We’ve reviewed a lot of iconic Rolex watches at Jonathan’s, but none may be more prolific in Rolex history than the GMT-Master II “Pepsi” ref. 116719 BLRO. At Baselworld in 2014, Rolex unveiled the newest version of this watch and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
While there were some significant upgrades to this watch in both look and functionality, the overall feel remained the same and stayed true to previous models.
History of the GMT-Master II “Pepsi”
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.
Since 1954, the GMT has been a utilitarian tool. While the newest model has some nice upgrades, the watch is still intended to be very user friendly. The case maintains the same 40mm size as previous models, and many of the other changes were meant to make the watch easier to read and use for the wearer.
White gold instead of stainless steel
Perhaps the most surprising feature to enthusiasts was the use of 18k white gold instead of the traditional 904L stainless steel that other models have utilized. Even though white gold is considered “fancier” and may be considered less robust, the opposite is actually true. White gold is anti-corrosive, which will make the GMT-Master II look incredible for years to come.
The dial is a deep black color, and the lume filled GMT hand is similar to past models. A cyclops lens is also included to allow easier viewing of the date function.
The “Pepsi” bezel
Other than the white gold, the “Pepsi” bezel is the main difference in the 2014 GMT release. The red color is fairly difficult to create on ceramic, and Rolex has already patented the process that they started using in 2005. Another interesting note is that the entire bezel starts out red, and through a chemical process the deep blue color is formed on one half of the bezel.
Like the GMT bezels of the past, the idea is that a traveler can use the bezel in tandem with the GMT hand to easily keep track of their current time zone. There are 24 hour markers labeled around the bezel, and each one is accented in platinum to help with visibility.
Aside from the bezel, the GMT-Master II “Pepsi” essentially carries the same functionality as the “Batman” (which you can read more about here).
- Dial: Black with 24 white hour markers
- Depth Of Case: 12.4mm
- Movement: 3186 self-winding movement with Parachrom hairspring
- Case diameter: 40mm
- Water Resistance: 100m / 330ft
- Case Material: 18k White Gold
- Bracelet & Size: Oyster 20mm
- Allows a 5mm addition to bracelet for comfort
- Special Features and Complications:
- GMT Function
- Rotating bi-directional 24 hour bezel with platinum coating
- 50/50 bi-color blue and black bezel
- Cyclops window
If you are interested in purchasing your own GMT-Master II “Pepsi”, give us a call or fill out the contact form below. Check out our Facebook page for box openings and watch reviews by Sergio Nuncio!