What’s In a (Nick) Name? Backstories of The Watch World’s Playful Monikers

Root beer. Starbucks. Pepsi.

No, you have not accidentally stumbled upon the beverage section in the middle of placing your online Instashop/Door Dash/ delivery-service country equivalent order from the closest KFC. (Although if you had, we would recommend adding the chicken pot pie. It’s *chef’s kiss. *) What you just read are three common nicknames for Rolex watches, but as many watch enthusiasts know, these are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to horological sobriquets. Let us take a look at a few – both highly recognizable and not – and delve a little more deeply into how they became part of watch world pop culture.

Breitling-Navitimer-1806---DWW-1194x640.jpg

Breitling Navitimer 1806 - Fried Egg via chrono24

Breitling-Navitimer-1806---DWW-1194x640.jpg

Breitling Navitimer 1806 - Fried Egg via chrono24

Rolex-Stelline---DWW-1194x640.jpg

Rolex Stelline via watchlover

Rolex-Stelline---DWW-1194x640.jpg

Rolex Stelline via watchlover

“Fried Egg”

Raise your hand if you know what this one is. (And do not worry if you’re lying; we can’t see you.) The nickname belongs to an early Breitling Navitimer, reference 1806, and there is some debate as to why and how it got its name. Some say the 48mm case size and color resembled a frying pan and that the two white sub dials (with one hand being bright orange) gave off a breakfast vibe. Others say it was the curved shape of the glass when viewed from the side that looked like an egg in a pan. Either way, the name stuck, especially amongst those in the vintage collector community.

 

“Stelline”

Another vintage watch that is considered a bit of a unicorn is the Rolex reference 6062, known by the nickname, “Stelline.” No, “Stelline” was not some single-named French actress from the 1950s who wore the watch in low-budget Jean-Luc Godard film. On the contrary, the name means, “little star” in Italian, and was given to the watch as a nod to its star-shaped hour markers.

Rolex-Daytona-Paul-Newman---DWW-1194x640.jpg

Rolex daytona Paul Newman via tempusorologi

Rolex-Daytona-Paul-Newman---DWW-1194x640.jpg

Rolex daytona Paul Newman via tempusorologi

Omega-Speedmaster-Professional-'-DWW-1194x640.jpg

Omegab Speedmaster Moonwatch via chrono24

Omega-Speedmaster-Professional-'-DWW-1194x640.jpg

Omegab Speedmaster Moonwatch via chrono24

“Paul Newman”

If you haven’t been living under a rock, you can clearly bypass this nickname explanation, but if you’re a newbie who really doesn’t know the story, here it is in a nutshell: in 1968, a Rolex Daytona reference 6239 was purchased by Newman’s wife, Joanne Woodward, and gifted to the actor/race car driver with the engraving, “Drive Carefully, Me” on the back. The creamy white dial and three black sub dials of this particular model eventually became synonymous with the actor who made it famous. To close out the story, Paul Newman’s “Paul Newman” sold for a whopping $17,800,000 at a Phillips auction in October of 2017.

“Moonwatch”

Unlike the “Fried Egg” above, the nickname of Omega’s “Moonwatch” is relatively cut-and-dry. In 1969, American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to step foot on the moon. NASA selected an Omega Speedmaster with an asymmetrical case as the watch the men would wear, and Omega has since made anniversary versions of the model which remains popular even today.

Rolex-Daytona-Paul-Newman---DWW-1194x640.jpg

Rolex daytona Paul Newman via tempusorologi

Rolex-Daytona-Paul-Newman---DWW-1194x640.jpg

Rolex daytona Paul Newman via tempusorologi

Omega-Speedmaster-Professional-'-DWW-1194x640.jpg

Omegab Speedmaster Moonwatch via chrono24

Omega-Speedmaster-Professional-'-DWW-1194x640.jpg

Omegab Speedmaster Moonwatch via chrono24

“Paul Newman”

If you haven’t been living under a rock, you can clearly bypass this nickname explanation, but if you’re a newbie who really doesn’t know the story, here it is in a nutshell: in 1968, a Rolex Daytona reference 6239 was purchased by Newman’s wife, Joanne Woodward, and gifted to the actor/race car driver with the engraving, “Drive Carefully, Me” on the back. The creamy white dial and three black sub dials of this particular model eventually became synonymous with the actor who made it famous. To close out the story, Paul Newman’s “Paul Newman” sold for a whopping $17,800,000 at a Phillips auction in October of 2017.

“Moonwatch”

Unlike the “Fried Egg” above, the nickname of Omega’s “Moonwatch” is relatively cut-and-dry. In 1969, American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to step foot on the moon. NASA selected an Omega Speedmaster with an asymmetrical case as the watch the men would wear, and Omega has since made anniversary versions of the model which remains popular even today.

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