The Best Rolex GMT-Master Watches of All Time

Rolex GMT Master II

Rolex GMT-Master Watches

The Rolex GMT-Master is a watch that is deeply rooted in aviation history. It was originally created for Pan Am pilots in 1955 to help them keep track of two time zones simultaneously.

It came equipped with a bi-colored bezel and was housed in a larger case. This helped the airline’s crew keep track of flight times as they hopped between various international destinations.

GMT Master II

Batman

Batman is a superhero, and as such, he has to be adept at a wide range of skills. He has physical and crime fighting training, and he also honed his piloting skills in order to operate the Batplane. In addition, he has extensive knowledge of the law and is proficient in various weapons.

Rolex rolled out the reference 126710BLNR, nicknamed “Batman” for its black and blue bezel, in 2019. This watch is identical to the 116710 Pepsi model we tested in 2022 but comes on the Jubilee bracelet rather than the Oyster bracelet.

This is an interesting move that makes the watch more accessible to left-handers, and arguably adds another level of prestige to it. It’s also a good way to get more people on board with the GMT-Master II, which enjoys a lore that’s been accumulated over decades thanks to Pan Am, astronauts, and movie appearances. It’s a modern icon that deserves a wider audience.

Rolex GMT Master II

Pepsi

A Pepsi GMT-Master II is an icon, especially when worn with a Jubilee bracelet. In fact, the watch received its nickname because of its resemblance to the soft drink. The color of the bezel is what sets this model apart from other Rolex sports watches. The Pepsi bezel is arguably the most recognized and sought-after model of this style. Prices peaked in spring of 2022, but have since fallen considerably for some references. The most expensive model is a white gold ref. 126719BLRO, which features a meteorite dial.

When the Pepsi bezel was first introduced, it was only available in stainless steel. However, in 2014, Rolex was able to create the red-and-blue Cerachrom bezel on a white gold model. The new bezel offers some technical improvements over the aluminum version, including a scratch-resistant ceramic track and colors that won’t fade. The white gold version also uses the latest GMT movement, cal. 3285. This caliber is a significant improvement over the previous cal. 3186.

Rolex GMT Master II

Root Beer

Rolex’s Root Beer – the black and brown version of their GMT-Master II – is a popular watch among collectors. The model is defined by its bezel, which is made of Cerachrom ceramic and features engraved markings. It is a first for the brand, which used to use gold-plated inserts.

The reintroduction of Root Beer in 2018 reinvigorated collector adoration for this unique and distinctive timepiece. In fact, the reference 126711CHNR is one of the most sought-after models in Rolex’s modern collection.

The Root Beer is available on either a Jubilee or Oyster bracelet, depending on the material. The Everose Rolesor models are fitted with a new type of clasp that combines polished and satin-finished parts to ensure maximum comfort. This design also provides the same security as a double-locking Oysterclasp. The bracelet has a 5 mm comfort extension link and is secured with an Oysterlock folding safety clasp. The case is 40 mm in diameter, and all Root Beer watches feature a COSC-certified calibre.

Rolex GMT Master II

16758

In 1984, Ghostbusters, Beverly Hills Cop, and Footloose were blockbuster hits – but for me the most iconic watch of the year was this yellow gold Rolex GMT Master. The Reference 16758 is often called the “Root Beer,” as its brown dial and bezel recall the colors of a glass of root beer. The 18k yellow gold case and bracelet are in superb condition, as is the original Tritium nipple dial and hands.

The GMT-Master was designed to track two time zones simultaneously. It was also the official watch of Pan American World Airways, better known as Pan Am. The airline went bankrupt in 1991, but the GMT-Master endured – a reminder of an era when intercontinental travel was glamorous and pilots wore suits.

The GMT-Master II is a contemporary update of this model, and it debuted in 2007. The Reference 126710BLNR features a beefier Super Case and the first ceramic bezel for the series.

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