The Rolex GMT-Master saga


The Rolex GMT-Master saga


Time zone to time zone
La Cote des Montres - April 15th, 2024

GMT-Master, 1959, ref. 1675
GMT-Master II, 2018, ref. 126710 BLRO

Here and there

at the same time  

The GMT-Master II is the ultimate cosmopolitan watch. Designed for professionals criss-crossing the globe, it is the successor to the GMT-Master, the original model launched in 1955. Over the years, the GMT-Master came to epitomize the aeronautical watch, accompanying many groundbreaking aviation achievements. It has gradually triumphed in other realms, on the wrists of globetrotters, explorers and adventurers.

Thanks to its dedicated 24-hour hand and emblematic graduated rotatable bezel, the watch displays a second time zone in addition to the local time shown by the conventional hour, minute and seconds hands. In so doing, it allows each wearer, wherever they may be, to strengthen their connection with their own personal ‘somewhere out there’, be it memories, plans, experiences or future journeys. It is the loyal companion of those who venture to destinations unknown, across time zones and frontiers.


The ‘GMT’ watch
par excellence


A true ‘tool watch’, the GMT-Master possesses two distinguishing features that make it a reference among GMT-function models and an emblematic and instantly recognizable timepiece.

It includes an additional large, triangle-tipped hand that circles the dial in 24 hours. This hand points to the 24-hour graduation on the rotatable bezel, which, at the model’s launch, was two-coloured to distinguish between the hours of day and night: red for daytime and blue for nighttime. By setting the bezel, the watch could simultaneously display a second time zone, allowing the wearer to see the time in two different parts of the world at a glance.

In 1982, the GMT-Master was equipped with a new movement enabling the hour hand to be adjusted in one-hour increments – independently of the other hands and without stopping the watch. A name change accompanied this major evolution: the GMT-Master fitted with this optimized movement became the GMT-Master II.

of a chronometer


Its emblematic design seems virtually unchanged since the start, yet the GMT-Master has continuously evolved to embrace modernity. It has seamlessly integrated the successive technical advances that have cemented its status as the GMT watch of choice, always in step with its times.

The new age
of travel


When Rolex launched the GMT-Master in 1955, the world was rapidly changing. Distances seemed shorter and time faster. Developments in civil aviation were particularly spectacular, with the arrival of long-haul flights making it possible to cross oceans and continents non-stop.

The GMT-Master provided a tool for navigating between journey time points. With its dedicated 24-hour hand and graduated, rotatable two-colour bezel, it enabled all those who constantly travelled in different time zones – airline pilots, ships’ captains, navigators, international businessmen and members of the Armed Forces – to know the time in two time zones at a glance.

The letters ‘GMT’ stand for Greenwich MeanTime.This indicates the mean solar time as measured at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London, and constitutes the prime meridian officially adopted at the International Meridian Conference, held in Washington in 1884, which determined different time zones around the world. Until 1972, GMT was the international time standard and an indispensable reference point for the aviation industry in particular.

Today, in watchmaking, ‘GMT’ describes a function that allows a watch to show the time in two different time zones at once, by way of the traditional display as well as an additional 24-hour hand combined with the corresponding graduation on the bezel.

Rolex advertising brochure from the 1950s

The official Watch
of Pan Am


The 1960s saw a surge in air traffic. Booming economic growth around the world meant that the aeroplane was becoming an essential means of travel and transportation. At the start of this crucial decade in aviation history, Rolex signed a partnership with Pan American World Airways, better known as Pan Am.

Passengers boarding a Pan Am flight at Berlin Tempelhof Airport
And so, in 1959, the GMT-Master became the official watch of the most prominent American intercontinental airline at the time. Pan Am pilots were equipped with GMT-Master watches and appeared in advertisements for Rolex, helping to make the model an emblem of the aeronautical world.

Assembly of three Pan Am Boeing 707-121 aircraft in Seattle, United States, in 1958
That year also marked a turning point in the technical journey of the GMT-Master. The 24-hour graduated bezel insert, previously made of Plexiglas, was now produced in anodized aluminium to make its surface more durable, and a winding crown guard was added as an integral part of the middle case. More robust than ever, this tool watch would continue to receive upgrades and enhancements to deliver increasingly impressive performance.

