Rolex Kermit vs Starbucks: Which Green Bezel Rolex is BEST?
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rolex kermit vs starbucks

Rolex Kermit vs Starbucks: Which Green Bezel Rolex is BEST?

It’s a known fact that Rolex is the crowned king of Haute Horology. Even total watch novices know that the brand has been in the business of making bucket-list-worthy watches since 1905.

The assertion that the Submariner is the most popular collection in the world – superseding all others in relevance and status – isn’t a utopian belief.

From the famous oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau wearing one in the film “Le Monde du silence”, to James Bond flaunting the Submariner as the iconic watch par excellence, the Sub has adorned the wrists of history makers. 

Owning a Submariner means owning one of the best timepieces in the entire world, but not all Subs are created equally, which is where this article comes in. Held in veneration by acolytes of the Submariner and prissy watch collectors, the Kermit and Starbucks models are among the most celebrated and debated Subs in the past century.

But why are these models so hotly debated, and how do they perform against each other? Is there really any striking difference between them, and which one is the best option for you? Let’s find out!

About the Rolex Kermit

The first Submariner models officially debuted at Baselworld in 1954. The Ref. 6204 was the first diving watch made to be waterproof up to 100m. It was clear Rolex had huge plans for the Submariner from the beginning, and one of such was to leave a  legacy as one of the most important sports watches in history.

The Rolex Kermit was launched in 2003 to mark the 50th anniversary of the extolled Rolex Submariner collection. The first reference was 16610LV, and it came with a black dial and a green aluminum bezel. The unorthodox color choice was very unexpected, and the watch quickly garnered mixed reactions from Rolex’s fanbase.

The release was a surprise to the watch world and was also the very first Sub equipped with a green bezel. Many nicknames were attributed to the strange release, but the one that stuck was the ‘Kermit’.

Collectors choose to call the 16610LV the ‘Kermit’ because of the similarity in the coloring between the famous green frog and the Submariner’s bezel. The “LV” in the reference number represents “lunette verte,” which is French for “green bezel.” 

The 166170LV is presented in a compact 40mm case with a thickness of 13mm. The dial is a ‘maxi-dial’, meaning the markers and hands are larger than average to allow better visibility and more lumen for reading the time at night. The watch has a water-resistant rating of 300 meters, uses the Calibre 3135, and is mounted on a hollow link Oyster bracelet made of 904L stainless steel. 

Production was discontinued after seven years to make way for the new green Sub by way of the 116610LV “Hulk.” The Kermit remains the ultimate symbol of success and prestige and is one hell of a diver that makes for a great investment and family heirloom. 

Since its discontinuation, demand for the anniversary piece has grown, making it highly sought-after by collectors and enthusiasts.

About the Rolex Starbucks

Launched in September 2020, the Rolex Submariner Ref. 126610LV “Starbucks” was among the four new models added to the world’s most famous dive watch collection.

The Submariner began life as a perfect diver’s instrument, and the tough tests it victoriously survived made it fixated as Rolex’s flagship model. From 1953 to the date, the line has certainly evolved but not the base concept and design code.

The Ref. 126610LV was a fresh entry, joining the ranks of other prestigious green-themed Submariners such as the Rolex Kermit and the Rolex Hulk. It was nicknamed Starbucks because of its black dial and green bezel that evoked images of the iconic green Starbucks coffee chain logo. 

The design of the Starbucks seems to step away from Rolex’s otherwise conservative brand philosophy but stays faithful to the original model launched in 1953. It is 1mm bigger than its predecessor, the Ref. 116610LV (or the Hulk) and comes with a more vintage look and prominent classic proportions such as narrower horns.

Another unique feature of the Starbucks is that it is the first Sub equipped with a Calibre 3235. The Calibre 3235 comprises the Rolex Chronergy escapement with 15% improved efficiency. Starbucks continues to enrich the symbolism of Rolex today, ensuring that the brand’s cultural value continues to grow. 

