprehension from collectors when it first hit the market. Now the Rolex Submariner 116610LV “Hulk” has become a highly-sought-after collector’s item.
While collectors debate which is the better watch, the Rolex Submariner Kermit and Rolex Submariner Hulk have some commonalities. The similarities do not start and end with the bold green color on the Submariners that stands out over the relatively versatile black Submariners.
What are the Similarities Between the Hulk and the Kermit?
- Both watches feature a 40mm case diameter.
- Both watches have Oyster bracelets.
- Both watches have ultra-reliable Caliber 3135 movement powering them.
- They have the Triplock waterproof system and crown guard.
- They equipped both watches with a scratch-resistant sapphire.
- They both feature a cyclops lens over the date window to improve the visibility of the date.
- Both reach depths up to 300 meters/1,000 feet without looking functionality.
- The Kermit and Hulk monikers are not used by Rolex but rather by collectors.
- The Kermit and Hulk Rolex watches represent rare deviations from the unflinchingly-consistent Submariners of yore.
What are the Differences Between the Hulk and the Kermit?
While both Submariner watches have similarities, it is the differences that make collectors pull toward the Submariner Kermit and Hulk.
Why is the Rolex Submariner Hulk Special?
While the Kermit Submariner, being the anniversary watch, has historically had better resale value, the Hulk Submariner’s resale value has been rising. The Rolex Submariner Kermit is more in-line with the traditional Rolex Submariner style. The Hulk is more of a modern take on the classic Rolex Submariner dive watch.
The upgrades made from the Kermit to the Hulk has added to its functionality, wearability, and aesthetic. Currently, the demand for the Rolex Submariner 116610LV “Hulk” far outstrips the supply.
Has the Rolex Submariner Hulk Been Discontinued?
For years a lot of speculation and debate have been flying around the horologist community about the status of the Hulk Submariner. Collectors were expecting Rolex to make an announcement at Baselworld 2020. Baselworld postponed its conference until 2021.
However, Rolex went ahead and made the announcement on September 1, 2020. The Rolex Submariner 116610LV “Hulk” officially has been discontinued.
Are You Interested in Buying or Selling a Rolex Submariner?
The Rolex Submariner has a long history of being worn by noteworthy individuals, ranging from athletes to musicians to actors to world luminaries. The Submariner is a classic collectible timepiece that not only looks good but also it is a great collectible timepiece. U.S. Coins and Jewelry is always ready to buy your used Rolex. Bring it in and we'll give a fair appraisal based on market value.