Cocacola or Pepsi? It’s a matter of taste, some say, and individual preferences are always different. But there is only one correct answer if you are talking about the Rolex GMT-Master. Although the manufacturer created a version with a red and black GMT bezel, called the “Coke,” the first GMT-Master from 1955 carried a red-blue scale for the 24-hour display and was placed nicknamed “Pepsi”. The Pepsi GMT-Master II represents the rebirth of the classic design in its original form.

At first, colors were used to distinguish the day and night times of the second time zone. This and other specifications of the watch come from Pan American Airways, which commissioned the creation of this model. At the time, new jets made intercontinental flights shorter and more popular. And the increased number of flights has also increased the demand for watches with a second time zone. In addition to having the style of a pilot’s watch, the high level of recognition of the colored bezel has contributed to the popularity of the GMT-Master.

Rolex modified the Pepsi very conservatively until 2007. But then, when it introduced the ceramic bezel on the steel versions of the GMT-Master II, it became necessary to remove the Pepsi. At the time, a two-color bezel made of ceramic seemed technically impossible, and the red color could not be created satisfactorily on this high-tech material. In 2013, Rolex solved one of these problems and the first two-tone ceramic scale appeared – in blue and black. This very popular steel GMT-Master II is called the “Batman”. In 2014, Rolex was able to create the desired red color and the company reintroduced the beloved red and blue Pepsi bezel – on a white gold watch. The price tag of more than $40,000 is too high for many fans of steel Rolex sports watches. In 2018, Rolex responded to customer wishes and once again released the Pepsi in steel.

Not to be confused with the more expensive white gold Pepsi, the steel Pepsi is the first Rolex sports watch to feature a five-link Jubilee bracelet, previously reserved for Datejust models. But whether this is a consolation for owners of the white gold version is debatable, as the multi-link Jubilee bracelet has a more elegant appearance than the three-row Oyster bracelet.

Rolex developed the Jubilee bracelet in 1945 for the Datejust, and the GMT-Master has had this bracelet option since 1959. Like the Oyster bracelet on the earlier GMT-Master II, the center links are polished while The outer joints are brushed. complete.

We found the Jubilee bracelet to be very comfortable to wear. The small links fit snugly on the wrist and do not pull on fine hairs. Thanks to its curved links, the Oyster bracelet feels supple and comfortable. The strap and case are both made of 904L saltwater-resistant stainless steel, which Rolex calls “Oystersteel”.

Close, Lock, Expand
Unlike the Datejust, the Jubilee bracelet for the GMT-Master II does not have an Oysterclasp and instead uses an Oysterlock clasp (usually reserved for sporty models, with an additional safety bar). The clasps look very similar. Both offer Easylink extensions that can lengthen the bracelet by 5mm – practical when wrists stretch due to warmer temperatures or increased activity. Half of the link can be folded away from the clasp to make the strap longer without making a visible difference to the strap.

The high-quality clasps on the Jubilee strap have reached the optimum level of workmanship and operation. The folding safety bar is virtually unnoticeable when closed. Opening it by lifting the Rolex crown reveals a lever that easily lifts to open the bracelet.

The winding crown is also simple to use. It must be removed to wind the watch. In the first pull-out position, the main hour hand can be moved forward or backward in hour increments to set a second time zone. The day will progress accordingly in either direction. In the second position, the minute hand can be adjusted (and with it the 24-hour hand and the main hour hand). The 24-hour hand is best used for home time or, for pilots, the all-important GMT, with the hour hand showing local time. GMT-Master II is known for this function for travelers. Many other manufacturers only offer a quick adjustment function for second time zone watches, which is less useful when traveling.

With the GMT-Master II, you can also temporarily adjust the bezel (ratchet in hour increments) to display a different time zone – for example, if you are in the US and are working with a German company. Rotating the bezel so that the GMT hand displays the time in the desired time zone allows you to instantly know if your business partner is available. All in all, the GMT-Master II offers very practical time zone functions.

Research, Color, Patents
When launched in 1955, Pepsi’s bezel was made of Plexiglas and red and blue colors and white lines were printed on the underside. From 1959 to 2007, Rolex produced aluminum bezels with colors created by an anodizing process. Next comes zirconium oxide ceramic stains (and related color issues). Mineral pigments can be added to color the material, but no mineral pigment can produce a saturated red color. After many years of research, Rolex returned to ceramic with the basic composition of aluminum oxide and the addition of chromium oxide, magnesium oxide and rare earth oxide. This resulted in the red ceramic bezel we have today. For the blue color, half of the bezel is impregnated with a metal salt solution before the sintering process. You can see the blue layer on the red background with a magnifying glass. Sintering at 1,600 degrees Celsius for more than 24 hours will produce the final color. However, because the flake shrinks a bit during this process, it must be milled into the appropriate shape.

