Journal / Read

Rolex Kermit vs. Starbucks: A Comparison

Explore the Rolex Kermit vs. Starbucks debate. Learn more about each of these Rolex watches, their origins, features, and why what makes them iconic with Bezel.

By

Team Bezel

February 9, 2024

/

7 min read

Over the past couple of decades, Rolex has released wristwatches with dials, bezels, and other components in many stunning shades of green. From the deep olive green of the Rolex Day-Date 40 ref. 228236 to the light moss green of the Oyster Perpetual ref. 124300 to the bright neon green of the Rolex GMT-Master II ref. 126720VTNR, wristwatch lovers have their pick of green components and accents within the Rolex collection.

However, according to many collectors of Rolex watches, there is simply no substitute for Rolex’s iconic Submariner line. The first commercially available wristwatch designed specifically for scuba diving, the Submariner predated the horological classification of “dive watch” when Rolex first released it in 1953. Beyond its deep-sea water resistance and its other technical and functional attributes, this watch has remained a top name in the world of dive watches for its elegant design and striking aesthetic qualities. Equally dressy and sporty, the highly wearable Rolex Submariner is a perfect accessory for almost any situation or occasion.

If green wristwatch colorways are your thing, you have likely heard of the Rolex Submariner Date ref. 116610LV, which collectors call “Hulk” in recognition of its distinctive color. Released in 2016, this timepiece has a sunburst dial that produces shimmering hues ranging from a vibrant emerald to a green so dark that it almost reads as black.

But when it comes to green Rolex watches, the Hulk isn’t the only Submariner model to choose from. In fact, this highly popular watch is nestled between two other Submariner’s with green colorways that are eye-catching, to say the least. The Rolex Submariner ref. 16610LV (nicknamed the “Kermit”) and the Rolex Submariner Date ref. 126610LV (nicknamed the “Starbucks”) each have qualities that have made them favorites of wristwatch aficionados everywhere. 

While both of these watches have their unique and distinct benefits, the ideal model for you will depend on your specific wants and needs. Do you demand supreme functionally and mechanical excellence, or are you more interested in history, heritage, and legendary status? While considering the purchase criteria that are most important to you, read on for details about what the Rolex Kermit and the Rolex Starbucks have to offer.

Kermit vs. Starbucks

Iconic for many reasons, the Submariner Date Kermit was the first Rolex to feature a green bezel. Although it cannot claim the rich heritage of the Kermit, the Submariner Date Starbucks has Rolex’s impeccable calibre 3235 movement and boasts some significant modern alterations to the classic Submariner design. To develop a fuller picture of these exceptional timepieces, let’s briefly examine each of them individually.

About the Rolex Submariner Date Ref. 16610LV “Kermit”

A discontinued model that is now available only on the pre-owned market, the Rolex Submariner Kermit was the first ever Rolex with a prominent green colorway. Although Rolex wouldn’t release a watch model with a full green dial for more than a decade, the green bezel made quite a splash when the Kermit hit the shelves in 2003. It wouldn’t earn its colorful nickname for several years, but this watch was defined by its distinctive bezel from the very beginning. The “LV” in its “16610LV” reference number stands for “lunette verte,” the French for “green bezel.”

While all standard versions of the Kermit come with the same mechanics and a design that features the classic black Rolex dial, it is important to note that a few significant variations occur within this model. For example, Rolex Kermits come in either a “flat 4” or a “sharp 4” design. These terms denote differences in the shape of the "4" in the "40" etched into the watch’s bezel. Although this detail might seem insignificant, a flat 4 Kermit is generally more valuable than a sharp 4 Kermit due to its more limited availability and its higher consumer demand.

The History of the Rolex "Kermit"

Rolex introduced the Submariner 16610LV to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its Submariner line, which began in 1953 with the Rolex Submariner ref. 6200. While the 16610LV entered into production in 2003, the watch didn’t reach consumers until the next year.

Although it ultimately became one of Rolex’s most sought-after models, this watch was met with a mixed response upon its initial release. The highly unorthodox green bezel was frankly quite shocking, and this bold design choice split Rolex’s fanbase.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this unconventional watch quickly accumulated a number of colorful nicknames. One, however, ultimately rose to the top. With a bezel that shares the same distinctive green with Kermit the Frog, the moniker “Kermit” seems a natural fit for the 16610LV.

