Rolex Kermit Review: A Detailed Look at a Timeless Classic

The Rolex Kermit, an emblem of luxury and bold design, stands as a pinnacle in watchmaking since its inception in 2003, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the esteemed Submariner line. 

Known officially as reference 16610LV, the Kermit distinguished itself with a striking green bezel paired with a classic black dial. This combination marked a significant milestone for Rolex and introduced the Maxi dial to the world. 

This design innovation features notably larger, more luminous hour markers than earlier models, enhancing readability and aesthetic appeal.

Affectionately named after the beloved Muppet character, Kermit the Frog, due to its vibrant green bezel, this Submariner variant quickly captured the hearts of collectors and enthusiasts alike. In 2020, Rolex unveiled a refreshed Kermit model, reference 126610LV, which preserved the hallmark green bezel and black dial. 

As we dive deeper into the essence of the Rolex Kermit, this article will guide you from its historical significance to the technical prowess behind its design.

The Case

rolex kermit case

The case of the Rolex Kermit is an important aspect to appreciate while understanding the features and appearance of the watch. The original Rolex Kermit model (Ref. 16610LV) sports a classic Oyster case with a diameter of 40mm and height of 13mm for a smooth cuff-sliding experience. Notably, it’s made of durable and high-quality stainless steel. Sitting proudly at its side are crown guards that offer the steel crown extra protection.

It also has a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal sitting atop it, with a Cyclops magnifier lens at three o’clock for a better view of the date. Its manufacture in the 2000s affords it this wonderful touch of modern technology.

As for its bezel, it’s crafted from stainless steel and sports an aluminum insert with a forest green hue. The aluminum bezel is knurled for a better grip and has graduations and numerals printed in white for better contrast against the green and enhanced visibility.

As stated earlier, Rolex released an updated version of the Submariner Kermit in 2020, with the reference number 126610LV (also known as Cermit, Starbucks, and Lunette Verte). The new Rolex Kermit features a slightly enlarged case with a diameter of 41mm (or 40.5mm if you’re into specifics). 

Despite the increase in size, the new generation of 41mm Submariners, including the Kermit 126610LV, boasts streamlined cases that resemble the pre-Super Case Submariner models. The lugs on the watch flow more closely to the wrist, contrasting the Super Case’s bulkier feel. The choice of crystal is similar to its older brother.

It has a bright green bezel with a not-entirely-graduated 60-minute scale. The ceramic bezel is PVD coated with platinum and has a luminous pearl at zero for extra visibility and elegance. The gentle, less-flashy green plus generous case profile and water resistance make it a reliable everyday watch.

Speaking of water resistance, The Kermit is designed for underwater activities. The older and newer models have a water resistance rating of 300 meters. This makes them suitable watches for professional divers and watch enthusiasts who require a reliable and stylish timepiece for a broad range of activities.

The Rolex Kermit’s case is visually appealing, comfortable to wear, and made to withstand the test of time. It’s pretty similar to the Rolex Hulk, except that the Hulk has a green dial along with the green ceramic bezel.

Those who opt for either the original Ref. 16610LV or the updated 126610LV can be confident in the watch’s durability and performance.

The Dial

rolex kermit dial

The green watch is a notable collectible Submariner that gained fame for its striking green bezel and unique design elements. One of the distinguishing features of the Kermit is the upgraded Maxi dial. Introduced with the 50th-anniversary model, the Maxi dial features larger hands and indexes, similar to the ones found on the Rolex Yacht-Master in 1991.

This enhancement was well-received by divers, as the enlarged elements improved the watch’s legibility, even when underwater. The Kermit’s dial also boasts a clean, minimal design that complements the watch’s overall appearance.

It’s rich matte black- a color choice that was popular at the time- to showcase Rolex’s power and boldness and, of course, to offer an excellent contrast against the lume-applied hour markers and hands. 

The hands and hour markers on both models follow Rolex’s strict trademark look, with the hour hand sporting the nostalgic Mercedes-style appearance. The minute hand has a cathedral-style design, while the seconds hand has a lollipop-style look with an illuminated tip. However, the hour hand on the 2020 model is slightly larger, and its minute hand is slightly longer to touch the outer minute track.

It’s also worth noting there’s a difference in the luminescent material between the two. While the original 2003 model has SuperLumiNova illumination, the newer model boasts a more advanced Chromalight illumination. Most Rolex enthusiasts argue that Chromalight wasn’t Rolex’s best choice (we do, too) for the Cermit. It’s not bright enough in the dark, and its blue tint may be more distracting than convenient.

