Rolex GMT-Master II
First introduced in 1982, the Rolex GMT Master II has etched its mark in horology as an elegant and practical timepiece. Born out of the collaboration between Rolex and Pan Am Airways,...
About Rolex GMT-Master II
The Rolex GMT-Master II is the next chapter of popular pilot watches the Rolex GMT-Master. The Rolex GMT-Master II was released in 1983 firstly to offer enhanced features to GMT-Master.
At first glance both chapters may look alike, but the movement inside each makes a big difference. GMT-Master II can indicate 3 different time zones. It is because its extra 24-hr hand and main local hour hand are set independently. Consequently, the bezel of GMT-Master II can remain in its 0-position. While GMT-hand freely moves to any hour on the bezel for a second-time-zone indication.
Although the predecessor GMT-Master had the original target audience of crew personnel and pilots. The present GMT-Master II is no longer exclusively popular with pilots and crew personnel. Instead, collectors and athletes also appreciate this elegant watch for all occasions. Due to a combination of colors and materials, GMT-Master II collection has something for everyone.
Let’s indulge in its in-depth overview below to make more informed decisions about Rolex GMT-Master II.
Rolex GMT-Master II Changes Over Time
Although Rolex has already updated its famed pilot collection multiple times before the 1980s. They introduced their mechanically enhanced model of the original GMT-Master in 1983. In this model, you can set the 24-hr hand independently from its 12-hr hand.
This additional functionality allows the wearers of GMT-Master II to set two distinct time zones with watch hands only by leaving its rotating bezel in the natural position. Then you can also turn the bezel to read a third-time zone simultaneously.
Retaining its original design, the first GMT-Master II was released in 1983 with a 16760 reference number. However, it was replaced by 16710 in 1989, featuring a new movement and a slimmer case comparatively.
GMT-Master was revamped in 2005 with 1167xx reference numbers. These models feature Cerachrom bezels and redesigned cases. The most recent models of GMT-Master appeared on the scene in 2018 with 1267xx reference numbers. These models feature entirely new-generation materials, movements, bracelets, and color options.
GMT-Master II Timeline
Rolex redesigned its legend pilot watch collection in 1983 to offer additional functionalities. Let’s have a look at the quick summary of the GMT-Master II historical timeline below to see what this collection has to offer:
- The first GMT-Master II was released in 1983 with the reference number 16760. The reference gets its nickname “Fat Lady” from its markedly thicker case.
- Rolex introduced a two-tone variation in red and black that received its second nickname as Coke.
- In 1999, the brand discontinued GMT-Master, due to which GMT-Master II took over the industry completely.
- A Cerachrom ceramic bezel insert was introduced in 2005 as an amazing addition to the GMT-Master II.
- Rolex released its dual-colored Cerachrom ceramic bezel in 2013. The bezel had colors blue and black. The 116710BLNR reference gets the nickname of Batman in the GMT-Master II collection.
- In 2014 Rolex released its Cerachrom ceramic bezel in red and blue. The reference number of the Pepsi model is 116719BLRO.
- GMT-Master II’s first Everose version features a ceramic bezel introduced in 2018. Root Beer has reference number 126715 for ceramic bezels and 126711 for two-toned bezel GMT-Master.
- In 2019, Rolex continued its yellow gold series from GMT-Master II. The jubilee bracelets are the only option for GMT-Master II stainless steel watches.
Celebrities Wearing The Rolex GMT-Master II
GMT-Master II models is an absolute icon of the Rolex watch collections. Therefore, there is no surprise that you can see the watch worn by various popular personalities. Due to its functionality of displaying multiple time zones, the watch collection is more popular among frequent travelers, athletes, and businessmen.
Honor Blackman and Daniel Craig are the most popular GMT-Master II wearers. Although the list of popular GMT-Master II wearers can go pretty long, however most important names include:
- John Mayer
- Mark Wahlberg
- Steve Carell
- Adam Levine
- Jason Bateman
- Roger Federer
- Orlando Bloom
- James Spader
- Brad Pitt
- Ellen Degeneres
- Ben Affleck, and many more.
Rolex GMT-Master II Features
The dual-directional and 24-hr marked bezels are the most recognizable feature of the GMT-Master II collection. Many bezels of this collection feature split-color design for added aesthetics and rough daylight and nighttime hours approximation on the 24-hr scale.
For example, the red and blue combo bezel represents the red portion of daylight and blue as night hours. Throughout the GMT-Master II history, bezels have been produced in different colors and material options such as Batman, Coke, Root Beer, etc. Several additional models have gem-set bezels too.
GMT-Master II features all five-link Jubilee bracelets and three-link Oyster bracelets. This collection also has two-tone, solid gold and stainless-steel variations for both bracelet styles. In 2019, Rolex streamlined GMT-Master II bracelet options. Now the Oystersteel is fitted with jubilee bracelets only. While, Everose gold, two-toned and white gold versions are available with matching Oyster bracelets.
The GMT-Master II has a strikingly similar dial layout to other Rolex professional collections. It has been unchanged largely since its inception. Dials of this collection also feature a mix of rectangular, triangular, and circular hour-marks with Mercedes-style 24-hr hands with arrowed tips. All collection models feature a date window accompanied by a Cyclops lens to magnify its display.
Most GMT-Master II dials are black, while some special models also have champagne and silver dials set with ruby and diamond hour marks. Moreover, a range of exotic dials are available but only with precious metal versions.
3 different time zone displays and watch movements are the major functions of Rolex GMT-Master II. The collection features different automatic mechanical movements throughout its history. Caliber 3285 is the latest movement of this collection, introduced in 2018. Rolex Caliber 3285 is here to offer more precision, shock resistance, and reliability. This movement also serves improved power reserves then prior versions.