An Enduring Benchmark
The Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II is precise, reliable, robust, and functional
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.