All in all, it’s a minor drawback that (sort of) grows into you with time.

The Movement

Caliber 3135 movement

The Rolex Kermit features a significant evolution in its movement compared to its predecessors. Initially, the watch utilized Rolex’s long-lasting and reliable Caliber 3135. Arguably the best mechanical movements to date, the Caliber 3135 movement has been around for over 30 years and boasts a conducive 28.5mm diameter and 6mm height to fit the slender Kermit’s case.

It’s Rolex’s first high-beat movement and is a continuation of the 3035. It has a higher frequency than its forerunner (19,800vph to 28,800vph) and features Rolex’s microstella system, a free-sprung balance wheel made from an alloy of copper and beryllium referred to as Glucydur, and a hairspring crafted from Nivarox.

With a 48-hour power reserve, 31 jewels, and a bi-directional winding rotor, it was all set to power the watch to the great heights it achieved throughout its production and even after.

The latest Rolex Submariners 41mm models needed a more capable and stronger movement to meet its expectations. As such, they’ve been gifted with the more efficient Caliber 3235.

One of the key improvements found in the Caliber 3235 is the inclusion of a Chronergy escapement. This innovative component is made of nickel-phosphorus and provides a 15% increase in efficiency, allowing the watch to perform at an optimal level. In addition, the timepiece’s accuracy has been significantly improved to -2/+2 seconds per day, making it a highly precise instrument for daily wear.

Regarding power reserve, the Rolex Kermit with the Caliber 3235 movement boasts an impressive 70-hour capacity. This extended power reserve ensures that the watch will remain ticking accurately even if it is not worn for nearly three days.

Some other notable features and enhancements incorporated into the Caliber 3235 movement include:

  • A blue Parachrom hairspring, which offers excellent resistance to magnetic fields and temperature variations.
  • High-performance Paraflex shock absorbers that provide increased protection against impacts.
  • A self-winding mechanism with a bidirectional rotor that keeps the watch wound efficiently and consistently.

The Strap

rolex kermit strap

The Rolex Kermit’s strap plays an essential role in both style and functionality. It comes in a 3-link stainless steel Oyster bracelet style with hollow side links and solid center links. It also has a traditional Rolex stamped clasp with Rolex Glidelock extension system and clamshell. 

There’s a major difference between the 16610LV’s bracelet and that of the earlier models: The earlier models had end-links that were separate hollow pieces, while the Kermit had end-links that were fixed to the rest of the bracelet, giving it a nice modern look with a vintage touch.

There’s not much improvement in the Cermit’s bracelet, except that it’s adjusted through screws and is larger and wider, measuring roughly 18.5mm. It boasts smooth edges and lines, a professional polish, and a folding clasp referred to as Oysterclasp with a security catch folding over the clasp (Oysterlock). Still on the menu is the handy Glidelock extension system that permits a 20mm extension in 2 mm increments.

It may feel larger and heavier on the wrist (even for people with large wrists), but it eventually adjusts if worn frequently. The primary perk of the heftier strap is you’re guaranteed you’re getting an authentic timepiece. 

The Competitive Landscape

The Kermit, officially known as the Submariner Date reference 16610LV, has become an icon in the watch world since Rolex introduced it in 2003 to celebrate the Submariner’s 50th anniversary. According to WatchCharts, it has a retail price of S$8,562, while the 2020 model retails at S$10,800.

When comparing this very special watch against other similarly styled luxury watches, several strong contenders come to mind, such as:

  • Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean: The Seamaster collection is a well-known rival to the Rolex Submariner collection, offering similar design elements and professional dive watch features. The Planet Ocean line brings bold colors and modern materials while maintaining a classic aesthetic. It retails between S$6,020 and S$11,506
  • Breitling Superocean Heritage: Another dive watch that competes with the Rolex Kermit is the Breitling Superocean Heritage. This model emphasizes style and functionality, recreating the vintage look of the original 1957 Superocean while incorporating modern innovation. It has a retail price of between S$4,415 and S$11,773.
  • Tag Heuer Aquaracer: The Aquaracer is Tag Heuer’s dive watch offering, which comes in various colors and finishes. This model not only shares similarities in design with the Kermit but also positions itself as a more affordable option for buyers seeking luxury dive watches. It retails for between S$2,676 and S$4,950.