Whether it’s your first investment or an epic addition to your collection, Starbucks Ref. 126610LV is an elevated emblem of ambition for the Everyman across the planet. Since it has been built to the highest possible standard of design and functionality, diving professionals will also find it extremely useful.

Rolex Kermit vs Starbucks

The Rolex Kermit was the first generation of the green diver’s watch, which premiered in 2003 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Submariner collection. Starbucks Ref. 126610LV, on the other hand, is the third generation. The release of the Starbucks was quite significant because Rolex completely redesigned the Submariner collection at the same time. 

The watch still featured a green bezel, but there was something “extra” about it, thanks to an upgrade in size, bezel material, and movement. Collectors have since been divided on whether it should go by the nickname ‘Kermit 2.0’ or ‘Cermit’ since it comes in the same colorway as the original Kermit and shares almost the same features.

What are the differences between these two icons? Is the Starbucks really just a reissue of the legendary Kermit Sub? Read on as we detail the variations of these two collectibles.



For several decades, the Submariner has measured 40mm in diameter. The Rolex Kermit 16610LV followed suit and came in a 904L stainless steel case (or Oyster Steel) that retained its predecessors’ 40mm diameter and 20mm lug width. 

The case of the Starbucks 126610LV, on the other hand, has been increased by 1mm and features more tapered lugs, which appear thinner and more angled. The lug width has also been increased from 20mm to 21mm, though the height of both watches remains practically the same, around 12.5mm.

Aesthetically, the Starbucks Sub is slightly more elegant, especially when you discover that even the crown guards have been redesigned and are more angled and symmetrical, giving the watch more flow, more curves, and less bulk.

The similarities would be that both cases are finished with brushed surfaces and polished sides and come with a Triplock crown, sapphire crystal, and screwed case back. The sapphire crystal of the Starbucks 126610LV, however, features an anti-reflective coating on the inner side, while the Kermit 16610LV does not.

Again for both watches, the construction, execution, and finishing are on par with all Rolex models. They are also both water resistant to 300 meters or 1,000ft.

The Dial and Bezel

Framing the dial of both watches is a classic unidirectional diving bezel with easy-to-read markers and a 60-click motion. The difference, however, is that the  Kermit 16610LV has a green aluminum bezel insert, while the Starbucks 126610LV features a bezel made of stainless steel with a knurled edge and Cerachrom insert. 

Cerachrom is manufactured by Rolex from an extremely hard ceramic material that is virtually impervious to scratches. It is unaffected by ultraviolet rays. As a result, the green color appears a bit more restrained and provides less contrast under certain light conditions compared to the Kermit 16610LV. 

The aluminum bezel of the Kermit features a more racing green color, like the character it’s nicknamed after. There isn’t a lot of noticeable difference between the dials. The Maxi-Dial layout retains the same design with oversized markers largely filled with blue-emitting Chromalight. However, the hands seem to have been reworked just a little bit. 

The minute hand now has a wider luminescent insert, and unlike that of the 16610LV, it touches the minute track. The Mercedes hour hand also appears slightly wider, and the entire dial feels a bit more expanded due to the extra 1mm.

Lastly, the dial of the Starbucks features a small crown in between the “Swiss Made” text at 6 o’clock, while the Kermit omits this.

Bracelet & Clasp

Rolex knows more than any other watch brand in the world not to change a proven recipe. That said, both watches are worn on the typical Rolex Oyster bracelet. The perfectly integrated 3-link bracelet is fully brushed on its flat surfaces while the sides are polished.

Since the lug width of the Starbucks has been increased by 1mm (and is now 21mm), its entire profile, from lugs to clasp, has also been redesigned. The larger bracelet visually reduces the increase in the case size, but the larger clasp (which is also one additional millimeter compared to the Kermit) doesn’t look as elegant as the compact clasp on the Kermit.

Unlike the Kermit, the Starbucks bracelet also doesn’t feel too tapered at the buckle, which is characteristic of older Rolex Submariners.


The major difference between the Starbucks and Kermit isn’t visual but mechanical. The Kermit 16610LV is powered by the reliable Calibre 3135, an automatic movement first introduced in 1988. The workhorse movement quickly became Rolex’s main movement and appeared in most Rolex date models before 2015. 

