Rolex GMT-Master II Model Review

by Barbara Wilson

The Rolex GMT-Master II is more than just a watch; it’s a symbol of precision, luxury, and timeless style. Its legacy dates back to the 1950s when Rolex collaborated with Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) to create a watch that would assist pilots and travelers in tracking multiple time zones simultaneously. Over the years, this horological masterpiece has undergone significant evolution, introducing innovative features and design elements that have solidified its place in watchmaking history.


As we delve into the Rolex GMT-Master II, we will explore its illustrious history, the vintage-inspired 2023 models, and the various aspects that make it an enduring symbol of excellence.


I. The History of the Rolex GMT-Master II

The history of the Rolex GMT-Master II is a testament to Rolex’s commitment to innovation and functionality. The original GMT-Master was created in 1954 as a response to the growing demand for a watch that could display multiple time zones, particularly for pilots who were traversing long distances. With input from Pan Am, Rolex introduced the GMT-Master, featuring a 24-hour hand and a bi-color bezel to differentiate between day and night hours.


The GMT-Master II, introduced in the 1980s, was a revolutionary leap forward. It allowed the wearer to independently adjust the 24-hour hand, enabling tracking of a second time zone without affecting the primary timekeeping function. This innovation was made possible by the new Caliber 3085 movement. Subsequent iterations introduced the Caliber 3186 and, more recently, the Caliber 3285, each enhancing accuracy and reliability.


The evolution of the GMT-Master II also saw the introduction of the Cerachrom ceramic bezel, a material known for its exceptional durability and resistance to fading and scratching. This innovation modernized the watch while preserving its classic aesthetics.

II. 2023 Rolex GMT-Master II Has That Vintage Vibe

In 2023, Rolex introduced the latest versions of the GMT-Master II, and they are a delightful nod to the past. These new models, often referred to as the “Pepsi” and “Coke” editions, harken back to the vintage charm of earlier GMT-Master models. What sets these models apart is their use of the iconic Jubilee bracelet, a distinctive feature found in vintage GMT-Master watches.

The Jubilee bracelet, known for its five-link design, provides a comfortable and supple feel on the wrist, making it a favorite among Rolex enthusiasts. Its return in the 2023 models pays homage to the watch’s heritage while offering wearers a sense of nostalgia.

Moreover, the bi-color Cerachrom bezels in these models, featuring red and blue for the “Pepsi” and red and black for the “Coke,” are not only visually striking but also maintain the same durable qualities as their predecessors, ensuring that these watches are as robust as they are stylish.

III. The Rolex GMT Master II Pepsi: Old And New Compared

Comparing a late-production series Pepsi bezel GMT-Master II with the 2023 model showcases Rolex’s dedication to preserving the essence of this iconic timepiece. The new model builds upon the rich legacy of the Pepsi bezel while incorporating modern advancements in materials and technology.

The most noticeable difference is the bezel. In the vintage model, an aluminum insert was used for the Pepsi bezel, which, over time, could fade and scratch. Rolex addressed this issue with the introduction of the bi-color Cerachrom bezel in the 2023 model. This ceramic material not only retains the vibrant red and blue colors but also ensures that the bezel remains pristine even after years of wear.

Furthermore, the case and bracelet of the 2023 model exhibit Rolex’s unwavering commitment to impeccable craftsmanship. The attention to detail, the smooth finishing, and the overall refinement of these components are testaments to Rolex’s relentless pursuit of perfection.

IV. Introducing The Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 126720VTNR: A Left-Handed Model With A Green And Black Bezel

Rolex has never been one to shy away from innovation, and the introduction of the left-handed Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 126720VTNR exemplifies this spirit. This unique timepiece caters to those who favor wearing their watches on their right wrist. Beyond its left-handed orientation, this model stands out with its bi-color Cerachrom bezel in green and black, creating a captivating visual contrast.

Owners of the Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 126720VTNR have the option to choose between a Jubilee or Oyster bracelet, allowing for personalization and comfort. The presence of this left-handed model showcases Rolex’s dedication to providing choices that cater to individual preferences and lifestyles.

The green and black Cerachrom bezel is not just a visual spectacle; it also represents Rolex’s commitment to using cutting-edge materials to enhance the longevity and durability of its timepieces. As with all Rolex watches, this model is engineered to withstand the rigors of daily wear and the demands of global travelers.