What other features make them worthy contenders against the Rolex Kermit? Let’s find out from the table below:

Watch Model

Water Resistance

Case Size

Movement

Retail Price

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean

Up to 6,000m

37.5mm-45.5mm

Automatic movement (depending on the model and case size)

S$6,020- S$11,506

Breitling Superocean Heritage

100-200m

42mm-46mm

Mostly ‘in-house’ Caliber B20

S$4,415- S$11,773

The TAG Heuer Aquaracer

200-1,000m (depending on the model)

30mm, 36mm, and 40mm

Mostly Caliber 5 automatic movement

S$2,676- S$4,950

Source: WatchCharts (As of May 2023)

It’s clear from the table that the Breitling Superocean Heritage offers the best wrist presence. Meanwhile, the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean has the most impressive water resistance rating and is the most expensive among the competitors. The Tag Heuer Aquaracer is the most affordable among them all (including the Kermit).

That said, while Rolex Kermits are valuable timepieces that showcase Rolex’s innovation and attention to quality while technology was still thriving, their competitors are also valuable in their own right. As such, the winner in this epic battle depends on the wearer. Everyone has unique tastes and preferences, and each of these timepieces meets those specific requirements.

Why You Should Invest

The Rolex Kermit is a highly sought-after timepiece that has seen a significant rise in value over the years. One of the reasons for the increasing worth of the Rolex Kermit is its rarity. 

The piece was produced in a limited quantity, making it difficult to find and thus more expensive on the secondary market. A pre-owned Rolex Submariner Kermit can cost anywhere from S$26,757 to S$33,446 if it’s in good condition and has the original tags and box.

Investing in a Rolex Kermit isn’t just about the monetary returns but also about owning a piece of horological history. As Rolex celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Submariner, the Kermit was unveiled with its distinctive green bezel and Maxi dial, featuring larger hour markers and fatter hands than the standard Submariner Date. This innovative design provided increased legibility and aesthetic appeal, further adding to the watch’s desirability among collectors.

Reliability is another factor contributing to the watch’s investment potential. The Rolex Kermit is equipped with a Caliber 3135 movement, one of Rolex’s oldest production movements. Known for its accuracy and durability, the Caliber 3135 ensures that the timepiece will maintain its functionality and value over time.

While the Rolex Kermit has seen impressive appreciation in value, it’s essential to remember that investments in Rolex watches can be unpredictable, and there are no guarantees of future performance. However, considering the rarity, historical significance, and reliability of the Rolex Kermit, it stands as a valuable investment for those looking to add a unique and coveted timepiece to their collection.

FAQs

1. Is the Rolex Submariner Kermit a good investment?

The Rolex Submariner Kermit can be considered a good investment for watch collectors and enthusiasts. It is known for its distinctive green bezel and black dial, which sets it apart from other Rolex Submariner watches. Its status as a 50th-anniversary edition has contributed to increased interest in this particular model. Plus, the Cermit can be bought new for at least S$12,777 and at least S$30,771 on the pre-owned market, according to Wrist Advisor.

2. Is the Rolex Kermit rare?

The Rolex Kermit is considered rare. It’s relatively scarce due to its unique design and limited production run. Its demand among collectors and enthusiasts has kept the demand high; thus, finding a Rolex Kermit in excellent condition could be considered a valuable piece for the collection.

3. Will Rolex discontinue the Kermit?

The original Rolex Kermit (Ref. 16610LV) was discontinued in 2010 and was replaced by the Rolex Submariner “Hulk” (Ref. 116610LV). The Kermit was in production for eight years, from 2003 to 2010, a relatively short production run for a Rolex Submariner model. The discontinuation of the original Rolex Kermit has likely contributed to its increased value in the secondary market. However, the Cermit is still in production.

4. How long is the wait for a Kermit Rolex?

The wait time for a Rolex Kermit can vary significantly depending on the country and authorized dealer. As per Rolex Forums, Some interested buyers wait for a year or more while others wait for a month or less.

Final Word

The Rolex Kermit remains an iconic piece in the horology world, with its blend of Rolex craftsmanship, bold design, and collector value. Those lucky enough to own one can be assured that they possess a remarkable timepiece with a unique history and lasting appeal.

Key Takeaways

  • The Rolex Kermit is Rolex’s first Sub with a green bezel, which is reminiscent of the famous Muppet character, Kermit the Frog.
  • The Rolex Kermit is a worthwhile investment due to its rarity, ability to appreciate in value, and high resale price!
  • The Rolex Kermit’s waiting list depends on the authorized dealer and country. Some buyers wait for more than a year, while others wait for a month or less.

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