Why the Rolex GMT Master II is a globetrotter's best friend

By Dimitri Tsilioris , November 21 2018
Why the Rolex GMT Master II is a globetrotter's best friend

There’s nothing in the world quite like a Rolex. When we talk about intrinsic and extrinsic value, timepieces from Rolex are very hard to beat. Dare I say it, Rolex are, in a way, second to none.

These pieces embody the exact tenets of what I think justifies a “good watch”. Whether it's sitting on your lucky wrist or gazing alluringly through a shopfront display, the way a Rolex looks is impeccable, and how it feels on the wrist is just superb.

There’s a certain quality about a Rolex that is very hard to come by, even in watch costing tens or even hundreds of thousands more than that of a Rolex. Which brings me to the GMT-Master II Reference 126710BLRO, which watch cognoscenti have nicknamed the ‘Pepsi’ due to the beautiful deep blue and supple red of the bezel.

Arguably the most acclaimed Rolex release at this year’s Baselworld watch bacchanalia, the $11,750 Pepsi is a wonderful combination of actual real-world usability and stunning style, which looks and feels far more expensive than it really is.

One of its stand-out features is the bi-directional 24-hour rotating bezel which enables you to keep track of your home time in one time zone, while displaying your local time with the main hour hand, set easily through the winding crown.

The 40mm case is forged from Rolex’s famous Oystersteel material. This type of steel is known as a superalloy, used commonly in aerospace industries, meaning high levels of resistance, exceptional finishing as well as being able to survive in harsh environments.

Strapped to your wrist at 38,000ft sipping a glass of Veuve Clicquot Brut, or helping you juggle two schedules when bleary eyed and jet-lagged? The 126710BLRO has got you covered.

The deep black dial and distinctive Jubilee bracelet round off what I think is a very subtle, very inconspicuous package, and relives the notable era of Rolex really finding its feet way back during the 1940s.

The appeal of the 126710BLRO Pepsi is such that buying one at retail, let alone finding one, is becoming next to impossible. There's a huge shift towards steel Rolexes, and the Pepsi is already an iconic representation of this breed.


Dimitri Tsilioris is a Sydney-based watch writer enthralled by the intricate world of tiny mechanisms, who suspects he’ll never find the ‘perfect’ watch but will never give upon searching for it.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Jun 2015

Total posts 71

Nice watch, i'm personally not a fan of the pepsi model.

Picked up a steel and gold one yesterday, quite fourtunate as they are hard to find.

Singapore Airlines - The PPS Club

20 Apr 2015

Total posts 32

The GMT Master II is a great travel watch. I have the BLNR or "Batman" and prefer it to the BLRO as I don't like the jubilee bracelet. The watch is solid and works in the boardroom or the beach. It can also take a hard knock which is useful in a plane with small spaces and metal seat belts ready to add a few scratches.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Feb 2017

Total posts 12

I use a Citizen Skyhawk for my international & domestic travels. All I need to know is the time zone and daylight savings occurrence. Input this into the watch and it gives me local and home times. The Citizen cost thousands less than a Rolex, never needs winding or a battery. I also have a Rolex datejust for social use.

07 Nov 2018

Total posts 9

I like the look of it, and am in the market. Now the difficult part is choosing where to buy it (LHR/SIN/JFK/MEL). Lots of research ahead I think.

25 Jan 2013

Total posts 7

how accurate is it ?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Nov 2014

Total posts 6

Good luck trying to purchase one. They go quicker than hot-dogs at Bunnings on a Saturday morning.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Jan 2015

Total posts 5

I have the first ceramic bezel version. It is very accurate for a mechanical watch. Deviates just a few seconds per day. But if you want to accuracy to the second, look at your phone. And it is very robust, I never take it off while traveling, may it be under water, in the sauna or swinging a golf club.

I do think there is a mistake in the text it is not a 40 mm case but 42 mm.

21 Nov 2018

Total posts 2

The article mentions a price of $11,750. where do you get it for this price? I can only find it for +50% more...

21 Nov 2018

Total posts 2

  • Checked in EU, AU, US...

28 Apr 2017

Total posts 1

Not much point to the article when it is virtually impossible to buy (worldwide)!

American Airlines - AAdvantage

15 Feb 2013

Total posts 45

Used ones are a better investment. My 1970 GMT Master is still going strong. You could pick one up for about $1k about 10 years ago and now the same ones go for about $15k.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Jan 2015

Total posts 5

To pay list price you have to be waitlisted at an authorised Rolex dealer, and then wait..........

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Feb 2016

Total posts 49

I was advised that the the current wait, if the dealer will put you on their wait list was 2-5 years for the Pepsi or 10 years for the new Root Beer.

29 Aug 2017

Total posts 17

i found one but the shop was asking $31k as opposed to $11,750 rrp. Apparently there is a 2 year wait list and demand has outstripped supply, hence the inflated price! I don't think it will be any cheaper overseas with the low Australian exchange rate.

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