Released in 1955, the GMT-Master II is designed for professionals who enjoy frequent travel between continents and oceans. In 1982, the GMT-Master II was released with a revised movement that made operating easier. There is a growing market for it because of its mix of unequaled usefulness, ruggedness, and instantly identifiable appearance. Rolex’s GMT-Master II has evolved from the original model for more than half a century. In 1983, Rolex debuted the GMT-Master II, replacing the original model in its catalog. There are several differences between the Rolex GMT-Master II and the original GMT-Master. When comparing this model to the original Rolex GMT-Master, it is possible to display two time zones on the dial and one more time zone on the rotating 24-hour bezel without switching hands.
Pilots could reference a second-time zone without changing the reference time by simply turning the bidirectional rotatable bezel of the original GMT-Master. Rolex worked on refining and improving its original design throughout this period. However, the core functionality of GMT timepieces was not affected. The 12-hour and 24-hour hands are linked to specific models, allowing the watch to display two time zones simultaneously. Rolex introduced mechanically enhanced GMT-Master models in 1983, allowing the 24-hour hand to be set independently of the 12-hour hand. Additional features of the GMT-Master II enable users to set two time zones with their hands while rotating the bezel in neutral and reading a third time zone using the bezel. In 1989, Rolex introduced the GMT-Master II 16710, a slimmer case and a new mechanism to replace the 16760. Rolex released the 1167xx GMT-Master II range in 2005, which included a redesigned case and Cerachrom bezels for the timepieces. The updated GMT-Master II models with 1267xx reference numbers finally debuted in 2018, featuring new movements, materials, bracelets, and bezel colors.
Initially intended for airline pilots, the Rolex GMT-Master has gained a cult following because of its beautiful aesthetics and varying applications. Thus, Rolex GMT-Master II, originally designed for pilots, has become one of Rolex’s most popular sports watches.
The current stainless steel Rolex GMT-Master II begins at $9,700 and rises in price depending on the used material. Rolex GMT-Master II watches are in high demand, and as a result, used copies of the watches can fetch prices far more than the original selling price. Due to increased demand, the secondary market price of a Rolex GMT-Master II has skyrocketed in the last few years. The stainless steel GMT-Master II variants, in particular, are among the most sought-after clocks in the world. A yearlong queue has formed for the 2019 models of the Rolex GMT-Master II. Several retailers have stopped taking alternative names from Rolex GMT-Master II waitlists since supply is unlikely to meet demand.
Features Of Rolex GMT-Master II
Let’s look at some of the outstanding features of the Rolex GMT-Master II.
The most noticeable design characteristic of the GMT-Master II is its bidirectional rotating 24-hour bezel. Split-color bezels are standard on GMT-Master II clocks, and they approximate day and night hours on a 24-hour scale. The original GMT-Master had a red and blue “Pepsi” bezel, signifying daytime and night. The classic blue and red Rolex look on modern GMT-Master II watches is still available. The bezels for the GMT-Master II are available in a wide range of colors and textures. Timepieces with bezels in black and red, black and blue “Batman,” black and brown “Root Beer,” as well as all-black bezels are also available.
The Rolex GMT-Master II range is one of the most diverse materials. Compared to the first generation GMT-Master II (reference 16760), the GMT-Master II collection has become one of Rolex’s most varied timepieces. The GMT-Master II is available in stainless steel, two-tone yellow gold and yellow Rolesor stainless steel, two-tone Everose gold and Everose Rolesor), solid 18k yellow, white, and Everose gold. Some scarce gold GMT-Master II versions may be bezel set with diamonds and other expensive gems, such as sapphires and rubies, and can be found in some low gold GMT-Master II versions.
Since its introduction in the mid-1950s, the dial layout of the GMT-Master II has remained primarily unchanged. The dial has a 24-hour hand with an arrow tip and hour markings in round, triangular, and rectangular shapes. A Cyclops lens that fitted to the crystal surface of every GMT-Master II dial magnifies the date display at 3 o’clock. For the GMT-Master II, Rolex has produced a variety of exotic dials, such as champagne and silver “Serti” dials with diamonds and ruby hour markers, entire diamond pavé dials, blue and even vibrant green anniversary dials carved from ancient meteorite slices. Stainless steel GMT-Master II watches are the only ones that come in these distinct dial varieties. The black dials of Rolex GMT-Master II clocks are standard.
The materials used for the GMT-Master II insert have evolved. With introducing the new Rolex GMT-Master II reference 16760, the old reference 6542 has been retired. Since 2005, Rolex has employed Cerachrom, a new ceramic alloy almost scratch-proof and fade-resistant, giving it unparalleled toughness and longevity. Creating a bi-colored Cerachrom bezel would be challenging, so Rolex decided to exclusively sell their new ceramic GMT-Master II with an all-black Cerachrom bezel. With the brand’s innovation and technology, the GMT-Master II Pepsi, GMT-Master II Batman, and GMT-Master II Root Beer have all been given colorful Cerachrom dials. The ceramic bezel of the Rolex GMT-Master II was re-created in two-color ceramic for the first time. While the Submariner and Explorer collections have always come on a standard Oyster bracelet, the GMT-Master II has offered options for the three-link Oyster and the five-link Jubilee bands. Some GMT-Master II versions come with stainless steel, two-tone, or solid gold wristbands. Rolex streamlined the band options for the GMT-Master II in 2019. In contrast, the Rolesors made in 18k white gold, 18k Everose gold, and two-tone Everose Rolesors are only available with oyster bracelets.
Several mechanical movements powered the Rolex GMT-Master II. While all GMT-Master II timepieces have a date display and an adjustable hour hand independently, the GMT-Master II calibers mentioned below differ.
- GMT-Master II 3085 Calibre 16760
- GMT-Master II 3185, 3186, 16710, 16718, 167313
- Calibre 3186 GMT Master II 116710–116719
- Calendar 3285 GMT-Master II (Calibre 3285-GMT-Master II)
The new Rolex GMT-Master II movement, Caliber 3285, was introduced in 2018. Compared to eleven patents, the previous generation’s 48-hour power reserve, the Rolex Caliber 3285, has a 70-hour power reserve.
Investing in a Rolex GMT-Master II will pay off. Several models sell for significantly more than their initial retail price even after being used, and they also retain their value despite regular use. Even if you have worn your Rolex GMT-Master II for 20 years, you may sell it for a profit.