In the watch world there are a lot of nicknames out there. We recently gave you a breakdown of some of the obscure nicknames that make up the past and present Seiko catalog, but there are plenty of other nicknames in the watch world that you need to be aware of. Primarily focusing on dials and bezels, here’s a fun lesson in important nomenclature that’ll help you make more sense of the variety of industry terminology out there.
Root Beer Bezel
One of the few Rolex bezels to be nicknamed after different kind of sodas, the Root Beer GMT is arguably one of the only brown dials I’d happily add to my personal collection. The combo of brown and gold on a GMT Master works remarkably well, and it’s seen its share of knock offs over there. Variants of the Rolex GMT Master basically make up half our list here, but I’d argue that Root Beer GMTs are safely the least common of the bunch.
Once again a Rolex classic that’s been adopted by a number of different brands (affordable fans will all remember the Seiko SKX007 and the new Seiko PADI versions of the Turtle. The combo of blue and red is a mighty sharp one, and it’s always a solid addition to anyone’s watch collection. If you’re looking for the ultimate option, one of the original bakelite-bezel Rolex GMT Master 6542 is the year be-all-and-end-all of Pepsi bezels.
In the beverage world Coke is ALWAYS better than Pepsi, but somehow the black and red variant of the GMT bezel has never been quite as popular as its red and blue sibling. It’s been copied by Steinhart, and even an odd TAG Heuer back in the day. Unlike the Pepsi, the Coke bezel is no longer in production by Rolex these days, though there has long been speculation that a ceramic Coke bezel GMT will eventually come to fruition.
Most commonly seen in the Panerai catalog, though also used by a number of brands big and small, a sandwich dial is one of the coolest dial style out there. Basically by sandwiching two dial layers together, a level of depth is created that often includes some pretty spectacular lume. The latest Omega Seamaster 300 uses one, as do both current offerings from Oak and Oscar.
Stealth is the name of the game when it comes to Phantom dials. These sleek black-on-black creations have come to us from all over the industry, including my personal favorite from Bell & Ross. That said, Rolex custom king George Bamford has created his share of blacked out creations over the years.
Snowflake dials come in two very distinct and different versions — one from Tudor, and the other from the Grand Seiko catalog. In the case of the Tudor snowflake, the name is actually more of a reference to the slightly snowflake-shaped hour hand than anything else. In the case of the Grand Seiko Snowflake, a stunning dial texture reminiscent of a fresh snowfall is the reason this gem earned its nickname.
Pie Pan Dial
Recently revived via the new (and just plain gorgeous) Omega Globemaster, the Pie Pan dial looks a lot like it sounds. The dial has creases at each hour indices, and the outer edge curve downwards. Though the style has been used by a number of brands, the Omega Constellation from the ‘60s is one of the most recognizable of the bunch.
Of the weirdest dial nicknames out there, the Nipple dial was a peculiar creation of the ‘70s that saw tall pyramid-esque indices with smaller lume plots that — you guessed it — sorta look like little nipples. They’re the kind of thing that really isn’t for everyone (lume fanatics look elsewhere) but their weirdness is cool in its own way. Of the ones we’ve spotted during our research, this crazy minty solid gold blue dial 16808 nipple dial is the one I’d be chasing, budget permitting of course.
Another gem of the ‘70s that was never expected to be a hit, the Stella dial was originally designed for the Middle Eastern market but quickly found a following globally. The Stella dials use brightly colored lacquer and enameling to variants of the Datejust and Day-Date. Sadly there are a ton of fakes out there, so you’re going to have to hunt very carefully to ensure you don’t land on a fake dial.
Rolex’s BLNR Batman gets its name solely on account of using a Cerachrom bezel in the Dark Knight’s classic colors. I’d safely argue this is THE best looking modern Rolex out there right now, as it combines a GMT complications with the subtle application of color that’s more interesting than going for a plain black alternative. It’s also still under-the-radar enough that you can wear it just about anywhere and with just about anything. The cool part? There’s a Seiko Turtle in the same colors out there — the SRP787.
How did some of the dials get their names? For example, the California dial, the Ohio dial, etc?