The Rolex GMT-Master needs no introduction. It is perhaps the most iconic travel watch, allowing its wearer to simultaneously tell two time zones. Developed originally in the 1950s for PanAm pilots, who had then begun flying transatlantic route more frequently, this handy tool watch was vital in order to track home and local time. Over the decades, Rolex has continually tweaked and evolved the model and despite huge changes since the first reference 6542, it is still instantly recognisable as the iconic GMT-Master.
The example you see here today is the Ref. 126710 BLRO and it is one of the newest and hottest GMT-Masters at the moment. Go into any AD and they will tell you of the years-long waitlist and what other less desirable Rolex you have to buy first to get a chance. It certainly is simply controlling the supply in order to prop up demand, but all of that aside, I really do see the appeal of this.
For the longest time, Rolex could not figure out how to have two colours in one bezel as it was made of ceramic and insanely difficult to do so. They managed to finally do it with the Batman and it was a huge success, but the black and blue bezel was much easier to produce as the tones of colour was much closer together. Without a doubt, the iconic colours of the GMT-Master is red and blue, or ‘Pepsi’ as collectors call it and since the introduction of the ceramic bezel in the 2000s, there had been no Pepsi- that is until Rolex teased us 2014. I still remember, everyone was so excited to finally have a Pepsi ceramic GMT and when it was released, they only did it in white gold! I was certainly on a budget back then and my Pepsi dreams went out the window in a flash.
Fast forward 5 years and finally, Rolex decides to release one in steel. Back in 2014, it would’ve been much easier to get- today, despite being in steel and cheaper, it’s close to impossible to get with big premiums. Such is life.
Furthermore, the new GMT-Master, to everyone’s surprise, came with a jubilee bracelet. I suppose it was to differentiate it to the white gold model and while some people didn’t like it very much, after handling and wearing this example, I must say that I am a huge fan.
I really do feel that the GMT function is the most practical complication to have on the wrist, even today. All it takes is one look at the wrist and you will be able to tell the time at your selected timezone. For someone like me, or I am sure many of you, who travels a lot or even conducts business on the other side of the world, a GMT-Master is without a doubt, a welcome tool. It certainly is faster than fumbling around with your iPhone to find out the time.