After seven years of production, Rolex discontinued the “Kermit” in 2010. However, the company continued to produce wristwatches with green colorways, beginning a tradition that endures today.

Key Features of the Rolex "Kermit"

The Rolex Kermit is powered by Rolex’s stalwart caliber 3135, a self-winding movement that has been a standard-bearer for extreme reliability and durability since the 1980s. Beyond its striking green bezel, this watch is notable for being the first modern Submariner with a “Maxi dial,” which has larger hour indices and wider Mercedes hands.

Despite its highly legible dial, the Kermit has a relatively compact case that measures 40 millimeters in diameter and 13 millimeters in thickness. A practical dive watch that will meet the demands of most modern divers, it is water-resistant up to 300 meters underwater and features high levels of lumen for phosphorescent viewing under dark conditions.

Characteristics of the Rolex Kermit

  • Released - 2003
  • Case size - 40 mm
  • Case material - Steel
  • Dial color - Black
  • Bezel material - Aluminum
  • Movement - Automatic calibre 3135 with a power reserve of 48 hours

About the Rolex Submariner Date Ref. 126610LV “Starbucks”

Although Rolex stopped producing new Kermit wristwatches in 2010, the heart of this iconic model continues to beat in many different predecessors. You can trace a direct evolutionary line from the Rolex Submariner Starbucks back through the Rolex Hulk to arrive at the Rolex Kermit. All of these models feature a similar green bezel that is nothing if not a statement maker.

Extremely protective of its iconic status in the world of horology, Rolex has been reluctant to stray too far from the designs that have made the company legendary. But in 2020, it made significant updates to its classic Submariner line to expand its cultural value and push its technical performance.

The History of the Rolex “Starbucks”

The watch that would earn the nickname “Starbucks” for its loose resemblance to the iconic green logo of the Starbucks coffee chain, the Rolex Submariner Date ref. 126610LV launches as part of a whole new generation of Submariners in September 2020. Although Rolex added four new dive watches to its Submariner collection during that month, no other has had the staying power of the Starbucks.

Also known as the “New Kermit” and the “Cermit,” this watch features a green bezel around a black dial for a look that greatly resembles the original Rolex Kermit. But the Starbucks strays from the Kermit to a remarkable degree, taking many steps to both customize and modernize its design.

Key Features of the Rolex “Starbucks”

As Rolex takes any and all variation in its iconic Submariner line quite seriously, the Kermit and the Starbucks share a great deal in common in terms of both structural design and technical specifications. In terms of basic structure, the Starbucks has a stainless steel case of 41 millimeters, making it bigger than both the Kermit and its Hulk predecessor. However, it maintains the slim profile of the Kermit with its vintage lines and narrow horns.

One of the most significant technical differences between the Starbucks and the Kermit is its movement. While the calibre 3135 of the Kermit represents a milestone in timepiece mechanics, the calibre 3235 of the Starbucks, which was first introduced by Rolex in 2015, remains a superlative achievement in the horological sciences. With its calibre 3235, Rolex achieved a 15 percent improvement in operational efficiency and boosted its automatic winding power reserve from 48 to 70 hours.

Characteristics of the Rolex Starbucks

  • Released - 2020
  • Case size - 41 mm
  • Case material - Steel
  • Dial color - Black
  • Bezel material - Ceramic
  • Movement - Automatic calibre 3135 with a power reserve of 70 hours

Get Your Rolex Kermit or Rolex Starbucks from Bezel

There is no better place to shop for a Kermit or Starbucks than Bezel. Our extensive online platform features Rolex models of all types that span the history of the company.

Ready to make a purchase? By buying through Bezel, you can rest easy knowing that you’re getting exactly what you paid for. Driven by professionals from major auction houses such as Christie’s and Sotheby’s, Bezel’s in-house authentication policies and processes are second to none. Furthermore, our comprehensive Buyer Protection Policy guarantees that the correct watch will be delivered directly to your door with all its key features and described characteristics fully intact.

DOWNLOAD THE APP

Start browsing watches now

Bezel is available to download on the App Store now. Please reach out to our concierge team if there is anything we can help you with!

Get the app