Rolex GMT–MASTER II
Rolex is extending its GMT-Master II range with a new version in Oystersteel, equipped with a bi-directional rotatable bezel and a 24-hour graduated two-colour Cerachrom insert in red and blue ceramic. The lugs and sides of its Oyster case have been redesigned, and the watch is fitted on a five-link Jubilee bracelet.
Two other versions of the GMT-Master II introduce 18 ct Everose gold to the range for the very first time. The first is crafted entirely from this refined, exclusive alloy, and the second is available in an Everose Rolesor version, combining Oystersteel and 18 ct Everose gold. On the dials of both watches, the name “GMT-Master II” is inscribed in powdered rose. The bezels are fitted with two-colour Cerachrom inserts in a black and newly developed brown ceramic.
These new versions are equipped with the new-generation calibre 3285, at the forefront of watchmaking technology. With 10 patent applications filed over the course of its development, the movement is equipped with a Chronergy escapement and guarantees a power reserve of approximately 70 hours.
Like all Rolex watches, the new versions of the GMT-Master II carry the Superlative Chronometer certification, which ensures excellent performance on the wrist.
One instrument, several time zones
Originally designed to aid airline pilots in their navigation, the GMT-Master has become an unmistakable icon. Over the years its emblematic bezel has been presented in various colours, in both single and two-coloured combinations. It is the signature feature of its unique and instantly recognizable aesthetics.
With a traditional hour, minute and seconds display via hands; a 24-hour hand; and a bidirectional rotatable bezel with a 24-hour graduated Cerachrom insert, it is possible to read the time in two time zones at once: either the local time and a reference time, or the local time and another time zone as desired. The date, shown at 3 o’clock, is synchronized with the local time display.
Since 2005, Rolex has played a pioneering role in the development of special ceramics for monobloc bezels and bezel inserts. These new materials are exceptionally resistant to scratches and corrosion, and offer particularly intense colours that are unaffected by ultraviolet rays. Rolex made full use of its expertise in developing the high-technology production methods that allow it to manufacture its ceramic components independently in-house.
Rolex is able to create these ceramics in single colours as well as two-colour versions. The Cerachrom insert in red and blue ceramic is the most iconic of these, as it calls to mind the colours chosen for the first GMT-Master, launched in 1955.
This ceramic insert is a feat in terms of applied research and engineering. The challenge to create the insert’s red hue, which cannot be obtained using stable mineral pigments, led to the development of a complex internal process and the filing of several patent applications.
The Oyster case, symbol of waterproofness
The GMT-Master II’s Oyster case, guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 100 metres (330 feet), is a paragon of robustness and reliability. Its middle case, with an integral crown guard, is crafted from a solid block of Oystersteel or 18 ct Everose gold. The case back, edged with fine fluting, is hermetically screwed down with a special tool that allows only Rolex watchmakers to access the movement. The winding crown, fitted with the Triplock triple waterproofness system, screws down securely against the 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 optimum protection for the GMT-Master II’s high-precision movement.
The new perpetual calibre 3285
These GMT-Master II watches are equipped with the new calibre 3285, a new-generation movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. With 10 patent applications filed over the course of its development, this self-winding mechanical movement is a consummate demonstration of Rolex technology, at the forefront of the art of watchmaking. Calibre 3285 offers fundamental gains in terms of precision, power reserve, resistance to shocks and magnetic fields, convenience and reliability. It incorporates the Chronergy escapement patented by Rolex, which combines high energy efficiency with great dependability. Made of nickel-phosphorus, this escapement is also insensitive to magnetic interference.
An optimized blue Parachrom hairspring is fitted to the oscillator, the true heart of the watch. Manufactured by Rolex in an exclusive paramagnetic alloy, it is up to 10 times more precise than a traditional hairspring in case of shocks. A Rolex overcoil ensures its regularity in any position.
Calibre 3285 is equipped with a self-winding module via a Perpetual rotor. Thanks to its new barrel architecture and the escapement’s superior efficiency, the power reserve of calibre 3285 extends to approximately 70 hours.
Jubilee and Oyster bracelets
The new GMT-Master II with the Cerachrom insert in red and blue ceramic is fitted on an Oystersteel Jubilee bracelet. The supple and comfortable five-link Jubilee bracelet was created specially for the Oyster Perpetual Datejust at its launch in 1945.
The 18 ct Everose gold and Everose Rolesor versions are fitted on solid-link Oyster bracelets. The 18 ct Everose gold bracelet includes ceramic inserts. On the Everose Rolesor version, the centre links of the bracelet are in 18 ct Everose gold, and the outer links are in Oystersteel.
All three bracelets benefit from a concealed attachment system, ensuring seamless visual continuity between the bracelet and case. They are also equipped with an Oysterlock safety clasp to prevent accidental opening, and feature the Easylink rapid extension system, patented by Rolex in 1996, that allows the wearer to easily increase the bracelet length by approximately 5 mm for additional comfort.
Superlative Chronometer Certification
Like all Rolex watches, the GMT-Master II is covered by the Superlative Chronometer certification redefined by Rolex in 2015. 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 in terms of precision, power reserve, waterproofness and self-winding. The precision of a Rolex Superlative Chronometer after casing is of the order of −2 /+2 seconds per day, or more than twice that required of an official chronometer.
The Superlative Chronometer status is symbolized by the green seal that comes with every Rolex watch and is coupled with an international five-year guarantee.
