Many Rolex collectors in the know may already be aware that green is Rolex’s signature color. Despite this fact, there actually aren’t very many Rolex watches on the market that offer this distinct hue. Rolex typically reserves its iconic green variations for special edition models or anniversary watches. Along with the Glace Verte Milgauss that features a green-tinted sapphire crystal, two of the most noteworthy green Rolex watches belong to the brand’s Submariner collection. There are a lot of similarities between the “Rolex Hulk” and the “Rolex Kermit” but in the green Rolex Submariner debate, many collectors have a strong preference for one model over the other.
Both green, both Submariners. It’s easy to see how the Kermit and the Hulk get mixed up. So today we’re taking a closer look at these two watches that are very much the same, yet decidedly different. As this bold color choice slowly but surely makes its way into the hearts and collections of Rolex lovers – and with the rumors swirling that the Hulk will get discontinued this year at Baselworld, there’s really no better time than now to highlight these two green Rolex Submariner dive watches.
Rolex Kermit: The 50th Anniversary Edition
In 2003, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Submariner – one of Rolex’s most popular watches ever, the company decided to do something a little different. They introduced a bright green bezel into the collection, exclusively on the date-displaying stainless steel model, which was thoroughly surprising collectors who have used the relatively versatile black Submariner as a wardrobe staple for years. All of a sudden, a new kind of collector was flocking to the Rolex Submariner, one who wanted to stand out, not blend in.
Rolex made very small but significant tweaks to the classic Submariner 16610 to create the Kermit ref. 16610LV (‘LV’ stands for lunette verte, which means green bezel in French). The most notable feature of the Rolex Kermit is its stunning green aluminum bezel; however, it also first introduced Rolex’s “Maxi” dial to the Submariner collection, which features larger hour markers and hands. True to Submariner form, the Rolex Kermit also offers water resistance up to 300 meters (1,000 feet), a unidirectional timing bezel, a 40mm Oyster case size, and a flat 3-link stainless steel Oyster bracelet.
The Kermit was initially met with skepticism from the general public, but it has since been accepted by most of the Rolex collecting community and is now among the most desirable iterations of the Submariner available on the secondary market. However, after just several years of fun, and just when people started really warming up to the idea of a green Submariner, Rolex discontinued the ‘Kermit’ and replaced it with the ‘Hulk.’
Rolex Hulk: Doubling Down On Green
Side by side, it’s easy to see why the Rolex Hulk is called the Hulk. First making an appearance in 2010, the green color is much more prominent on the Hulk ref. 116610LV then on the Rolex Kermit and is featured on both the bezel and dial. However, it’s not as simple as just swapping out black for green, In fact, rather than having a plain glossy green dial, the surface of the Hulk’s dial has been given a ‘sunburst’ finish that is similar to the one found on the blue dial fitted to the two-tone and yellow-gold versions of the Rolex Submariner.
Another major upgrade was the switch from aluminum to Cerachrom (ceramic) for the material of the bezel insert, which at the time was a new and exciting technology. Ceramic is an all-around better choice for a modern watch, as it’s highly scratch resistant and is entirely impervious to both corrosion and fading. Lastly, the Hulk actually wears quite a bit differently on the wrist, despite having the same 40mm case diameter as the Kermit. To accompany the introduction of the new ceramic bezel, Rolex updated the case of the Submariner to feature significantly broader lugs and crown guards (known as a “Rolex Super Case”). While the case diameter remains the same 40mm, the updated proportions create a much more chunky and angular overall appearance.
Rolex doesn’t make drastic changes to their classic models often, so it comes as no surprise that the Hulk Submariner was met with caution and some reservations among avid Rolex collectors when it was first announced. However, just like with the Kermit, in the years since the Hulk’s release, fans of the Rolex Submariner have warmed up to the all-green Hulk, and it has become a highly sought-after collector’s item.
Head To Head: Rolex Submariner Hulk vs. Kermit
When choosing between the Hulk and the Kermit, there are some notable differences between these two models, despite them both being green Rolex Submariner watches. The Kermit is older than the Hulk, and since it is from the previous generation, it doesn’t offer the same modern amenities as the current-production Hulk.
In addition to the different bezel materials, dial colors, and case proportions, the Oyster bracelets fitted to the two watches are also significantly different. The bracelet found on the Kermit features hollow center links and a stamped clasp with a fold-out wetsuit extension. Although visually similar, the redesigned Oyster bracelet on the Hulk features completely solid links and a machined Oysterlock safety clasp that features the brand’s Glidelock extension system, which allows for the bracelet to be instantly adjusted in 2mm increments (up to roughly 20mm) without the use of any tools.
Despite these noteworthy differences, both green Submariner watches are powered by the same Caliber 3135 movement and offer identical depth ratings. Therefore, overall performance will be virtually identical between these two models, and choosing which one to purchase really comes down to a matter of personal preference. On paper, the Cerachom bezel and updated Oyster bracelet make the Hulk is a superior watch. However, many Rolex collectors may argue that the Kermit is actually the superior model because it adds a hint of green while maintaining the classic styling of the original Submariner with its traditional case proportions and gloss black dial.
Part of the reason why people love the Submariner is due to how little its overall design has changed throughout the years. Both the Kermit and the Hulk represent rare deviations from Rolex’s usually unflinchingly-consistent design language, and they are the only stainless steel Submariner watches ever produced that feature a color other than black. The Kermit has been discontinued for nearly a decade, and with rumors swirling that the Hulk will also be getting discontinued this year at Baselworld, these two green Rolex Submariner watches have been receiving a lot of attention lately from collectors.
Rolex’s anniversary Submariner has historically experienced better resale value than the Hulk, but prices for the Hulk have been on the rise in recent years, and both models are currently trading hands on the pre-owned market for significantly more than the retail price of a brand-new Rolex Submariner. The Hulk is still available through authorized retailers (although not without a lengthy waitlist); however, if the rumors end up being true and Rolex does discontinue the Hulk this year, expect prices to go up as competition for these models will almost certainly only increase.
Both the Kermit and Hulk offer unique features that make them both notable additions to the Submariner collection. The Kermit provides a more traditional Submariner Style while the Hulk is a modern take on Rolex’s classic dive watch. Although a green Rolex Submariner is not something that speaks to every collector, there’s definitely an industry-wide appreciation for the boldness and modernity that the Kermit and Hulk bring to the iconic Submariner collection.
Paul is the company's Founder and CEO. He is responsible for all the day to day activities from purchasing, receiving, marketing and sales. Paul is a graduate of Boston College 1979 and resides in California with his family.
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