Rolex advertisement celebrating the first non-stop transatlantic flight from New York to Moscow by Pan Am during which Captain C. N. Warren wore a GMT-Master

A new


The GMT-Master continued to evolve and adapt to the needs of a perpetually changing world. With international trade expanding and everything moving faster, travellers wanted tools that would make their lives easier.

In 1982, Rolex introduced a new movement that allowed the hour hand to be adjusted independently of the minute hand and 24-hour hand. By pulling the winding crown out to the first notch and turning it in either direction, the hour hand ‘jumps’ forward or backward in increments of one hour. The watch can therefore be set to a new time zone without affecting any of its other functions.

To clearly mark this evolution and avoid any confusion with the GMT-Master, the watch with the new movement was named the GMT-Master II. At its launch, it featured a burgundy and black bezel insert, a combination exclusive to the new model.The GMT-Master and the GMT-Master II coexisted until 2000.

The Advent
of ceramic


GMT-Master II, 2005, ref. 116718 LN
The GMT-Master II received a significant update in 2005 with the introduction of the first bezel insert made of ceramic on a Rolex watch. This high-technology ceramic is extremely hard, virtually scratchproof, and its colour is unaffected by ultraviolet rays. In addition, thanks to its chemical composition, it is inert and cannot corrode. Initially entirely black, this component was subsequently produced in various two-tone combinations, immortalizing the iconic design of the original GMT-Master.

The bezel insert in ceramic – named Cerachrom in 2008 – marked a new turning point for the brand at a time when the race was on throughout the industry for greater technological performance. It confirmed Rolex’s place at the cutting edge of innovation for research and development into high-tech ceramic components.

In 2013, the first two-colour monobloc Cerachrom insert was unveiled – in blue and black. It represented a triumph of engineering and applied research. The following year, Rolex presented a red and blue Cerachrom insert. Producing this particular colour combination – a nod to the original watch – was a technical tour de force, as these two tints are extremely difficult to obtain on a single ceramic component.

A crown
on the left


GMT-Master II, 2022, ref. 126720 VTNR
An unexpected reinterpretation of the GMT-Master II was revealed in 2022.The new version, with a green and black Cerachrom insert, stood apart from others in the range for having its winding crown on the left side of the case. The date window was also uniquely placed at 9 o’clock. This GMT-Master II is the only Rolex watch to feature such a configuration. It illustrates the importance that Rolex attaches to specific wearer needs.

The legend
lives on


GMT-Master  II, 2024, ref. 126710 GRNR
Following on from the watches in 18 ct yellow gold and the yellow Rolesor variants presented in 2023, Rolex has launched two new versions of the GMT-Master II in 2024, both also equipped with a Cerachrom bezel insert in grey and black ceramic. Made of Oystersteel, they offer more discreet colour tones, subtly revealing their personality by way of a green 24-hour hand. One fitted with an Oyster bracelet and the other sporting a Jubilee bracelet, these two new watches perpetuate the legend of the GMT-Master, expanding a range that now comprises 14 different configurations.

to history


Photo taken on the Pegasus Overland expedition, 1959-1960
The GMT-Master and the GMT-Master II owe their iconic status as much to their technical and design qualities as to the feats of the adventurers who have played a part in their story. Certain GMT-Master watches worn by remarkable individuals have witnessed history in the making. Over the years, Rolex has safeguarded this heritage by conserving some of these exceptional timepieces.

New York - Moscow

From the White House to Red Square  

This GMT-Master (ref. 6542) was worn by Captain C. N. Warren on the first non-stop Pan Am flight from New York to Moscow
Four years after its launch, the GMT-Master took part in an event that reinforced its image as a watch to connect people: the first non-stop flight by Pan Am between New York and Moscow. Not only was this historic occasion a technical exploit, it was also hugely symbolic. At the height of the Cold War, in July 1959, the plane was carrying journalists to the USSR to report on US Vice President Richard Nixon’s visit to the Soviet Union. At the controls of the Boeing 707 making this pioneering intercontinental journey was Captain C. N. Warren, who used his GMT-Master as a navigation aid. He stated that “the flight itself was navigated by Rolex.”

