AN ICONIC COLLECTION
The Rolex GMT-Master has emerged as one of the best and most popular investment watches of all time. The model became an essential watch for pilots and travelers back in the 1950s when the first watch was launched. The watch was developed in response to a request from Pan American Airways, who wanted a watch that could display multiple time zones. That is why Rolex developed the rotating watch face, which made it possible to read two time zones efficiently and quickly.
Ref. 126710BLRO: ”Pepsi” back in steel
The long-awaited “Pepsi” ref. 126710BLRO in steel was launched in 2018. It was one of the watches with the most buzz at Basel back in 2018. Finally, the GMT-Master “Pepsi” was back in steel. For many watch enthusiasts, the launch of the ref. 126710BLRO is one of the most exciting models in the history of horology. Although the introduction of the new generation GMT-Master II model was back in 2007, we had to wait 11 years for the launch of the 126710BLRO.
A MORE CHALLENGING PRODUCTION
One of the main reasons for the delay was to create a ceramic bezel in the iconic colors of red and blue. To make it a bit technical, the Rolex Ceramic bezel is produced in one piece under high temperatures and pressure. Therefore, the double-colored bezel creates some challenges in terms of its production. Rolex’s own solution to this problem is to produce the bezel in red in the first stage. After this, some kind of chemicals are added to create a bluish tone in the top layer. Several watch experts claim that due to the more laborious production of the bezel, Rolex chose to launch the ref. 116719BLRO in white gold and not steel back in 2014, so demand would not be as high.
INTRODUCING THE NEW CHAIN
When ref. 126710BLRO was launched, Rolex recognized their opportunity to reintroduce the Jubilee chain into their sports watch collection. This Jubilee chain is custom-made for ref. 126710BLRO, so that it fits the model perfectly. It is not the first time a GMT-Master II has been available with this chain, but it is the first time the Jubilee chain has been seen in modern times on a Rolex sports watch.
Rolex GMT-Master ref. The 126710BLRO is a versatile model that can be worn for all occasions. The new Jubilee chain along with the classic “Pepsi” bezel creates a beautiful balance between elegance and a sporty look. It is undoubtedly the perfect everyday companion.
REF. 126719BLRO: A UNIQUE EXTENSION OF THE ROLEX GMT-MASTER II COLLECTION
A year later in 2019, Rolex introduced one of their most notable versions to date, the Rolex GMT-Master II ref. 126719 in white gold. Although ref. 126719BLRO is functionally identical to the previous model, ref. 126710BLRO, it is now possible to get the watch face in either blue or meteorite. Ref. 126719 in white yellow is a unique addition to the collection of pilot watches and an interesting addition to the 2019 Rolex GMT-Master II.
THE WATCH FACE FROM SPACE
If we are discussing the unique meteorite watch face, the meteorite watch face is indeed made from a space rock that landed on Earth many years ago, the Gibeon meteorite.
However, this is not the first time Rolex has produced watch faces in meteorites, but it is the first time a GMT has been embellished with it. Anyone with any interest in outer space or archaeology knows about the discovery of the Gibeon meteorite. For those who do not, a little history lesson might be appropriate here:
The Gibeon meteorite is believed to have hurtled through the atmosphere and hit the ground in prehistoric times in the country we know as Namibia. The meteorite only became known to the West when Captain JE Alexander discovered it back in 1836 and that the people of Namibia had used the meteorite to make weapons and tools.
AN EXTRAORDINARY WATCH FACE FOR GMT-MASTER II
The meteorite consists primarily of iron and nickel and has a unique and unusual shine. Due to the meteorite’s long journey to Earth, physicists believe that the molten rock was cooled by the pressure of space, creating unique crystallized iron and nickel patterns that can be admired in the beautiful watch face.
While this material is a slightly unusual choice for a watch like the GMT-Master II, it is certainly an elegant touch. The watch face has many different facets depending on the angle of the reflection and light. It adds a mysticism to the watch that is not present in the same way with other models.
Apart from the few examples, such as “Albino” ref. 6542 and this relatively new ref. 126719BLRO in the meteorite, the Rolex-GMT collection has almost always been produced with a darker-colored watch face. So, if you choose to purchase a Rolex GMT-Master II 126719BLRO, you are providing yourself with the opportunity to own a limited-edition piece of prehistoric space rock.
TECHNICALLY IDENTICAL MODELS
Despite the design differences between ref. 126710BLRO and ref. 126719BLRO, the technical and functional aspects are virtually identical between the models. Both references are equipped with the same movement, 3285. The Rolex caliber 3285 is the next generation of movements and has been a mainstay since its introduction in 2018. It is assumed that this movement will be used in all GMT watches in the foreseeable future. And if we know Rolex, it could be for a long time. But why would you change a winning concept if you do not have to?
Of course, whether you prefer a meteorite watch face is a matter of taste. But such a watch face is truly special, as no two watch faces are the same. All produced watches in ref. 126719BLRO meteorites are unique, therefore getting the watch face you want will sometimes depend on a bit of luck. If you have the budget to invest in a white gold GMT but do not love the aesthetic look of the meteorite watch face, the blue face is probably the best watch for your arm.