Rolex never ceased to surprise us with its creativity in every watch they put forward. As you can imagine, we had high expectations for them at the Baselworld 2018. True to their slogan – ‘a crown for every achievement’ – Rolex GMT Master II deserves a steel crown.
Enthusiastic fans waited eagerly before its announcement, wanting to see the features of this new watch.
We now have the facts, and they’re exciting! For starters, Rolex’s decision to reintroduce Pepsi bezel GMT-Master in steel was perplexing but also evoked emotions in the fans.
Since the release of the first Rolex GMT-Master model, the red and blue bezel has always been the watch’s distinctive signature. Although no one knows who gave it the nickname ‘Pepsi,’ someone must’ve made the connection between the watch bezel and the soda’s logo that uses the same colour combination of red, blue, and white.
The original intent for Rolex GMT Master was to aid the navigation of airline pilots. Yet, the watch’s rugged good looks and its peerless functionality have attracted more than just pilots. Thanks to its multiple time zone display, Rolex GMT Master II also attracted a frequent travellers.
The watch almost looks purple in comparison to the jeans-blue Rolex GMT Master 1675 of the 70s. If you have no other watches to compare the colour to, then it’s not that much of an issue. Even Rolex admits that coming up with the same colour combination was a tough nut to crack.
The similar difficulty can be seen in the ceramic inlay. For Rolex GMT Master II, the ceramic inlay resembles that of the white gold version. However, improvements were added, particularly concerning lugs.
The Jubilee 69200 bracelet was made specifically for Rolex GMT Master II, which means that the oyster bracelet may not be a good choice for this watch.
The design of a watch will be the first thing anyone notices. However, what really matters is functionality. And that’s what Rolex fully understands.
To meet this need, the company introduced a couple of interesting features with the Rolex GMT Master II. The new model with a large barrel makes it possible to have a 70-hour power reserve. The watch also has Paraflex shock absorbers and Chronergy escapement.
Rolex had the idea of increasing the power reserve for at least three days, while at the same time operating within the -2 and +2 seconds on a daily basis. This is within acceptable chronometer specifications.
Next, let’s talk about the time display. The feature is available in previous models as well as the current model. Just like before, Rolex and developed a 24-hour hand, which works alongside a 12-hour hand.
Setting the long red hand could not be done independently, but the rotating bezel which is split into 2 halves (12-hour each) helped display Greenwich Mean Time. That is for pilots, who normally track second-time zone based on GMT. As already highlighted above, the two halves of the bezel take red and blue colours.
A New Generation Of Watches
When Rolex introduced a new generation of GMT Master II in 2007, the company marked a sharp departure from previous references, mainly due to new and robust design with a ceramic bezel. The ‘Batman’ nickname came from the colours that looked similar to the caped crusader.
Today, the Rolex GMT Master II continues with this trend, coming out as a more modern watch and one which isn’t easy to find any semblance with other watches.
The watch is designed with beauty in mind. Perhaps it’s not as incredibly beautiful watch like others. Despite that, it makes a significant drift from its predecessors. Whether it’s the clasp, the bracelet, the bezel, or the dial, this new model of watches signals that Rolex may be taking a new direction with how it engineers its watches.