Pegasus Overland

A voyage of cultural discovery  

The members of the Pegasus Overland expedition were equipped with GMT-Master watches (ref. 6542)
In 1959, eight men from a British Army regiment embarked on a round-the-world expedition named Pegasus Overland, which Rolex supported by equipping each team member with a GMT-Master. Driving two off-road vehicles, they travelled through Europe, Asia, Oceania and Africa, crossing some 34 countries. During the 51-week journey, they captured every moment on film.Their footage gives a unique glimpse of life around the globe in the late 1950s, showing the fashions, cultures, architectures and landscapes of the time.

Apollo 13

The heart of
the space conquest  

On the Apollo 13 mission, astronaut Jack Swigert wore this GMT-Master (ref. 1675), his personal watch
On 11 April 1970, the Apollo 13 mission left Earth on a voyage that was to be the third American moon landing attempt. Command module pilot Jack Swigert took with him a watch dear to his heart: a GMT-Master, which he wore throughout the mission, like a good-luck charm.Three days after lift-off, a technical fault caused an explosion in the spacecraft’s second oxygen tank. Launched on their lunar trajectory, the three astronauts had no choice but to continue on that course and loop around the Moon in their attempt to return to Earth. Swigert had to correct the trajectory four times. He saved the mission from tragedy by preventing the craft from ricocheting off the Earth’s atmosphere on re-entry. On 17 April, the capsule splashed down in the Pacific Ocean between New Zealand and Fiji, its crew safe and sound.

the X-15 rocket plane

All-time record  

Pilot William J. Knight was wearing this GMT-Master (ref. 1675) when he set his flight speed record
From 1959 to 1968, NASA and the US Air Force developed the X-15 hypersonic flight research programme. The rocket-powered experimental aircraft were designed to test pilots’ ability to withstand the effects of extreme velocity and suborbital flight.The extensive data collected from measuring accelerations, pressures, shocks, vibrations, temperatures and other aspects of aerodynamic friction and atmospheric re-entry techniques led to major advances in aerospace research. Among the dozen or so pilots involved, William J. Knight was particularly outstanding. On 3 October 1967, over the Mojave Desert in California, wearing a GMT-Master, he attained a speed of 7,274 km/h (4,520 mph, or Mach 6.7), setting a record that stands to this day.

Apollo 17

The final mission  

Astronaut Ronald Evans wore this GMT-Master (ref. 1675), his own watch, during the Apollo 17 mission
On 7 December 1972, the Saturn V rocket launched from Cape Canaveral for the final Apollo lunar mission. Its destination: the highlands bordering the Sea of Serenity. One of the crew, Captain Ronald Evans, was wearing his GMT-Master. As the pilot of the command module, he remained in orbit while his fellow crew members landed on the Moon’s surface. On 14 December, the lunar module redocked with the Apollo 17 spacecraft to begin its long journey home. On 17 December, Evans conducted a spacewalk of over an hour.Two days later, the three astronauts were recovered following splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, closing the final chapter in the Apollo mission story.



The GMT-Master and subsequently the GMT-Master II have both benefited from a number of technical innovations developed by Rolex in the course of their history. These inventions, designed to increase the watch’s reliability, ensure its lasting beauty or make it more comfortable and intuitive to wear, have helped to forge the model’s reputation.


graduated bezel


First in Plexiglas – in 1955 – then in aluminium – since 1959 – the 24-hour bezel insert underwent a revolution in 2005.That year, Rolex unveiled its very first watch with a bezel insert made from high-technology ceramic: a GMT-Master II in 18 ct yellow gold, with a green lacquer dial – a colour chosen in honour of the original model’s 50th anniversary. The insert on this watch was entirely black, but it already featured the distinctive design that defines it today, with the same font used for the numerals and graduations.This launch also opened a new chapter in the industrial history of Rolex, as the brand was from then on equipped with all the necessary facilities to produce ceramic components completely independently.

A few years later, in 2013, Rolex returned to the dual-colour aesthetic of the original bezel, presenting a blue and black monobloc Cerachrom insert – a world first and a new milestone for the brand. To achieve this, Rolex developed an innovative, patented process by which two different colours could be obtained on a single-piece ceramic insert by altering the core colour of the material on one half of the component.The change of hue is achieved by impregnating half of the insert with an aqueous solution containing metallic salts, which masks the base colour.