It is COSC-certified as a Superlative Chronometer with 31 jewels and is powered by a bidirectional rotor. It also features a balance wheel made of glucydur and a Parachrom hairspring, which allows better resistance to shocks and temperature variations. The Calibre 3135 offers a frequency of 28.800 vph and displays center seconds, hours, minutes, and date at 3 o’clock.

The Starbucks 126610LV, on the other hand, is powered by a movement that could be called every watchmaker’s dream; Rolex’s Calibre 3235. The movement was officially released at Baselworld 2015 and is at the forefront of watchmaking technology with a whopping 14 patents.

The COSC-certified has a longer power reserve when compared to its predecessor, the Calibre 3135– 70 hours vs. 48 hours (almost 50 percent bump). The focus of the Calibre 3235 is to offer significant improvements in terms of precision, reliability, and resistance to shocks and magnetic fields. 

The accuracy of the Kermit’s Calibre 3135  falls between -4/+6 seconds per day, while that of the Calibre 3235 is of the order of -2 /+2 seconds per day. This rating is more than twice the required official chronometer accuracy.

The Rolex-patented blue Parachrom hairspring is still present in the Calibre 3235; however, it has been updated and tweaked, making it 10 times more precise than traditional hairsprings in case of shocks.

Price & Availability

At the time of launch, the Kermit retailed for around $5,000. However, production ceased in 2010 and so if you’re looking to own the Kermit ref. 16610LV, the pre-owned market, is the only viable route.

Even though there wasn’t an immediate jump in price after its discontinuation, the popularity of the Submariner Kermit made it appreciate in the collector’s market over the years. Prices for a pre-owned Submariner Kermit 16610LV in good condition start from approximately $15,500 in the second-hand online marketplace. 

The Starbucks 126610LV, on the other hand, has been gracing the shelves of official retailers since 2020 and is available for purchase only on those shelves. I say this because you can’t buy a Rolex watch directly via the brand’s website. There is a list of their official jewelers where you can (and should) purchase a Rolex with guaranteed authenticity.

The average price for a new Starbucks 126610LV is $18,495, and it is covered by the official Rolex international warranty for five years.

Value Retention & Investment

Every watch connoisseur knows that Rolex watches hold their value better than most high-end brands of luxury watches. The Kermit was produced between 2003 and 2010, and since Rolex is not producing any new model, the resale value of the Ref. 16610LV has escalated in the secondhand market. 

The absolutely collectible watch can be seen on marketplaces selling for as high as $23,000 (over four times its original price) and enjoys an ever-growing demand on the gray market. The limited availability of the watch also means that there is an investment opportunity here, as the huge surge in popularity doesn’t seem to be declining anytime soon. 

The Starbucks will also retain its value for generations to come, provided you protect it from unnecessary wear-and-tear and keep the original box, papers, and accessories intact. If we compare the value retention of the Kermit vs. Starbucks, the green anniversary timepiece certainly has more resale value and is a better investment option due to its relative scarcity. 

Rare and hard-to-find timepieces always attract the highest bids at the auction, but if, at any stage, Rolex decides to discontinue the Starbucks, its price in the secondary market will skyrocket.


While the Kermit and Starbucks are equal in terms of quality, execution, assembly, and finishing, the Kermit will always remain the iconic 50th-anniversary model. The magic of the Kermit has earned it a cult status, and even though the small tweaks on the Starbucks do make a major difference, the  Kermit remains the more desirable watch.

That said, it will go down in history as the first legendary green Sub and will remain highly sought after among collectors.

About Exquisite Timepieces

Established in 1998, Exquisite Timepieces is your one-stop shop for all things luxury watches! We are an authorized dealer for 60+ luxury watch brands including Omega, Hublot, Seiko, & Longines! We are proud to showcase one of the world’s largest pre-owned watch collections, including renowned brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe. Check out our brand new watch arrivals here and popular pre-owned listings here.

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