The luxury watches that earned nicknames
Margaret Thatcher, once the firm hand at the helm of Britain, earned the nickname: “The Iron Lady.” Not bad, if it fits the job description. Bill Clinton might not have been so happy to be known as “Slick Willie,” and the vote is still out on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s - "The Governator.”
It’s understandable why some things get nicknames, though – because otherwise they may only be known by a reference number, or a really long description.
Luxury watches don’t seem like an obvious choice for these pet names, at first, but once you get to know just how many different kinds of Rolex Submariner, or Omega Speedmaster are out there – you find it impossible to ignore those names, in the end. They tend to stick – and they can either make or break a particular watch’s popularity. We’ve put together some of the best known watch nicknames.
'Paul Newman' – The Rolex Ref. 6263 Daytona
Newman’s name got linked to this particular Rolex after his wife, Joanne Woodward, gave him a Daytona when he began racing cars in 1972. It’s one of the most mythical watches in vintage circles, and twice over it has shattered the world records at auction houses.
Phillips has discovered the original wristwatch and will place it under the hammer on October 26, 2017. Newman’s own Reference 6239 with a personal inscription on the back from Woodward (“Drive Carefully Me”) has never been offered publicly before – but we can expect big things.
“Pussy Galore” Rolex GMT 6542
The GMT Master from Rolex first appeared in the 1950’s, when trans-continental flight created the need for dual time watches. Since then it has become one of the most recognizable luxury watches, period.
When Honor Blackman appeared next to Sean Connery in the James Bond classic, Goldfinger, as the mischievous Pussy Galore, it was probably the first time a woman appeared on screen wearing a man's 40MM Sport Rolex. It also earned the model on her wrist, the 6542, the nickname it still has today.
“Steve McQueen” The Rolex Explorer II ref. 1655
Some will argue that this nickname is technically a misnomer, since McQueen never wore one. Somehow, though, the name got stuck, and good luck to anyone who tries to unstick it.
“Bronzo” – Panerai PAM 382
In 2011 Panerai created a special edition limited to 1000 pieces – the PAM 382, with an incredible bronze finished case that weathers over time, making it even more appealing as it ages. It spawned a niche industry within the luxury watch niche – the so-called ‘New Bronze Age’ – and the nickname “Bronzo” says it all.
“Jo Siffert” Heuer Autavia Ref. 1163
In 1968, when there was still a place for privateers in Formula 1 racing, Jo “Seppe” Siffert drove into the F1 history books by winning the 1968 British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch in Rob Walker Racing Team's Lotus 49B. Three years later he died in a crash in the final race.
Tag Heuer made a name for themselves on the racing track, and so it’s fitting that the Autavia 1163 carries the name of the famous, and beloved racer.
The list of nicknames doesn’t stop there, of course. Add to these the green Rolex “Hulk” or the “Kermit,” or, if you prefer a blue dial – why not “Batman” or “Smurf?”
Whether the name comes from a recognizable feature of the watch, or purely from the association of a famous name – it’s a welcome addition to the watch-collecting dictionary.