The following year, in 2014, Rolex presented another two-colour exclusive: a red and blue monobloc Cerachrom insert. This achievement was all the more impressive, as the Rolex engineers used alumina as the base ceramic material, rather than the usual zircona, to obtain the red hue. This process took many years to develop and is patent protected.

The engineers also had to develop an alternative method of obtaining the blue on this red and blue bezel insert. In this case, unlike the other inserts, the solution applied to the ceramic does not mask the base colour of the component. Instead, the blue colour appears as a result of a chemical transformation produced in the core of the material. This occurs during sintering, a manufacturing process that involves firing the component at temperatures of up to 1,600° C so that the material acquires its hardness. During this stage, the alumina and chrome present in the base material combine with the cobalt in the aqueous solution to create blue pigments.

All dual-colour Cerachrom bezel inserts present a perfectly clear demarcation between the two coloured areas – a result dependent on extremely narrow and precise parameters. Special procedures were developed to measure the exact quantity of solution to be deposited – which determines the colour density – and to apply it evenly to achieve uniform results.

Complete mastery of the process used to manufacture the Cerachrom bezel inserts results in a perfectly clear and precise demarcation between their two colours.

The numerals and graduations are moulded into the ceramic and coated via PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition), during which the entire piece is covered with a layer of precious metal – yellow or pink gold, or platinum – approximately 1 micron thick. A final diamond-polishing removes the metal from the rest of the surface and brings out the ceramic’s shine.

The ceramics used by Rolex to manufacture its bezel inserts are extremely hard, virtually scratchproof, and their colours are unaffected by ultraviolet rays. In addition, thanks to their chemical composition, these high-tech ceramics are inert and cannot corrode. They can also be highly polished, which gives components made of these materials an exceptional, long-lasting lustre.

24-hour hand


The additional 24-hour hand is another key visual characteristic of the GMT-Master and GMT-Master II. Slim and discreet in the early years, it began to feature more strongly after 1959, in particular with a larger triangle at its tip, which made it more visible and enhanced the legibility of the 24-hour time. The 24-hour hand is also easy to see in the dark, thanks to the luminescent material on its triangular tip. Like the other hands, it is always made of 18 ct gold. On some watches, the main body of the hand is lacquered in the same colour as the lower half of the two-colour bezel insert.



At its launch in 1955, the GMT-Master was equipped with a self-winding mechanical movement whose hour hand and 24-hour hand both indicated the same time but on two different time scales.To see the time in another time zone, it was necessary to turn the bezel and read the time shown on it by the 24-hour hand.

A major change came in 1982, when Rolex released calibre 3085.This movement enabled the hour hand to be set independently of the other hands, a feature previously not possible. The local time could now be easily adjusted in one-hour increments without stopping the watch, meaning the time could be read in two different time zones – local time and reference time – without having to move the bezel. The wearer could keep track of an additional time zone by rotating the bezel in either direction – but in this case the reference time was no longer available.The introduction of calibre 3085 gave rise to the GMT-Master II.

In 2005, the arrival of calibre 3186 showcased Rolex’s innovational ability. This new self-winding mechanical movement housed an exclusive strategic component: the blue Parachrom hairspring, entirely manufactured in-house and made of a paramagnetic alloy of niobium, zirconium and oxygen. Blued via anodization, this hairspring offers major advantages in terms of precision: resistance to strong magnetic fields, great stability in the face of temperature variations and high resistance to shocks.The blue Parachrom hairspring is also equipped with a Rolex overcoil, ensuring the calibre’s regularity in any position.

Calibre 3285, introduced in 2018, currently powers the GMT-Master II. A distillation of technology, this self-winding mechanical movement led to the filing of several patents. It incorporates the patented Chronergy escapement, made of nickel-phosphorus, which combines high energy efficiency with great dependability and is also resistant to strong magnetic fields. The oscillator is mounted on the Rolex-designed, patented high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers, which enhance the movement’s shock resistance. And, since 2023, the oscillating weight has been fitted with an optimized ball bearing.

