Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Swiss Army Knife of Rolex Watches: The GMT Master II (Reference 16710)...

Swiss Army knives have been around longer than Rolex–for 111 years to be exact. Rolex recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. The Swiss Army knife and Rolex GMT II have many things in common including the fact they are both superbly precise, timeless, utilitarian, multifunctional devices and they were both designed and made in Switzerland, and one could argue they share the same Swiss Sensibility and gestalt...

Dan Pierce decided to share his very interesting and great looking customized Rolex GMT II Pepsi with us. You cannot purchase this watch this way from Rolex. Dan bought a new style Stainless Steel Rolex Jubilee Bracelet with the hidden clasp to add to his Rolex GMT Kit and it makes the watch look stunningly handsome.

In Dan's email to me he wrote: 

"The Rolex GMT II is the perfect travel companion. My work requires lots of travel so the reference has always been my go-to watch. The interchangeable bezel inserts and bracelet options make the GMT unique to the Rolex professional line. 

"I currently have the all black and blue/red [Pepsi] inserts and plan to add the black/burgundy [Coke] insert while in London later this year. The Jubilee bracelet has the iconic Rolex look and I decided to acquire the original style jubilee [w/ stamped clasp] to compliment the classic oyster band that originally came with my 16710. 

"The comfort of the jubilee as well as the positive comments I received confirmed what I already knew to be a great combination. With 3 bezel inserts and 2 bracelets there are 6 distinct GMT variations possible with just one watch.

"A fellow on Timezone.com submitted pics of his 16710 sporting the new style jubilee from his Turnograph. I'd read others who said the combo would fit. As luck would have it I found a new style jubilee bracelet for sale. The hidden clasp, solid center links, and SEL's all seemed like nice upgrades so I decided to go for it. 

"When holding the open bracelet these upgrades do feel more substantial in comparison to the older style Jubilee however once worn it feels exactly the same as the original. And that's a good thing because the best attribute of the Jubilee is its comfort.

"I highly recommend either style Jubilee to those who own a GMT. Variety allows the owner of a Rolex GMT to personalize to their taste."

Rolex announced at Basel 2008 in April officially that they are discontinuing the GMT Master II and it has been replaced with the GMT Master II Ceramic, which also has a Supercase, Maxi-Markers, Fat Hands and many different design features.

Since Rolex announced the discontinuation of the classic GMT Master II, used prices have been shooting through the roof. Also as we recently learned on Jake's Rolex Watch Blog, the GMT Master with the Pepsi Bezel went for the longest Moonwalk in History on NASA Astronaut Ed Mitchell's wrist during the Apollo 14 Mission.

I hope Rolex comes out with a Ceramic Pepsi, Coke and all Blue bezel on the new GMT and I also hope they offer it with a white dial option as well, as they did on the original Pan American GMT Master in 1958. One thing is for certain: if Rolex offers multiple color combo bezels on for the Supercase, they will be much more expensive than the bezel inserts on the watch pictured here.

This is because the new Ceramic bezel technology Rolex has developed is orders of magnitude more sturdy than the one on the watch pictured above. Don't get me wrong. the bezels on the discontinued model last a long time, but can scratch and fade if exposed to UV light over long periods of time.

The new Ceramic Bezel uses white gold for the numbers and the amazing ceramic technology Rolex developed creates bezels that are as durable and scratch resistant as the synthetic sapphire crystals and won't ever fade.

All in all, both the classic GMT II and new Ceramic, Supercase GMT are both amazing watches!!!

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