Rolex GMT-Master II
The boom in trans-continental flights in the early 1950s led Pan American Airlines to ask Rolex to create a watch that could tell two times simultaneously.
in 1954 Rolex released the GMT-Master, the original dual time zone watch. Over half a century on the GMT-Master and subsequent GMT-Master II have evolved into the must wear watch for pilots, regular travellers and serious professionals.
For Pilot’s and aviators Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) was the reference time required for all aviation planning, including weather forecasting and scheduling. It was also thought that a watch that a GMT function would help fight the effects of jet-lag, which at the time was a new phenomenon, by helping to regulate a persons internal body clock and making communication with home easier to plan.
General Manager Nick Tolfree says: “The GMT is the original dual time zone watch. Launched in the 1950’s, this was the first timepiece to have an additional hour hand making it easy to read two time zones simultaneously. This makes the GMT the perfect watch for any international traveller.”
The first GMT-Master (ref. 6542) was developed on the basis of a regular Turn-O-Graph. Modifications included a slightly different bezel and a modified Calibre 1036 Oyster Perpetual movement.
With a bold aesthetic more fitting of Rolex diving watch models, the GMT-Master became the most recognisable aviation watch in history. This reputation has been built on incredible feats such as accompanying pilot’s Brian Tubshaw and Andre Turcat on the first Concorde test flights.
In 2005 Rolex introduced the GMT-Master II. Over half a century on from the original, the GMT-Master II featured a number of technical changes.
In came a larger triplock crown and a larger 40mm case. The COSC certified Calibre 3186 movement features Rolex’s patented Parachrom hairspring offering greater resistance to shocks and changes in temperature.
The new rotatable bezel with 24 hour scale means that the GMT-Master II is capable of showing time in three timezones, two simultaneously.
One of the key features of the GMT-Master II is the bezel’s Cerachrom insert. Cerachrom is a ceramic so durable and scratch resistant that the inscribed numerals and graduations must be coated in yellow gold or platinum.
The GMT-Master II currently comes in three options; Stainless Steel with a black dial, Steel & Yellow Gold also with a black dial and 18-Carat Yellow Gold with a choice of black or green dial.
Fans of the GMT-Master II were delighted to see the release of a new model at Baselworld 2013. For the first time the GMT-Master II is available with a black and blue bezel symbolising night and day.
Rolex GMT-Master II Specifications:
- Case – Oyster, 40mm 904L Steel, Steel & Yellow Gold or Yellow Gold
- Movement – Calibre 3186, Manufacture Rolex, GMT Function
- COSC Certified
- Bracelet – Oyster, flat three-piece links
- Folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Easylink 5 mm comfort extension link
- Water Resistance – 100 metres
- Dial – Black in Steel or Steel & Yellow gold models. Yellow Gold model has choice of Black or Green Dial