Jubilee bracelet


The GMT-Master II is the only Rolex Professional model to be offered with a Jubilee bracelet as well as the traditional Oyster bracelet. This proposition is an exception in the brand’s catalogue and further enhances the desirability of the watch. Historically, the Jubilee bracelet was fitted on certain early versions of the GMT-Master. After an absence, it returned to the watch in 2018. Richly detailed, the Jubilee bracelet adds sophistication to the watches with which it is paired.

The Jubilee bracelet, comprising rows of five links – three narrower links in the centre and two broader links at the edges – was specially designed for the Datejust, launched in 1945. Supple and comfortable, this bracelet is distinctive for its balanced forms and multitude of reflections. Presented in 2023, the version of the GMT-Master II in 18 ct yellow gold with grey and black Cerachrom bezel insert was fitted on the first Jubilee bracelet in precious metal to include ceramic inserts. These small tubes surrounding the pins that secure the links increase the bracelet’s longevity and make it more comfortable on the wrist.

by nature


Since its inception, the GMT-Master has been the watch of choice for world travellers. Aviators, adventurers, athletes, artists and explorers – trailblazing individuals from all walks of life have contributed to the legend of this watch naturally destined for adventure. A watch for those who, on their journeys, have forged connections across boundaries, be they geographic, symbolic or cultural.

the skies


RAF Fairford, Great Britain: Concorde lands for the first time, in 1969, with pilot Brian Trubshaw and co-pilot John Cochrane at the controls
The GMT-Master encapsulates the long-standing commitment of Rolex to pioneers of the skies. From its launch in 1955, this watch became the natural choice of airline pilots and world travellers, for whom it was a precious ally. On the wrists of famous aviators, it would later contribute to some of the greatest aeronautical achievements, aboard small single-engine aircraft and supersonic giants.

The stuff of heroes

Chuck Yeager is cut from the same cloth as the heroes who have made aviation history. In 1947, at the controls of the Bell-X1, he was the first man to break the sound barrier, which he did wearing a Rolex Oyster watch. Having later adopted the GMT-Master, he flew in various test programmes for the US Air Force. At the Edwards Air Force Base in California, he oversaw the training of pilots who would become future astronauts in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space missions.

Supersonic pilot

His name will be forever linked to the story of Concorde. In 1969, wearing his GMT-Master, this British pilot operated the historic maiden flights of the Franco-British supersonic airliner. After enlisting in the RAF in 1942, he joined the King’s Flight as a pilot to the royal family, and later pursued a distinguished career as a test pilot on numerous civil and military programmes. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1970.

Solo around the world

Sheila Scott was 36 when she obtained her pilot’s licence. It was the start of an adventure that led her to become, in 1966, the first British aviator to fly solo around the world. At the helm of a small single-engine plane, she travelled over 50,000 km (31,000 miles) in 189 hours, on a trip lasting 34 days. She wore a GMT-Master. As did Pussy Galore, intrepid pilot in the film Goldfinger, whose character, played by Honor Blackman, is reportedly based on Sheila Scott herself.


and time zones  

From the first rocket-powered aircraft tests paving the way for suborbital flight, to the height of the space age and the final lunar missions, the GMT-Master was the favourite watch of certain pilots and astronauts – a deeply personal object that they took with them in a private capacity, making this model a privileged witness to one of humanity’s greatest adventures.

Twice the speed of sound

The first man to reach Mach 2, in 1953, Scott Crossfield went on to become one of the main test pilots for the X-15 programme.This ambitious project, which began in 1956, was aimed at developing new-generation jets that would pave the way for the propulsion of the first space rockets. During these experiments, Crossfield made no fewer than 14 test flights. In a letter to Rolex in October 1962, he wrote of the flawless functioning of his GMT-Master despite the extreme temperatures and altitudes to which it was exposed.

Rocket plane pilot

On 3 October 1967, lieutenant and aeronautical engineer William J. Knight set an all-time speed record of 7,274 km/h (4,520 mph, or Mach 6.7) at the controls of the X-15 rocket plane, earning him the title of ‘the world’s fastest man’. He did so wearing his GMT-Master. Two weeks later, during the X-15’s 190th flight, he took it to an altitude of above 80 km (50 miles), which officially made him an astronaut, since this is taken as the boundary between Earth and space.

