When Pan American World Airways made its first non-stop intercontinental flight between New York and Moscow in 1959, the watch used by the crew for navigation was a Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master chronometer. The GMT-Master, which provided a perfectly legible reading of the time in two different time zones simultaneously, would become the official watch of Pan Am, one of the most emblematic airlines of the Golden Age of civil aviation. And it would be recognized by pilots as an essential tool in the cockpit.
At Baselworld 2013, Rolex is introducing a new version of the Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II in 904L steel, with a rotatable bezel featuring for the first time a two-colour ceramic Cerachrom bezel insert in blue and black representing day and night.
Exclusive two-colour Cerachrom Bezel
A technological and aesthetic feat, the new Cerachrom bezel insert is obtained by a unique process developed and patented by Rolex which allows this ceramic component with two distinct colours to be produced as a single piece. It echoes the traditional two-colour bezel of the original GMT-Master and GMT-Master II models. The Cerachrom insert, introduced in 2005, has the advantage of being virtually scratchproof, highly corrosion resistant, and its colour is unaffected by ultraviolet rays. Its diamond-polished surface presents an exceptional lustre. The engraved 24-hour graduations are coated with a thin layer of platinum via a PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) process.
Symbol of waterproofness and robustness
The GMT-Master II’s 40 mm Oyster case, guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 100 metres (330 feet), is a paragon of robustness, proportion and elegance. The characteristically shaped middle case is crafted from a solid block of particularly corrosion-resistant 904L steel. The fluted case back is hermetically screwed down with a special tool exclusive to Rolex watchmakers. The winding crown, fitted with the patented Triplock triple waterproofness system, screws down securely against the case. It is protected by a crown guard that forms an integral part of the middle case. The crystal, with a CYCLOPS lens at 3 o’clock for easy reading of the date, is made of virtually scratchproof sapphire. The waterproof Oyster case provides optimal protection for the GMT-Master II’s high-precision movement.
A superlative chronometer
The GMT-Master II is equipped with calibre 3186, a self-winding mechanical movement with a date display and a second time zone entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. Like all Rolex Perpetual movements, the 3186 is a certified Swiss chronometer, a designation reserved for high-precision watches that have successfully passed the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) tests. Its design and quality manufacture provide peerless precision and reliability. The oscillator, the true heart of the watch, has a blue Parachrom hairspring patented and manufactured by Rolex in an exclusive alloy. Insensitive to magnetic fields, the Parachrom hairspring offers great stability when exposed to temperature variations and remains up to 10 times more precise in case of shocks than a traditional hairspring.
Solid-link bracelet with safety clasp
The new GMT-Master II is fitted with a solid-link Oyster bracelet in 904L steel with an Oysterlock safety clasp that prevents accidental opening.
It also features the ingenious Rolex-patented Easylink rapid extension system that allows the wearer to easily increase the bracelet length by approximately 5 mm, for additional comfort in any circumstance.