The cosmopolitan watch par excellence, the Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II allows travellers to read the time in two different time zones simultaneously. Precise, reliable, robust and functional, it is a reference among watches with multiple time zones.
At Baselworld 2018, Rolex is introducing three new versions of the GMT-Master II with a brand new movement, the new-generation calibre 3285, and a new image. The first new version, in Oystersteel, combines an Oyster case and Jubilee bracelet with a bidirectional rotatable bezel and a 24-hour graduated two-colour Cerachrom insert in red and blue ceramic. Two further versions bring 18 ct Everose gold to the GMT-Master II range, along with a two-colour Cerachrom insert in brown and black ceramic.
One watch, several time zones
In function as well as in name, the GMT-Master II evokes intercontinental travel across time zones. Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) marks mean solar time at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London – the historic location of the official prime meridian used for calculating longitude and determining different time zones around the world.
In addition to conventional hour, minute and seconds hands, which display the local time (the time in the wearer’s current location), the GMT-Master II features an arrow-tipped hand which circles the dial once every 24 hours, as well as a bidirectional rotatable bezel and a 24-hour graduated Cerachrom insert in coloured ceramic. When the bezel is in the neutral position, that is with the triangle at 12 o’clock, the 24-hour hand displays the reference time (home time, for example), which can be read using the graduations on the bezel.
When abroad, travellers 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, travellers 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. In this case, the reference time is no longer shown, as it is the alternative time zone that is now read via the 24-hour hand against the graduations on the bezel.
The bezel was carefully designed to ideally fulfil its 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.
Rolex advertising booklet from the 1950s
For long-haul travel and adventure
Launched in 1955, the Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master witnessed the rapid expansion of intercontinental travel in the latter half of the 20th
century. It even became the official watch of Pan American World Airways, better known worldwide as Pan Am, the most prominent American intercontinental airline at the time. In 1959, a major event marked the partnership: the first non-stop Pan Am Jet Clipper flight from New York to Moscow. The captain was wearing a GMT-Master, which was used as a navigation aid during the flight.
1955 Launch of the GMT-MASTER
The GMT-Master, a true “tool watch”, evolved continually to offer increasing technical performance. The GMT-Master II has won over a much wider audience, proving itself to be an ideal watch for criss-crossing the globe.
1982 Launch of the GMT-MASTER II
The new movement allowed the hour hand to be set independently
Independent hour hand
On the original GMT-Master, the conventional hour hand, the minute hand and the 24-hour hand were synchronized. In 1982, Rolex introduced a new movement that allowed the hour hand to be set independently of the other hands. To clearly mark this evolution, and to avoid any confusion with the existing GMT-Master watches, the models fitted with the optimized movement were named the GMT-Master II. From then on, using and setting the watch became easier and more intuitive.Emblematic design
The bidirectional rotatable bezel and 24-hour graduated two-colour or single-colour insert are central to the design of the GMT-Master II. On the original 1955 model, the insert was divided into two halves – one red, to correspond with daylight hours, and one blue, for night-time hours. Over the years, the 24-hour graduated insert has been made available in a range of other colours.
At the beginning, the bezel’s 24-hour graduated insert was made from Plexiglas, with the colours, numerals and graduations painted on the reverse. In 1959, the Plexiglas was replaced with aluminium, and the colours and inscriptions were created using anodization – an electrochemical process that also increased the metal’s scratch resistance.
2005 Introduction of the ceramic bezel insert
GMT-Master II with 24-hour graduated Cerachrom insert in black ceramic
In 2005, Rolex replaced the aluminium 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”, and the components have since been known as the “Cerachrom bezel” and “Cerachrom insert”. For optimal legibility, the numerals and graduations are moulded into the ceramic and then coated with a thin layer of gold or platinum via Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD). These exclusive components are virtually scratch-proof and are unaffected by the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
The case and bracelet, symbols of safety and comfort
The Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master has been equipped with the Oyster case since its conception. This case is one of the defining elements of a Rolex watch, with exemplary shock-resistance and waterproofness. In addition, for easy reading of the date, the crystal is fitted with a Cyclops lens at 3 o’clock – another Rolex innovation. As of 1959, a crown guard has been stamped as an integral part of the middle case to protect the winding crown. Although the original GMT-Master was fitted onto an Oyster bracelet, over time some variants have featured the celebrated five-link Jubilee bracelet that was launched in 1945.
Three new versions of the GMT-MASTER II
In 2018, the GMT-Master II is receiving a brand new movement, the new-generation calibre 3285. Rolex is unveiling three new versions with a new image.
The first of the new GMT-Master II versions introduced in 2018 is in Oystersteel. It is fitted onto a five-link Jubilee bracelet, and has a bidirectional rotatable bezel and a 24-hour graduated two-colour Cerachrom insert in red and blue ceramic, calling to mind the colours used on the original GMT-Master in 1955. It is the first time that the Jubilee bracelet, Oystersteel and the two-colour Cerachrom 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 a newly developed brown ceramic.
On the dial, the GMT-Master II inscription is in powdered rose.
All three new versions have black lacquer dials. The highly legible Chromalight hands and hour markers (long-lasting luminescence, blue glow) 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. This system, patented by Rolex in 1996, allows the wearer to increase the bracelet length by 5 mm, providing additional comfort. They are also fitted with an Oysterlock safety clasp, a sophisticated mechanism that prevents accidental opening.
The bracelets also benefit from a concealed attachment system, ensuring seamless visual continuity between the bracelet and case.
The GMT-Master II, Superlative Chronometer
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.