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3 Ways to Drink Up the GMT-Master

November 11, 2015

BY Paul Altieri


Pepsi, Coke or Root Beer?

The GMT-Master and subsequent GMT-Master II watches are some of the most iconic and distinct among Rolex’s timepieces. Created as a watch for Pan Am pilots to keep track of two time zones during the boom of transcontinental traveling in the 1950s, the GMT-Master quickly became a beloved sports watch to a much wider audience.

A distinguishing feature of the GMT-Master and GMT-Master II watches is the two-toned bezel outfitted on many of the models within the collection. These are so popular in fact, that they have garnered catchy nicknames along the way. So sit back, relax and drink up the Pepsi, Coke and Root Beer GMT-Masters.

Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi, GMT-Master II Coke & GMT-Master Root Beer

Rolex GMT-Master II “Pepsi”, GMT-Master II “Coke” & GMT-Master “Root Beer”

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GMT-Master II 16750 “Pepsi”

Those Rolex GMT-Master watches with blue and red bezels are often referred to as the “Pepsi” bezel for its resemblance to the logo of the popular soda. Some collectors, however, insist on referring to it as the Pan Am bezel due to the fact that the original GMT-Master created for the Pan Am pilots sported a blue and red bezel. Regardless of what it’s called, it’s a classic.

A vintage Pepsi, has a GMT-Master Nicknames

GMT-Master 16750 “Pepsi”

This particular stainless steel GMT-Master II 16750 hails from the early 80s and its dual-colored bidirectional rotatable bezel sits atop a 40mm stainless steel Oyster case. Because of its age the black dial with gold trimmed hour-markers has developed an attractive patina, while the stainless steel Jubilee bracelet has remained in excellent condition. Protecting the face of the watch is an acrylic crystal outfitted with the Cyclops magnification lens above the 3 o’clock date window.

GMT-Master 1675 “Root Beer”

Finishing up the drinks menu of GMT bezels is the “Root Beer”, evidently called that for its similarity to the brown fizzy drink. Among collectors it’s also sometimes called the “Tigerauge” and it was a favorite Rolex of actor Clint Eastwood, even appearing on his wrist in a couple of his movies.

GMT-Master 1675 Root Beer

GMT-Master 1675 “Root Beer” garnered its name by its colors.

This vintage GMT-Master 1675 “Root Beer” circa 1971 features a two-toned 14k yellow gold and stainless steel Oyster case and is outfitted with coordinating Italian leather strap. The “nipple” dial has developed a one-of-kind “fire” look from aging, enhancing the unforgettable appearance of the watch.

GMT-Master II 16710 “Coke”

A counterpart to the “Pepsi” bezel is the “Coke” bezel, named for the likeness of the red, black and white colors of the insert to the ubiquitous Coca-Cola beverage. The red and black contrast boldly with each other for a striking look.

GMT-Master II 16710 “Coke”

GMT-Master II 16710 “Coke” quickly garnered fame.

From the 1990s, this GMT-Master II 16710 is outfitted with a “Coke” bezel on its 40mm stainless steel Oyster case and is presented on a matching stainless steel Oyster bracelet. The black dial is accented with stainless steel and luminescent hour markers, while the red GMT-hand with triangular tip matches the red bezel. The 16710 is topped off with a scratchproof sapphire crystal with the date window magnified by the Cyclops lens.

Cast your vote between the three watches below.




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