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rolex_gmt-master_ii

Rolex GMT-Master II

Rolex GMT-Master II
with the additional feature of a GMT function (green hand)
© Rolex

The GMT-Master II (full name: Oyster Perpetual Date GMT-Master II1)) is a GMT watch from Rolex with two central hour hands.

It is the successor of the GMT-Master. The GMT-Master lacks an independently-adjustable 24-hour hand and uses the rotating bezel to “set” the remote time. The GMT-Master II has both an independently-adjustable 24-hour hand and rotating bezel and can thus be used to read three time zones at once.

History

In 1983, Rolex introduced the GMT-Master II, Ref. 16760, which was the first to offer an hour hand that could be set independently. The case is extra-thick to accommodate this larger Cal. 3085 movement, giving rise to the nickname “Fat Lady” today. Like the contemporary Ref. 16750, this model was only produced until 1988.

Rolex updated both the GMT-Master and GMT-Master II in 1988 with a sapphire crystal and new case. The lower-end model, Ref. 16700 with Cal. 3175, still lacked an independently-adjustable hour hand and was labeled “GMT-Master”. The Ref. 16710 GMT-Master II had the independently-adjustable hour hand, thanks to Cal. 3185. The simple GMT-Master Ref. 16700 was phased out in 1999. while the GMT-Master II continued through 2007.

Rolex introduced an updated GMT-Master II in 2005, now with larger lugs and crown guards (giving the impression of a larger case overall), Triplock crown, a green 24 hour hand, Cerachrom ceramic bezel, new movement, and Cal. 3186. The first to be released was the yellow gold 116718LN and an anniversary model with a green bezel. The two-tone (steel and yellow gold) Ref. 116713LN was introduced at Basel Fair 2006, followed a year later by the all-steel Ref. 116710LN. The “Batman” Ref. 1116710BLNR was introduced at Baselworld in 2013, the first Rolex to feature a bi-color ceramic bezel. The famous “Pepsi” bezel was retired in 2007 because Rolex could not produce a ceramic bezel insert in the correct shade of red. This was rectified in 2014 with the introduction of a white gold Pepsi model.

In 2018, Rolex introduced an updated GMT-Master II, Ref. 126710, with Cal. 3285, and retired the previous references. This new movement boasts 70 hours power reserve, while the look of the watch is updated with a Cerachrom bezel. A “Pepsi” model is once again available in steel, but the former models remained in production as well. In 2019, Rolex introduced an updated “Batman” model with the new Cal. 3285 movement and Jubilee bracelet.

Two-Tone Models

Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16710A “Coke” bezel
© Rolex

One aspect of the GMT-Master and GMT-Master II is the use of two-tone bezels. This was part of the original spec for the model, and the longevity of certain color combinations has added to the affection of Rolex collectors. In all cases, the color changes at 6 00 and 18 00 on the bezel, indicating day and night.

Pepsi

The classic GMT-Master color combination is “Pepsi”, so-called for the red and blue bezel. This iconic Rolex timepiece has been in the lineup since the very beginning, debuting in 1955 as the original GMT-Master, Ref. 6542. This first model featured a luminous bakelite bezel which was prone to cracking, so Rolex replaced it with a metal insert in 1956. The Ref. 1675 followed in 1959 and was produced until 1980. The next model switched to a new movement and Jubilee bracelet Ref. 16750 was produced from 1981 through 1988.

The Pepsi bezel came to the new GMT-Master II line in 1989 as Ref. 16710. This new model featured the new case and new movement and was produced until 2007.

When Rolex switched to Cerachrom ceramic bezels in 2007, they were unable to produce an acceptable two-tone combination. Therefore, the Pepsi went on hiatus for almost a decade. When the Ref. 116719BLRO "Pepsi" was finally unveiled in 2014 it featured a white gold case and appropriately high price tag. The “Batman”, introduced a year earlier, was the only steel two-tone offering.

An Oystersteel model was reintroduced in 2018 with a Jubilee bracelet, anchoring the new-generation Ref. 126710BLRO GMT-Master II line. This was joined by another white gold model, with blue or meteorite dial, in 2019.

Root Beer

The original “Root Beer” GMT-Master featured a two-tone brown and cream bezel. This Ref. 16753 also featured a brown dial and two-tone steel and yellow gold case. It is also sometimes called the “Nipple Dial” due to the use of gold pips as markers. These pips resemble a precious stone, giving the watch another name “Tiger Eye” or “Tiger Augen”. Yet another name for this reference is “Clint Eastwood”, after the American actor of the same name who favored it. These were produced through the 1980s.

Rolex brought the “Root Beer” look to the GMT-Master II in 2018 with the introduction of the new Ref. 126711CHNR and 126715CHNR in Rolesor and Everose, respectively. These feature a brown and black bezel rather than brown and cream, and the dial is black rather than brown.

Coke

The black and red bezel of 1983's GMT-Master II Ref. 16760 earned the nickname “Coke”, likely in response to the existing “Pepsi” name. This model anchored the GMT-Master II line until the Pepsi joined it in 1989 with the new Ref. 16710. These were produced through 2007, and the Coke model has not been seen since.

Batman

The newest named color combination was introduced in 2013. “Batman” has a blue and black bezel and black dial, technically “Lunette Noir” or Ref. 116710BLNR. Rolex was unable to produce a blue and red bezel yet, so “Batman” was the only two-tone Cerachrom model for a year. This model was updated with a new movement and Jubilee bracelet in 2019 as Ref. 126710BLNR. This time, Batman followed Pepsi by a year.

Chronology

Rolex GMT-Master II 16713
© Rolex

Current Models

1)
Rolex officially calls these models the “Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date GMT-Master” and “Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date GMT-Master II” to reflect the “Oyster” waterproof case, “Perpetual” automatic movement, and Date complication. These additional terms are commonly omitted in modern times, even by Rolex.
rolex_gmt-master_ii.txt · Last modified: 03.07.2022 15:37 by 127.0.0.1

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