Between Earth and the Moon

Jack Swigert was among the NASA astronauts who took their personal GMT-Master with them into space. After his return to Earth following the incredible near-disastrous Apollo 13 mission in 1970, he sent Rolex executive René-Paul Jeanneret a photo of his GMT-Master, which flew to the Moon from 11 to 17 April 1970. His message read: “To my longtime friend René, who enabled me to always be on time, with sincere thanks.”

A watch at the helm

Head of project management in a US Navy field office dedicated to manned orbital flight, Edgar D. Mitchell was recruited by NASA in 1966. Five years later, in January 1971, he served as lunar module pilot on the Apollo 14 mission. He wrote to Rolex to express his appreciation of his watch’s performance in space: “I wore a GMT-Master for most of the hours I flew the module, and as always was very satisfied with its performance.”

Photographic evidence

Photo taken by Stuart A. Roosa of his GMT-Master on board Apollo 14, with a dedication from the astronaut
Like his fellow astronaut Edgar D. Mitchell, aeronautical engineer Stuart A. Roosa also took part in the Apollo 14 mission wearing a GMT-Master. He provided Rolex with one of the most surprising documents of the time, especially in the context of the Apollo programme. During his mission, he actually took a picture of the watch on his wrist.

From sky
to screen


Clint Eastwood in Firefox or Val Kilmer in Top Gun: both played pilots on the big screen and wore a GMT-Master. But the watch did not only aim for the skies; it won many hearts on the wrists of other well-known actors, including some film and television legends.

Inseparable legends

The GMT-Master with perhaps the most unusual story is the watch that Marlon Brando wore in Apocalypse Now, the 1979 epic in which he played Walter E. Kurtz, a renegade US Army colonel during the Vietnam War. The actor was so attached to his GMT-Master that he preferred to remove the red and blue bezel – which the production team considered much too recognizable – rather than be separated from the watch during filming. It is also noteworthy that Marlon Brando himself engraved his name on the back of the case.

The watch, the actor and the legend

When Clint Eastwood played fighter pilot Major Mitchell Gant in Firefox in 1982, he was wearing the perfect model for the role: the GMT-Master. Yet this was his own watch. A yellow Rolesor version with a golden and brown bezel insert on a Jubilee bracelet, it was instantly recognizable when it reappeared in 1984 on the wrist of inspector Wes Block in Tightrope. Nine years later, Eastwood wore the watch again – this time as a secret agent in the blockbuster In the Line of Fire – proof of the actor’s unwavering loyalty to his GMT-Master.

Sunshine investigator

From 1980 to 1988,Tom Selleck played a private investigator who became a TV icon: Thomas Magnum. Hawaiian shirt, sports car, chevron moustache and a GMT-Master were the trademarks of this charismatic action hero. “I’ve always loved that watch. It was the perfect match for Magnum. It’s a watch that likes action [...] It’s been underwater, buried in sand, taken I don’t know how many knocks, and never a problem.”

Top timing

In 1986, in one of his breakthrough roles, Val Kilmer starred in the movie Top Gun, directed by Tony Scott. His character, Iceman, a fighter pilot with a frosty and cocksure attitude, is the perfect rival for the film’s main protagonist, Maverick, a free-spirited, daredevil pilot played by Tom Cruise. On screen we see Kilmer in full flying gear: flight suit, helmet, dog tags and, of course, a GMT-Master with red and blue bezel insert.

On the wrists
of extreme travellers


The GMT-Master’s reputation was built in the air. Its adventure continues on land and at sea, worn by those who push themselves to extreme limits to accomplish their goals.To reach the poles, navigate oceans or cross deserts, the watch has time and again proven a valuable tool for explorers, seafarers and globetrotting adventurers.

Bernard Moitessier’s boat Joshua, in 1969
In a hero’s footsteps

As a child, Robert Swan dreamed of following in the footsteps of his hero, Robert Falcon Scott, who took part in the discovery of Antarctica. Aged 28, Swan set off towards the South Pole, on foot and with no radio equipment, reaching his destination on 11 January 1986. Throughout the expedition, he only had his GMT-Master to rely on for bearings: “If my Rolex hadn’t been reliable, I’d be dead.” In 1989, he repeated the achievement at the North Pole, thus becoming the first person to walk to both poles.

