Watch of the Week: Rolex GMT-Master II

Perfect for frequent fliers, this is the latest in a long line of industry-topping watches from Rolex

The Rolex GMT-Master has gone through many, many permutations — from variations in bezel colours and bracelet types to case metals. And every iteration of these iconic watches has turned and ticked into collector’s items.

And, to help you spot the differences between these variations, there are some colourful nicknames attached to them. From Pepsi (red & blue), Coke (black & red), Rootbeer (brown & gold) and Batman (black & blue), all of these ingenious monikers allude to the colour of the bezels.

That’s what every one of these watches has in common: a two-colour 24-hour bezel off which you read the GMT arrow hand that makes its way around the dial once a day. (Check out our guide to GMT watches here for more on that…)

So why is this new GMT-Master different?

Watch of the Week: Rolex GMT-Master II

The last time we got a new GMT-Master II, it was a Pepsi made from white gold. Extremely welcome aesthetically, this choice left many in the watch community scratching their heads. Why had Rolex cast this travel timepiece in such a precious metal, and not the robust Oystersteel that Rolex creates in their own foundries?

Here to right that perceived wrong is the new Rolex GMT-Master II (reference 126710BLRO in case you were wondering). Not only does this watch combine Rolex’s Superlative Chronometer GMT movement with their own steel superalloy, but it also puts the GMT on what we think is Rolex’s best-looking bracelet, the Jubilee.

It’s a bracelet designed with comfort and looks in mind. With five-piece links, the middle three are polished to a high shine and the outer two given a brushed finish. It flows around any size of wrist, and recognisable enough to turn heads from all the way across the first-class cabin.

What’s so good about Oystersteel?

Watch of the Week: Rolex GMT-Master II

Oystersteel was specially developed by Rolex to match the exacting requirements that Rolex and their clients place on watches. Whether they are travelling the world or climbing Everest, Rolex watches have thrived the whole way, thanks to this revolutionary material.

And, because it’s cast in this super strong and rugged material, the new GMT-Master can be used for what it was originally designed for — travelling and adventuring anywhere in the world. Rolex breaks down what it expects from a watch into four categories; precision, reliability, robustness and functionality. The GMT-Master II ticks all of those boxes.

So why should I buy one?

Watch of the Week: Rolex GMT-Master II

The million dollar question — or £6,800 question to be more precise. There are reports of waiting lists longer than we care to mention for this watch, after it was released at Baselworld earlier this year.

So, if you do have the opportunity to pick one up, we would recommend it — as this is a watch that’ll last a lifetime and prove useful every time you board a plane or just simply need to know, at a glance, what time it is anywhere in the world.

Watch of the Week: Rolex GMT-Master II

Rolex GMT-Master II in Oystersteel

£6800

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Further Reading