Wednesday, April 05, 2023





In the wonderful world of Rolex, not much is cooler than The Complete History of the Rolex GMT-Master!!! TUDOR is on a tear lately and at Watches And Wonders last week surprised everybody when they introduced a new Pepsi Tudor GMT-Master model with a white opaline dial. Our Captain Danny was especially surprised as he contacted Tudor 4 years ago and begged them to come out with a Tudor GMT-Master with a white dial, to which Tudor responded "No Way, Jose!"

UPDATE April 8, 2023: Captain Danny sent me a message and said: "Great story about the Vanilla Pepsi. BTW here’s the Delta mockup I had sent to Tudor. As you can see, the watch matches perfectly a Delta jet livery."

The Vanilla Pepsi in not a new idea, and I originally showcased the idea on RolexMagazine 15 years ago in 2008 in a story titled 'Jake's Cherry Vanilla GMT Design Idea...'. In that article I showed off my idea of a watch design I would love to see, that I dubbed the Cherry Vanilla GMT as seen below.

In 2008, I  also showcased an idea I dubbed the Oreo Cookie, which is pictured below. Percy from the German R-L-X forum made this watch by putting an all black GMT-Master bezel insert on a Polar white dial Explorer II. So basically, this would be the result if a Polar Explorer had a baby with an all black bezel GMT-Master!!!

I begged Rolex to bring such a model to life and still think they should!!!!! Why? For many reasons. First and foremost, people LOVE Rolex spinning bezels, and play with them like fidget widgets not to mention, it just looks so cool! Rolex if you are listening, PLEASE make an Oreo Cookie GMT model!!!

This article would not be replete without my customary video response message which comes courtesy of Van Halen!!!!:

Also, Percy put a Pepsi Bezel on his Explorer II and thus created what I dubbed and showcased in my 2008 article as the Vanilla Pepsi. But where did this color combination idea come from?

It turns out Rolex once made a Vanilla Pepsi, kind-of, sort of...The apocryphal story put forth at the time said "When Rolex introduced the GMT-Master in 1955, they produced it with standard black dials and Pan Am Airlines gave them to all their pilots to wear. The executive at Pan Am were jealous, so they ordered white dial models which were exclusively made for Pan Am executives only."

It turns out that story is a falsely perpetuated myth which I dispel in great detail in my upcoming series of books on Rolex history

So how do you explain the 100% authentic Rolex GMT-Master from the later 1950s with a white dial? This model was NEVER sold by Rolex nor made available to the public.

It turns out it was an early prototype, as it used to be been fairly standard for Rolex to make early pre-production prototypes with white dials. The interesting point is so many people originally believed the false narrative that was created by auction houses who wanted to see higher auction results, and people just grew to want such a model, and last week Tudor, which is owned by Rolex made many collectors dreams come true with the introduction of this new model.

This new model comes in a 41MM case and the best news is it retails for only $4300, which is not only much cheaper than an equivalent Rolex, not to mention that Rolex doesn't even offer a bold model like this!!! Hopefully Rolex will be able to keep up with demand for this beauty!