V. Rolex GMT-Master II vs. Rolex Submariner: Which One Should You Buy?

The debate between the Rolex GMT-Master II and the Rolex Submariner is one that has raged on among Rolex enthusiasts for years. Both watches are icons in their own right, each catering to a distinct set of needs and preferences.

The Rolex GMT-Master II, with its dual-time zone functionality, is the ultimate choice for frequent travelers and those who find themselves navigating multiple time zones regularly. Its ability to display two time zones simultaneously is a practical feature that’s both functional and stylish. The bi-color bezels, such as the “Pepsi” and “Coke” variants, add a touch of vibrancy to the wrist.

On the other hand, the Rolex Submariner is a quintessential diver’s watch, celebrated for its water resistance, rugged construction, and timeless design. It’s the perfect companion for those who are passionate about exploring the depths of the ocean. The Submariner’s robustness and versatility make it equally suitable for daily wear.

Ultimately, the choice between the GMT-Master II and Submariner boils down to your lifestyle and personal preferences. If you’re a frequent traveler or simply appreciate the elegance of a dual-time zone watch, the GMT-Master II is the one for you. If diving and water sports are your passion, the Submariner will be your trusty companion. Both are undeniably exceptional Rolex timepieces, and the “right” choice depends on your unique needs.

VI. How to Spot a Fake Rolex GMT-Master II

As one of the most sought-after luxury watches in the world, the Rolex GMT-Master II is a prime target for counterfeiters. To avoid falling victim to a fake, it’s essential to develop an eagle eye for spotting authentic Rolex watches:

Examine the Dial: Genuine Rolex watches have flawless dials with perfectly aligned logos, sharp printing, and impeccable finishing. Counterfeit GMT-Master II watches often display imperfections such as uneven lettering and misaligned elements.

Inspect the Case and Bracelet: Rolex’s reputation for impeccable craftsmanship extends to the case and bracelet. Genuine Rolex watches have smooth surfaces, precise engravings, and no sharp edges. Counterfeit versions may exhibit subpar finishing, with noticeable imperfections.

Study the Movement: While counterfeit movements may closely resemble genuine Rolex movements, they often lack the precision and reliability of the authentic ones. Seek the expertise of a trusted watchmaker or dealer to examine the movement if in doubt.

Always purchase Rolex watches from authorized dealers or reputable sources to ensure the authenticity of your timepiece. Additionally, obtaining the necessary documentation, including the warranty card and box, can further validate the watch’s authenticity.

VII. The Best Rolex GMT-Master II Watches of All Time

Over the years, Rolex has introduced numerous GMT-Master II models, each with its unique charm and features. Some of the most celebrated GMT-Master II watches of all time include:

Rolex GMT-Master II “Pepsi” (Ref. 16700): This classic model is beloved for its iconic red and blue bezel, which has become an enduring symbol of the GMT-Master II.

Rolex GMT-Master II “Batman” (Ref. 126710BLNR): The “Batman” model stands out with its black and blue Cerachrom bezel and Jubilee bracelet. Its distinctive color scheme has garnered a dedicated following.

Rolex GMT-Master II “Root Beer” (Ref. 126715CHNR): The “Root Beer” boasts a brown and black Cerachrom bezel, offering a warm and unique aesthetic that sets it apart from other models.

Rolex GMT-Master II “Coke” (Ref. 126710BLRO): This model features a red and black Cerachrom bezel, reminiscent of the classic Coca-Cola color scheme, making it a standout choice for collectors.

In conclusion, the Rolex GMT-Master II is not just a watch; it’s a symbol of precision, craftsmanship, and timeless elegance. Its rich history, meticulous design, and enduring appeal have solidified its status as an icon in the world of horology. Whether you choose a vintage model or opt for one of the latest iterations, the GMT-Master II remains a timeless masterpiece, a testament to Rolex’s unwavering commitment to excellence and innovation.


You may also like

Welcome to our watch website, where every second counts and style reigns supreme. Discover a treasure trove of meticulously crafted timepieces that marry form and function in perfect harmony. Our website showcases an array of designs, from minimalist elegance to bold statement pieces, ensuring there's a watch for every personality and occasion. Join us on a journey of horological fascination as we explore the world of precision engineering and timeless aesthetics.

© 2023 Copyright