1- “Buckley” Dial
The nickname “Buckley” refers to the Rolex watch aficionado and collector John Buckley’s favorite dial. This select dial is pure white with a vivid contrast of black painted on Roman numerals. This dial can be found on vintage Day-Date and Datejust models.
2- “Patrizzi” Dial
The “Patrizzi” dial is named after Osvaldo Patrizzi, a famous Swiss watch auctioneer and author. He observed and is credited for recognizing that the three silver rings around the sub-dials of a Model 16520 Zenith Daytona with a black dial sometimes turn a dark brown in color. This color change is possibly due the aging of the protective coating Rolex used on these Daytona dials during mid-1990’s. Today the Patrizzi Daytonas are very sought after by collectors.
3- “Paul Newman” Dial
The famous actor and race driver gives this important Rolex Daytona Cosmograph dial its nickname “Paul Newman.” In the earlier days of collecting wrist watches, these dials were referred to as “Exotic” dial Daytonas. This is due to their different colors and configuration over standard Daytona dials. Through the years, Rolex produced less of these “so called” exotic dials making them exceedingly rare over the more common standard Daytona dials. These exotic dial Daytonas are especially prized by Italian collectors. When Paul Newman was actually seen wearing one of these exotic dial Daytonas during his personal and racing life, the “Paul Newman” nickname for this special Daytona was born. Mr. Newman’s original Daytona sold at auction for more than $17 million U.S. dollars, breaking the record sale at the time for a vintage wristwatch.
4- “Steve McQueen” Explorer II model 1655
The “Steve McQueen” name, well known among aficionados for this particular Explorer II model, came from a 1970’s advertising campaign launched by Rolex, with the aptly named “King of Cool” film star. At the time of its release, it was considered more of a functional tool watch specifically aimed at Speleologists. It’s also interesting to note that although this Explorer II model 1655 is nicknamed after “Steve McQueen,” the actor never actually wore the watch. He was more likely to be seen wearing a Submariner or GMT-Master.
5- “James Bond” Submariner 6538
The mega actor Sean Connery played the part of James Bond 007 in the first blockbuster 1962 film “Dr. No.” Sean Connery wore a Rolex stainless steel Submariner model 6538 on the set. Since this was the first Rolex worn in a James Bond film, this model Submariner will always be known as the “James Bond” Submariner. The lack of crown guards and oversized crown on the Submariner 6238 stands out and sets it apart from all later model Submariners, making the model 6238 the original “James Bond” Submariner.
6- “Pussy Galore” GMT-Master 6542
In the follow-up James Bond film to “Dr. No.,” the 007 1964 film “Goldfinger” actress Honor Blackman wears a late 1950’s GMT-Master model 6542 with a bakelite bezel. Playing the role of Pussy Galore in “Goldfinger,” Blackman’s watch receives ample screen time showing its now very famous blue and red bezel, thus nicknamed the “Pussy Galore” GMT-Master.
7- “John Player” Daytona
The “John Player Special” refers to the beautiful and rare yellow gold Daytona model 6241. Its clean look with non-screw down pushers, black dial and bezel with gold subdials symbolizes the Lotus Formula 1 racing team colors that was sponsored by the John Player & Sons Special cigarette brand. The gold Daytona 6241 has earned the nickname the “John Player special.”
8- “Jean-Claude Killy” Dato-Compax Chronograph
1960’s celebrity professional French Champion alpine skier Jean-Claude Killy became a Rolex brand representative for advertisements by Rolex. He was famous for wearing the Rolex Dato-Compax Chronograph models which gave them the nickname the “Jean-Claude Killy” models.
These special Oyster Chronograph Dato-Compax (complications: Day, Month, Date & Chronograph) are very expensive and very sought after by Rolex collectors; especially the model 6036.
9- “Bao Dai” Black diamond dial 6062 (no photo at this time)
This rare and exquisite Rolex timepiece “Bao Dai” model 6062 18k triple calendar moonphase with an original and beautiful special black diamond dial belonged to last Emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty of Vietnam. He was granted the title “Bao Dai” (the keeper of greatness) when he was twelve years of age. The “Bao Dai” Rolex 6062 sold in 2017 at a Geneve auction for more than $5 million dollars. At this time, it was the most expensive publicly sold Rolex in history.
10- “Clint Eastwood” GMT-Master 16753
Mr. Eastwood’s favorite Rolex is his GMT-Master model 16753 brown dial or Root Beer now nicknamed “Clint Eastwood.” Not only was this his daily worn watch for many years; he also wore his GMT-Master in several major films playing different character roles.
11- “Belmondo” Daytona
Jean-Paul Belmondo, French legendary film actor and producer from the 1960’s forward, was a huge fan of Rolex watches. His favorite Rolex was a 6263 black dial Big Red Daytona with silver subsidiary dials. He has been photographed many times with this favorite Daytona on his wrist. Jean-Paul Belmondo’s best known credits include “Breathless,” “That Man from Rio,” “Pierrot le Fou,” “Borsalino,” and “The Professional.”
12- “James Cameron” Deepsea
Flimmaker and explorer James Cameron has worn a Rolex Submariner for decades. He wore the same Submariner on his many exploration dives to the wreck of the Titanic that sunk in icy
waters off the north Atlantic in April of 1912. In 2008, Rolex launched a new dive watch named
the “Deepsea,” with an impressive depth certification of 3,990 meters. This was made possible
by a thicker, domed sapphire crystal, as well as a Ringlock System, developed and patented by
Rolex. The case size increased to 44 millimeters in diameter. Rolex incorporated a caliber 3235
movement with an advanced power reserve up to 70 hours. The “Deepsea” was originally
launched with an all-black dial. Rolex later released the “D-blue,” a blue to black fade dial to
replicate the color scheme of the ocean. The “Deep Blue” dial celebrates “James Cameron’s” Deepsea Challenger submersible trip to the deepest place on our planet. This amazing exploration to Challenger Deep (the deepest part of the Mariana Trench) took place March 26, 2012.
13- “John Mayer” Daytona
Rolex collectors nicknamed the yellow gold, green dial the Daytona the “John Mayer” Daytona. John Mayer is a very well-known musician and has a following with luxury watch fans and collectors. John’s presentation of his timepieces in public appearances, as well as a passion for the high art and craftsmanship inherent in fine watchmaking, has endeared him to many in the luxury watch community. John owns and wears many luxury watches but only one has risen to namesake status. The Rolex “John Mayer” Daytona model was launched in 2016, in 18k yellow gold with a bright green dial, with Chromalight and gold hour markers. Initially overlooked due to the public’s almost fanatical interest in stainless steel Daytona models, John’s appearance and subsequent high praise of the watch help push it into the upper echelon in regard to value and collectability.