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HK Golfer - - Contents - By The Ed­i­tors

The Rolex GMT-Mas­ter II “Pepsi” has re­turned to its util­i­tar­ian roots with a stain­less-steel case as well as a host of other im­prove­ments.

PRE­VI­OUSLY AVAIL­ABLE ONLY IN WHITE GOLD, THE ROLEX GMT-MAS­TER II “PEPSI” HAS RE­TURNED

TO ITS UTIL­I­TAR­IAN ROOTS AT BASEL­WORLD 2018, WITH A STAINLESSSTEEL CASE AS WELL AS A HOST OF OTHER IM­PROVE­MENTS. THE WATCH HAS BEEN FIT­TED WITH A NEW, FIVE-LINK JU­BILEE BRACELET - BUT WITH A SPRING-LOADED OYSTERCLASP FOUND

ONLY ON ROLEX SPORTS WATCHES.

Al­most as in­trigu­ing as the dis­cov­ery of new watches ev­ery year at Basel­world is the guess­ing games that pre­cede it, es­pe­cially as re­gards Rolex. Few saw com­ing the time­piece that led off Rolex’s 2018 col­lec­tion - a new ver­sion of the clas­sic “Pepsi” GMT-Mas­ter II in “Oys­ter­steel”, fea­tur­ing sev­eral sig­nif­i­cant up­dates on both the inside and out­side.

The 40-mm case made of Oys­ter­steel - Rolex jar­gon for 904L stain­less steel - is guar­an­teed waterproof to a depth of 300 me­ters. Ro­bust­ness aided by a solid steel, fluted-edge case­back that is her­met­i­cally screwed down (with a spe­cial tool that is ex­clu­sive to Rolex) and the in­te­grated crown guards em­blem­atic of the GMT-Mas­ter II’s Oys­ter case flank­ing the screw-down crown. That recog­nis­able Pepsi bezel frames a nearly scratch­proof sap­phire crys­tal, with the now­iconic Cy­clops lens over the date win­dow at 3 o’clock. The bi­colour bezel’s 24-hour scale can be syn­chro­nised with the red GMT hand on the dial to quickly and eas­ily read the time in a time zone other than your own, while the hour and minute hands and date all con­tinue to dis­play the lo­cal time.

The fa­mous redand-blue ro­tat­ing GMT bezel ap­peared on the very first 1955 model, which in­spired the model’s nick­name, “Pepsi,” is here ex­e­cuted with a Cer­achrom bezel in­sert. With red and blue ce­ram­ics that are ex­cep­tion­ally re­sis­tant to scratches, cor­ro­sion, and the ef­fects of ul­tra­vi­o­let rays, which could oth­er­wise dull the vi­brant colours over time.

“Few saw com­ing to the time­piece that led off Rolex’s 2018 col­lec­tion - a new ver­sion of the clas­sic ‘Pepsi’ GMTMaster II in ‘Oys­ter­steel’.”

Speak­ing of patents: Rolex has 10 of them pend­ing for tech­nolo­gies used in this watch’s all-new move­ment, Cal­iber 3285, which makes its de­but in this model. In­cor­po­rat­ing Rolex’s patented, en­ergy ef­fi­cient, mag­netic-re­sis­tant Chronergy es­cape­ment, the move­ment is self­wind­ing uti­liz­ing a bi-di­rec­tional ro­tor, equipped with the brand’s ex­clu­sive blue Parachrom hair­spring, which is 10 times more pre­cise than the tra­di­tional type, and stores a power re­serve of ap­prox­i­mately 70 hours.

The other sig­nif­i­cant fea­ture that Rolex fa­nat­ics will note right away is the bracelet - in the his­tor­i­cal five-link “Ju­bilee” style rather than the more com­mon three-link “Oys­ter” style. Cre­ated specif­i­cally for the first Rolex Date­just in 1945, the Ju­bilee bracelet was de­signed to be sup­ple and com­fort­able, though it re­mains a sub­ject of de­bate among con­nois­seurs of vin­tage and mod­ern Rolex.

Launched in 1955, the Oys­ter Per­pet­ual GMT-Mas­ter wit­nessed the rapid ex­pan­sion of in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal travel in the lat­ter half of the 20th cen­tury. It even be­came the of­fi­cial watch of Pan Amer­i­can World Air­ways, bet­ter known world­wide as Pan Am, the most prom­i­nent Amer­i­can in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal air­line at the time. In 1959, a ma­jor event marked the part­ner­ship: the first non-stop Pan Am Jet Clip­per flight from New York to Moscow. The cap­tain was wear­ing a GMT-Mas­ter, which was used as a nav­i­ga­tion aid dur­ing the flight.

In 1982, Rolex in­tro­duced a new move­ment that al­lowed the hour hand to be set in­de­pen­dently of the other hands. To mark this evo­lu­tion, and to avoid any con­fu­sion with the ex­ist­ing GMT-Mas­ter watches, the mod­els fit­ted with the op­ti­mised move­ment were named the GMT-Mas­ter II. From then on, us­ing and set­ting the watch be­came eas­ier and more in­tu­itive.

In 2005, Rolex re­placed the alu­minum with ce­ramic - a fur­ther innovation. As a pioneer in the de­sign and cre­ation of ce­ramic com­po­nents, the brand de­vel­oped its knowl­edge and ex­per­tise to pro­duce its monobloc bezels and ce­ramic in­serts in-house. In 2007, the brand reg­is­tered the name “Cer­achrom”, and the com­po­nents have since been known as the “Cer­achrom bezel” and “Cer­achrom in­sert”. For op­ti­mal leg­i­bil­ity, the nu­mer­als and grad­u­a­tions are moulded into the ce­ramic and then coated with a thin layer of gold or plat­inum via PVD.

The GMT-Mas­ter, a true “tool watch”, evolved con­tin­u­ally to of­fer in­creas­ing tech­ni­cal per­for­mance. The GMT-Mas­ter II has won over a much wider au­di­ence, prov­ing it­self to be an ideal watch for criss­cross­ing the globe.

The fa­mous red-and­blue ro­tat­ing GMT bezel, which in­spired the model’s nick­name, “Pepsi,” is here ex­e­cuted with a Cer­achrom bezel in­sert

The 40-mm case made of Oys­ter­steel - Rolex jar­gon for 904L stain­less steel - is guar­an­teed waterproof to a depth of 300 me­ters

There is also a new 18 CT Everose Gold ver­sion for the new GMT-Mas­ter II

Oys­ter Per­pet­ual GMT-Mas­ter II, 1982

Rolex ad­ver­tised the GMT-Mas­ter on the cover of Time Magazine in the 1950s

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