It’s been over 60 years since the world re­ceived one of the most en­dur­ing sym­bols of avi­a­tion-in­spired horol­ogy, but this year’s GMT-Mas­ter II mod­els prove the watch is still go­ing places.

The Peak (Singapore) - - Contents - TEXT CHARMIAN LEONG

More than 60 years af­ter Rolex launches its avi­a­tion-in­spired icon, the GMT-Mas­ter II con­tin­ues to soar.

A good avi­a­tor watch should al­low its wearer to eas­ily track the time in two time zones and be as tough as it looks. Rolex de­liv­ered on this when Pan Amer­i­can World Air­ways (or “Pan Am”) put in a re­quest for such a watch in the early 1950s, and the GMT-Mas­ter be­came one of the first among this new breed of tool watches. It fea­tured a fourth, 24-hour hand and a ro­tat­ing bezel with 24-hour mark­ings with which to read off the de­sired time zone. It was simple to use and easy on the eyes and that, cou­pled with the for­tu­itous tim­ing of be­ing pro­duced dur­ing the Jet Age, pro­pelled the GMT-Mas­ter to icon sta­tus.

As the world’s air­planes im­proved, so did the watches built to ac­com­pany them. Rolex re­leased three new mod­els of the GMT-Mas­ter II this year and they com­bine fresh colours and ma­te­ri­als with one of its lat­est move­ments, the Cal­i­bre 3285, of­fer­ing greater pre­ci­sion and dura­bil­ity in a chas­sis of moder­nity. Here’s a closer look.

MOVE­MENT The self-wind­ing Cal­i­bre 3285 has 10 patents filed over the course of its development, and is equipped with tech­ni­cal treats like Rolex’s anti-mag­netic Chronergy es­cape­ment, blue Parachrom hair­spring and Rolex over­coil, which en­sures reg­u­lar­ity in any po­si­tion. It has an au­ton­omy of 70 hours. BRACELET Un­like its 2014 pre­de­ces­sor in white gold, this year’s “Pepsi” bezel model in Oys­ter­steel (part of the 904L steel fam­ily) comes with the five-link Ju­bilee bracelet. As al­ways, the bracelet is equipped with the Ea­sylink rapid ex­ten­sion sys­tem and fit­ted with an Oys­ter­lock safety clasp. This com­bi­na­tion of Ju­bilee bracelet, Oys­ter­steel and red-blue Cer­achrom bezel is a first for the GMTMaster II line. BEZEL Cer­achrom bezels su­per­seded alu­minium and Plex­i­glas ones in 2005 be­cause of the scratc­hand fade-proof prop­er­ties. For a long time they were only avail­able in sin­gle colours but in 2013, Rolex made a break­through that would al­low twotone Cer­achrom bezels made from a sin­gle piece of ce­ramic – a world first.

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