Baselworld 2019 saw the release of the first Rolex GMT-Master II Meteorite. Rolex meteorite dials are nothing new. They’ve been featured on the Daytona, Day-Date, Datejust, Pearlmaster, and now the GMT-Master II.
Meteorite dials are rare, eye-catching and obviously make great conversation starters. All Rolex collectors need at least one!
Rolex and Meteorite Dials
Rolex was the first watch manufacturer to use meteorite in its production. We expect nothing less from one of the most innovative and pioneering watch makers in the world.
The Daytona and the Day-Date models first featured a meteorite dial. It came as no surprise, seeing as these two models have always been collectable pieces.
Other watchmakers followed suit, particularity Omega. Omega used meteorite material for its Speedmaster Grey Side of the Moon watch, which launched in 2014. It’s no coincidence that Apollo 11 astronauts wore Speedmasters on the first moon landing in 1969.
Where Does Rolex Get Meteorite
Rolex only sources its meteorite material from a piece of the Gibeon meteorite, which was found in Namibia, Africa in 1836. More than 1,000 tons have been found, and new pieces are still found today.
Since Rolex procured its meteorite slice, it has since been protected by Namibia law. No further harvesting is permitted.
As a matter of fact, any meteorites found in Namibia are automatically protected as National Monuments and must not be removed from where they have been found, nor damaged in any way
What is Meteorite Made of?
The Gibeon meteorite is likely the debris of a molten planetary core. It’s thought to be billions of years old. Meteorites may also be from comets, asteroids, or meteoroids. Basically anything from outer space that can make it past Earth’s orbit.
Meteorites are made of iron and nickel, which make for sturdy watch dials. The really cool pattern (known as the Widmanstätten pattern) is. formed as the molten meteorite’s temperature cools through space travel.
Slicing the rock reveals the pattern.
The Meteorite Dial
Each slice of the Gibeon meteorite is fitted onto the dial surface. It’s then treated with an acid-wash finish to bring out its natural crystalline pattern.
No two meteorite dials are exactly the same. Because of the completely organic and unique nature of a meteorite formation, it’s impossible to replicate in a lab.
So why did Rolex put a meteorite dial on the GMT-Master II? We’ll get to that in just a bit.
A Quick History of the Rolex GMT-Master II
Everything about this watch was originally intended for international travel. The “GMT” in its name stands for “Greenwich Mean Time”, which has become the standard in aviation use. Originally, the GMT-Master was used by pilots to keep track of time zones as they traveled internationally.
It’s been through many a transformation over the decades. White gold, steel, jubilee bracelet, oyster bracelet, and countless different dial and bezel combinations. Many of which, collectors have given special nicknames.
What’s New With the GMT-Master II Rolex Meteorite REF 126719 BLRO
There aren’t a lot of differences, compared to the 2018 GMT-Master II release. None of the below has changed.
- 40 mm diameter
- blue and red Cerachrom bezel
- caliber 3285 movement
The main new feature is of course, the meteorite dial. Other updates include the white gold case and the Oyster bracelet.
A meteorite paired with the Pepsi dial surprised a lot of Rolex fans. Some feel the combo is too busy, while others absolutely love the whimsical pair.
When you put two premium materials together with a Pepsi dial– like meteorite and white gold– you get a supremely flashy watch. This watch definitely isn’t for everyone.
If you’re in the market for a more subdued, wallet friendly watch, it’s definitely not the one. But if you still don’t have a meteorite dial in the collection, this is a watch to consider.
The dial doesn’t lend itself to be the most readable, when compared to other GMT II dials. Not that we wear watches to actually tell time these days, but it’s something to think about.
All in all, we think this very limited model was manufactured with a specific audience in mind. It’s a uniquely rare, luxury model meant to be shown off and doted over.
Rolex GMT-Master II Meteorite Technical Specs
Oyster, 40 mm, white gold
Oyster, flat three-piece links, 18 ct white gold
Folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Easylink 5 mm comfort extension link
Monobloc middle case, screw-down case back and winding crown
18 ct white gold
Bidirectional rotatable 24-hour graduated bezel. Two-colour blue and red Cerachrom insert in ceramic, engraved numerals and graduations
Screw-down, Triplock triple waterproofness system
Scratch-resistant sapphire, Cyclops lens over the date
Waterproof to 100 metres / 330 feet
Perpetual, mechanical, self-winding, GMT function
3285, Manufacture Rolex
Bidirectional self-winding via Perpetual rotor
Approximately 70 hours
If you are interested in purchasing your own Rolex GMT Master II, give us a call. Check out our Facebook page for box openings and watch reviews by our in-house watch expert Sergio Nuncio!
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