An En­dur­ing Bench­mark

The Rolex Oys­ter Per­pet­ual GMT-Mas­ter II is pre­cise, re­li­able, ro­bust, and func­tional

Portfolio - - IN THIS ISSUE - By Keef Wong

Pre­cise, re­li­able, ro­bust and func­tional, the Rolex Oys­ter Per­pet­ual GMT-Mas­ter II al­lows trav­el­ers the abil­ity to read the time in two dif­fer­ent time zones si­mul­ta­ne­ously and has be­come the bench­mark ref­er­ence for watches with mul­ti­ple time zones

The first GMT-Mas­ter was launched in 1955, marked by a 24-hour grad­u­ated two-color insert in the bezel and an ex­tra 24-hour hand that was syn­chro­nized with the con­ven­tional hour and minute hands. This watch wit­nessed the rapid ex­pan­sion of in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal travel and even be­came the of­fi­cial watch of Pan Amer­i­can World Air­ways, bet­ter known world­wide as Pan Am. In 1982, Rolex in­tro­duced a new move­ment that al­lowed the hour hand to be set in­de­pen­dently of the other hands. To mark this evo­lu­tion, the new mod­els fit­ted with the op­ti­mized move­ment were named the GMT-Mas­ter II and set a new stan­dard in ease of use. When abroad, trav­el­ers can set the lo­cal time eas­ily, with the hour hand “jump­ing” from hour to hour thanks to a mech­a­nism op­er­ated via the wind­ing crown. The ad­just­ment can be made in­de­pen­dently of the minute and sec­onds hands, and with­out af­fect­ing the 24-hour hand. As a re­sult, trav­el­ers can si­mul­ta­ne­ously read their lo­cal time as well as the time “back home” The time in an al­ter­na­tive time zone can be dis­played by turn­ing the ro­tat­able bezel, then read­ing the 24-hour hand against the grad­u­a­tions on the bezel. Care­fully de­signed to ide­ally ful­fill this func­tion, Rolex de­vel­oped a bezel ro­ta­tion sys­tem with a spring that al­lows the bezel to be turned crisply and se­curely in ei­ther di­rec­tion and lo­cate with a pos­i­tive click in each of the 24 dif­fer­ent hour po­si­tions. The bezel was a pri­mary fea­ture in the next big leap in in­no­va­tion in 2005 when Rolex re­placed the alu­minum with ce­ramic – a fur­ther in­no­va­tion. As a pi­o­neer in the de­sign and cre­ation of ce­ramic com­po­nents, the brand de­vel­oped its own knowl­edge and ex­per­tise to pro­duce its monobloc bezels and ce­ramic in­serts in-house. In 2007, the brand reg­is­tered the name ‘Cer­achrom’. For op­ti­mal leg­i­bil­ity, the nu­mer­als and grad­u­a­tions are molded into the ce­ramic and then coated with a thin layer of gold or plat­inum via Phys­i­cal Va­por De­po­si­tion (PVD). These ex­clu­sive com­po­nents are vir­tu­ally scratch-proof and un­af­fected by the sun’s ul­tra­vi­o­let rays. Ini­tially pro­duced only in a sin­gle color, Rolex then went on to de­velop two­color Cer­achrom in­serts in a range of vivid hues. This year at BaselWorld 2018, the GMT-Mas­ter II re­ceived a brand­new move­ment, the new-gen­er­a­tion cal­iber 3258. In ad­di­tion, Rolex has un­veiled three new ver­sions of the watch. With 10 patent ap­pli­ca­tions filed over the course of its de­vel­op­ment, the new cal­iber 3285 self-wind­ing me­chan­i­cal move­ment is a con­sum­mate demon­stra­tion of Rolex tech­nol­ogy. Cal­iber 3285 in­cor­po­rates the Chronergy es­cape­ment patented by Rolex, which com­bines high en­ergy ef­fi­ciency with great de­pend­abil­ity. Made of nickel-phos­pho­rus, it is also in­sen­si­tive to mag­netic in­ter­fer­ence. A blue Parachrom hair­spring man­u­fac­tured by Rolex in an ex­clu­sive para­m­ag­netic al­loy is fit­ted to the os­cil­la­tor. 10 times more pre­cise than a tra­di­tional hair­spring in case of shocks, and fit­ted with a Rolex over­coil, this new move­ment of­fers fun­da­men­tal gains in terms of pre­ci­sion, power re­serve, re­sis­tance to shocks and mag­netism, con­ve­nience and re­li­a­bil­ity. The first of the new GMT-Mas­ter II watches is in Oys­ter­steel and matched with a five-link Ju­bilee bracelet. A two-color Cer­achrom insert in red and blue ce­ramic on the bezel calls to mind the bezel col­or­way from the orig­i­nal 1955 GMT-Mas­ter. This is the first time that the Ju­bilee bracelet, Oys­ter­steel and two-color Cer­a­chom insert in red and blue ce­ramic have been brought to­gether on the GMT-Mas­ter II. Two fur­ther new ver­sions in­tro­duce 18 ct Everose gold to the GMT-Mas­ter II range. One is made en­tirely from 18 ct Everose gold, while the other is an Everose Role­sor ver­sion – com­bin­ing Oys­ter­steel and 18 ct Everose gold. Both watches are equipped with a 24-hour grad­u­ated two-colour Cer­achrom insert in a black and newly de­vel­oped brown ce­ramic. On the dial, the GMTMaster II in­scrip­tion is in pow­dered rose. All three new ver­sions have black lac­quer di­als. The highly leg­i­ble Chro­ma­light hands and hour mark­ers that glow with a blue long-last­ing lu­mi­nes­cence are in 18 ct white or pink gold. On the Oys­ter­steel ver­sion the 24-hour hand is coated with red lac­quer. The bracelets on the new GMT-Mas­ter II are equipped with the Ea­sylink rapid ex­ten­sion sys­tem, patented by Rolex in 1996, this al­lows the wearer to in­crease the bracelet length by 5mm, pro­vid­ing ad­di­tional com­fort. They are also fit­ted with an Oys­ter­lock safety clasp, a so­phis­ti­cated mech­a­nism that pre­vents ac­ci­den­tal open­ing. The bracelets ben­e­fit from a con­cealed at­tach­ment sys­tem, en­sur­ing seam­less vis­ual con­ti­nu­ity be­tween the bracelet and case. Like all Rolex watches, the GMT-Mas­ter II is cov­ered by the Su­perla­tive Chronome­ter cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. This ex­clu­sive des­ig­na­tion tes­ti­fies that each watch has suc­cess­fully un­der­gone a se­ries of tests con­ducted by Rolex in its own lab­o­ra­to­ries ac­cord­ing to its own cri­te­ria, which ex­ceed watch­mak­ing norms and stan­dards. The cer­ti­fi­ca­tion ap­plies to the fully as­sem­bled watch, af­ter cas­ing the move­ment, guar­an­tee­ing su­perla­tive per­for­mance on the wrist.

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