To make the numerals permanently legible, the entire ring is coated with platinum in a PVD process and then polished so that the precious metal remains only in the numerals and indentations. Rolex has patented both processes. The fading color seen on older GMT-Master models will not appear with the new UV-protected bezel.

And in contrast to the white gold Pepsi and all previous GMT-Master II models, this version is the first to use the new Caliber 3285. With the exception of the chronograph, all Rolex self-winding watches are powered by the 31xx (old version) or the new 32xx caliber with a power reserve of 70 hours instead of 48 hours. . Although Caliber 3186 continues to be used in other GMT-Master II models (except for the two new models in red Everose gold and steel and Everose gold), the new movement now has ball bearings instead of plain bearings for the knife set. dynamic. weight. The in-house Paraflex shock absorbers are designed to slide back to their original position more smoothly upon impact.

The biggest advantage for wearers of the new Pepsi is increased energy reserves. Instead of two days, the watch provides almost three days of continuous power. The main factor contributing to the increased power reserve is the more efficient Chronergy escapement. The shape of the pallet forks and escape wheel has been optimized, and the LIGA process, in which these parts are formed using an electro-molding process, has allowed Rolex to produce perforated parts and therefore lighter. And thanks to the use of a nickel-phosphorus alloy, the escapement is no longer affected by magnetic fields.

What remains are the famous advantages of Rolex movements: an extremely stable balance bridge instead of a single-sided balance cock, a free-sprung hairspring with Breguet windings, and a sophisticated regulator that can be adjusted by Microstella weight on scale.

Rolex has consistently improved the caliber based on the core advantages of accuracy, longevity and durability. There is decoration, like a sunburst finish, but no hand engraving. The new movement can also be identified by a detail on the dial: a small Rolex crown placed between the words “Swiss Made” on the edge of the dial.

As always with Rolex, the official Swiss chronometer certification institute COSC confirms the high precision of the movement at a variety of temperatures and positions. And Rolex’s own specifications require an even higher level of management, with an average deviation of -2 to +2 seconds per day. Our test watch met these high expectations of a timekeeping movement and showed an average deviation of just +1 second. Speed remains between 0 and +3 seconds in all six positions; accordingly, the maximum position error was measured at +3 seconds with a manageable decrease in amplitude between horizontal and vertical positions.

Beloved, desired, unattainable
With a price of 9,250 USD, the steel GMT-Master II Pepsi is classified in the mid-range price range. There are more economical manufacturing alternatives with a second time zone, as well as more expensive options, but in terms of value retention, it’s hard for anyone to compete with Rolex. Since June 2018, this new watch has been delivered in very limited quantities, and some resold through online auctions for at least two times more than new. Demand exceeds supply to a very large extent. As the number of watches delivered increases, pre-owned watch prices are expected to decrease somewhat, and we expect that prices will more or less follow the trend of the GMT-Master II Batman, which is currently on sale at level is about 10%. than new price, even shows signs of wear. However, in the next few years, it will be difficult to buy Pepsi from a licensed dealer because the waiting list is full.

Rolex made a splash by re-releasing the new blue and red GMT-Master II in steel. Although the design has changed little in the past 60 years, this watch has become a classic with a look that is timeless and not simply classic. The Jubilee bracelet matches the watch very well. Rolex has improved the technology inside and delivered even greater value with a longer power reserve. In terms of functionality, Rolex offers more than most other manufacturers – from bracelet extensions to time zone adjustment, along with high levels of precision, legibility and wearing comfort. best. A transparent case would be a welcome addition. And it would be great if Rolex could deliver orders to everyone who says, “Please give me a Pepsi!”

Specifications:
Manufacturer: Rolex SA, Rue François-Dussaud 3-5, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland
Reference number: 126710 BLRO
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, second time zone
Movement: Caliber 3285 in-house, automatic, chronograph, 28,800 vph, 31 jewels, hack mechanism, date adjustment via jumping hour hand, Paraflex shock absorber, Glucydur balance with Microstella adjusting screw, reserve 70 hour power reserve
Case: 904L stainless steel, flat sapphire crystal with Cyclops magnifier, no anti-reflective coating, screw-down Triplock crown, fully threaded caseback made of 904L steel, 100 water resistance m
Bracelet and Buckle: Jubilee bracelet made of 904L stainless steel with secure folding clasp and extension piece
Rate results, deviation in seconds over 24 hours:
Dial: +3
Spin down: +1
Crown up: 0
Crown down: +1 Crown
left crown: 0
Right crown: +1
Maximum deviation: 3 Deviations
Average: +1 Margin
average degree:
Flat position: 269°
Hanging position: 249°
Diameter: 40 mm
Height: 12.1 mm
Weight: 154 h

 

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