Nearly a year ago at Baselworld, Rolex released an updated version of the original Rolex “Rootbeer” watch- the Rolex GMT-Master II, Reference 126715.

The watch was remastered in 18 ct Everose gold and in Everose Rolesor (a combination of Oystersteel and 18ct Everose Gold), with both showcasing a black and brown Cerachrom insert.

Related: The New Rolex Watches of Baselworld 2018

After emerging from a 30+ year retirement, the “Rootbeer” Rolex GTM-Master II has faced scrutiny from some Rolex collectors, but adored by others.

History of the Rolex GMT

Rolex created the original GMT in 1954 in collaboration with Pan-Am airlines. Innovations in the aviation industry allowed pilots to fly longer distances. Enter Rolex with a solution that allowed pilots to easily tell time in two separate time zones- the Rolex GMT.

The initial model featured a two-tone red and blue bezel inspired by colors of the Pan-Am airline. This original version has been adapted into the modern-day GMT-Master II “Pepsi” featuring the iconic red and blue bezel.

Over the years, Rolex has released the GMT-Master in a variation of other colors, along with nicknames to accompany. The GMT-Master II “Batman” features a black and blue bezel, and the GMT-Master II “Rootbeer” bezel transitions from a light brown to black.

The Original Rolex “Rootbeer” GMT

The original “Rootbeer” Rolex GMT was released in the 1960’s and featured a two-toned brown and gold bezel. Later in the 80’s the “Rootbeer” models also became known as ‘Nipple Dials’ due to their gold “nipple” hour markers.

Clint Eastwood wore a “Rootbeer” GMT in his film series ‘Dirty Harry’, and the watch quickly earned the nicknames “Clint Eastwood” and “Dirty Harry.”

No matter what you call it, the original “Rootbeer” Rolex GMT has become a coveted collector’s item since its retirement in 1983. That year, Rolex unveiled the GMT Master II, and it featured the cerechrom bezel.

The Remastered Rolex “Rootbeer” GMT-Master II

Reviews were divided at the new Rolex “Rootbeer” GMT-Master II release at 2018’s Baselworld. Some collectors scoffed at the black and brown bezel replacing the iconic brown and gold color scheme.

Others appreciated the modern updates, including a stainless steel and rose gold bracelet, along with the 18-carat gold hour index in lieu of the ‘nipple’ gold markers.

Techical Specs


Oyster, 40 mm, Everose gold


Monobloc middle case, screw-down case back and winding crown


40 mm


18 ct Everose gold


Bidirectional rotatable 24-hour graduated bezel. Two-colour brown and black Cerachrom insert in ceramic, engraved numerals and graduations


Screw-down, Twinlock double 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


Centre hour, minute and seconds hands. 24-hour display. Second time zone with independent rapid-setting of the hour hand. Instantaneous date. Stop-seconds for precise time setting


Bidirectional self-winding via Perpetual rotor


Approximately 70 hours


Oyster, flat three-piece links


18 ct Everose gold


Folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Easylink 5 mm comfort extension link



Final Thoughts

We love the remastered Rolex “Rootbeer” GMT-Master II (REF 126715CHNR). The updated warm tones pair well with fall and winter wardrobes, and class up any ensemble.

It was one of the most popular Rolex models of 2018, and we predict both the original and updated models will continue to gain the interest of Rolex collectors.

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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