Destination horizon

Plymouth, 22 August 1968. Bernard Moitessier set off on the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, the first-ever solo non-stop round-the-world sailing challenge. Almost seven months later and likely to cross the finish line first, he decided to keep on sailing: “I am continuing non-stop to the Pacific Islands, because I am happy at sea”, he announced. On 21 June 1969, Moitessier docked in Papeete after a voyage of more than 37,000 nautical miles. The sole instruments he had on board were a sextant and his GMT-Master.

Rolex Testimonees

past and present  

Many Rolex Testimonees have chosen the GMT-Master as their trusted companion on travels around the world. They are inspiring future generations to follow in their footsteps.

Formula for success

Sir Jackie Stewart is one of the most emblematic figures in motor racing. His achievements make him one of the most celebrated Formula 1® drivers of the last 60 years. The Scottish champion took part in 99 Grand Prix races, winning 27, finishing 43 times on the podium and carrying off three world championship titles (1969, 1971 and 1973). Since 1969, he has remained very fond of his GMT-Master.

A legend’s finest hour

The exceptionally charismatic Arnold Palmer is regarded as having helped bring golf into the modern era. In the early 1960s, this great champion played a decisive role in popularizing the sport, which was experiencing remarkable growth at the time, particularly in the United States. Rolex’s first golfing Testimonee, Palmer wears a GMT-Master in 18 ct yellow gold with a black, single-colour aluminium bezel.

A champion’s stripes

In 2019, Tiger Woods captured his fifth Masters title at Augusta, 22 years after first winning the tournament. It was his 15th Major championship victory. In fact, he is the only golfer in the world to have won four consecutive Majors, a feat that has become known as the ‘Tiger Slam’. The champion has also helped increase the popularity of golf around the world. Woods is pictured wearing a GMT-Master II in a yellow Rolesor version with a Cerachrom bezel insert in black ceramic.

Riding high

In winning consecutively all three equestrian Grand Prix – Geneva, Aachen and Spruce Meadows in Calgary – Scott Brash entered the history books. Following his extraordinary achievement, in 2015, the Scottish rider received a GMT-Master II with a red and blue Cerachrom bezel insert. It is a watch he is particularly proud of: “Every time I look at it, it brings back memories of that day in Calgary.” The day when Scott Brash became the first and only rider to win the highly coveted Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

Unique character

Early talent and steely determination helped Garbiñe Muguruza become the World N°1 in 2017. Her remarkable record of Grand Slam® titles includes Roland-Garros in 2016 and The Championships, Wimbledon, the following year. In November 2021, she added a further triumph by winning the WTA Finals.The Spanish champion likes to wear a watch with unique character: a GMT-Master II in 18 ct white gold with a meteorite dial.

Around the world in 310 weeks

Not only is he a phenomenally successful tennis player, but Roger Federer is also admired for his on-court attitude, his elegant style and his ability to constantly challenge himself to improve his game.Throughout the years, these qualities kept him at the pinnacle of his sport, where he remained World N°1 for 310 weeks. This globetrotting champion particularly enjoys wearing the GMT-Master II, of which he owns several.


& GMT-Master II


Ref.: 6542
Stainless steel
Red and blue Plexiglas insert

Ref.: 6542
18 ct yellow gold
Brown Plexiglas inser

Ref.: 1675
Stainless steel
Red and blue aluminium insert

Ref.: 16753
Yellow Rolesor version
Golden and brown aluminium insert

GMT-Master II
Ref.: 16760
Stainless steel
Burgundy and black aluminium insert

GMT-Master II
Ref.: 116718 LN
18 ct yellow gold
Black Cerachrom insert

GMT-Master II
Ref.: 116710 BLNR
Blue and black Cerachrom insert

GMT-Master II
Ref.: 116719 BLRO
18 ct white gold
Red and blue Cerachrom insert

GMT-Master II
Ref.: 126715 CHNR
18 ct Everose gold
Brown and black Cerachrom insert

GMT-Master II
Ref.: 126720 VTNR
Green and black Cerachrom insert

GMT-Master II
Ref.: 126718 GRNR
18 ct yellow gold
Grey and black Cerachrom insert

GMT-Master II
Ref.: 126710 GRNR
Grey and black Cerachrom insert