Baselworld 2018 – Rolex GMT-Master II in steel with Pepsi bezel

Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi steel 1

One day before the official start of the Baselworld 2018, Rolex announced the release of one of the most anticipated watches of the year – the new GMT-Master II ref. 126710 BLRO. The stainless steel case, new movement, Jubilee bracelet and a “competitive” (this is a Rolex after all :) ) price of CHF 8,800 all make this GMT-Master II Pepsi highly desirable for collectors.

The reference 126710 BLRO is not the first GMT-Master II in stainless steel, but it is the first steel model to feature the so-called “Pepsi” bezel. The bidirectional rotatable bezel features a 24-hour graduated two-color Cerachrom insert in red and blue ceramic. The watchmaker has been using ceramic for its bezels since 2005. Two years later Rolex registered the trademark “Cerachrom” and since then the brand’s ceramic components have been known as the “Cerachrom bezel” and the “Cerachrom insert”. Over the years, the bezels have been presented in different single color and two-color versions. The Cerachrom insert in red and blue ceramic is the most iconic of the all as it recalls the colors used in the original GMT-Master, launched in 1955.

Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi steel 2

Models with Pepsi bezels are highly sought after among collectors


For the new GMT-Master II ref. 126710 BLRO, Rolex has slightly redesigned the trademark Oyster case, which now has thinner lugs and sides. Made of Oystersteel (the brand’s proprietary stainless steel), the 40mm case is water resistant to 100 meters and features is a solid, screw-down case back with fine fluting. Underneath the scratch-resistant sapphire crystal lies a beautiful black lacquer dial with highly legible Chromalight appliques and hands. Featuring luminous arrow-shaped tip, the 24-hour GMT hand is in red. Using the GMT hand and bidirectional rotatable bezel, the wearer can read the time in two time zones at once: either the local time and home time, or the local time and another time zone as desired. Located underneath the Cyclops display at 3 o’clock, the date is synchronized with the local time display.

Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi steel 3

Traditionally, the dial of the GMT-Master II offers excellent legibility


The Rolex GMT-Master II ref. 126710 BLRO is presented on a five-link Oystersteel Jubilee bracelet. First introduced in 1945, the Jubilee bracelet has so far only been used on some vintage GMT-Master watches and current Datejust models. The centre links have been polished while the outer links have satin-finished surfaces and polished edges. Equipped with an Oysterlock safety clasp to prevent accidental opening, the bracelet features the Rolex’s signature Easylink rapid extension system. Patented in 1996, it allows the wearer to easily increase the bracelet length by an additional 5mm for additional comfort.

Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi steel 4

The first modern Rolex GMT-Master II to feature a Jubilee bracelet. Until now, the bracelet has only been used on some vintage GMT-Master watches and current Datejust models


Powering the GMT-Master II ref. 126710 BLRO is Rolex’s brand new movement – the calibre 3285. Featuring 10 patent-pending technologies, this superlative chronometer (COSC + Rolex certification after casing) offers significant gains in terms of precision, resistance to shocks and magnetic fields, and power reserve. It also feature Rolex’s patented Chronergy escapement which increases efficiency and reliability. The self-winding movement oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour and guarantees a power reserve of approximately 70 hours.


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