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Rolex GMT Master Root Beer Watches


About the Rolex Root Beer GMT Master Watch

Defined by a chocolaty colored bezel, GMT-Master Root Beer watches, which are always two-tone or solid gold, are some of the most distinctive-looking models ever made by Rolex. While the original Root Beer bezel was fashioned in aluminum and combined brown and yellow, today's GMT-Master II Root Beer watches sport Cerachrom ceramic bezels in brown and black.

GMT-Master Root Beer History

Rolex introduced the first two-tone yellow gold and stainless steel GMT-Master pilot's watch in the 1970s in the form of the ref. 1675/3. Three bezel options were offered including black, reddish brown, and a brand new color combo of brown and yellow. The brown and yellow combination later became known as the "Root Beer" bezel, following in the footsteps of its soda nicknamed counterpart, the blue and red GMT "Pepsi" bezel.

The following decade saw the release of the updated two-tone GMT-Master ref. 16753 with a new caliber featuring quickset date. Yet again, the GMT-Master Root Beer colorway was offered with this particular reference. The GMT-Master Root Beer 16753 is also known as the "Clint Eastwood" since the actor wore his in several films.

While the very first GMT-Master II (ref. 16760) was only available in steel, Rolex offered the second generation in steel, yellow gold, and two-tone gold and steel. The two-tone version was the GMT-Master II ref. 16713 and it too had the option of the brown and yellow Root Beer bezel.

However, when the first generation of Cerachrom ceramic GMT-Master II watches (ref. 11671x) made their debut in the mid-2000s, Rolex did not offer any Root Beer bezels. Rather, the GMT-Master II ref. 116713 was exclusively fitted with a black Cerachrom ceramic bezel.

Finally, in 2018, Rolex released a new generation of the GMT-Master II with 12671x reference numbers. Within this new collection are two models—the Everose gold GMT-Master II 126715CHNR and the two-tone Everose gold and stainless steel GMT-Master 126711CHNR—with brown and black Cerachrom bezels. Despite sporting a different color combination and made from a different material to the original Root Beer bezels, Rolex enthusiasts have taken to calling these brown and black CHNR bezels Root Beer as well.

  • 1970s – Rolex introduces the two-tone GMT-Master 1675/3 with a choice of a brown and yellow "Root Beer" bezel
  • 1980 – Rolex releases the updated GMT-Master Root Beer 16753
  • 1989 – Rolex launches GMT-Master II Root Beer 16713
  • 2006 – Rolex discontinues the Root Beer bezel color option
  • 2018 – Rolex presents new generation GMT-Master II Root Beer watches (ref. 12671x) with brown and black Cerachrom bezels

GMT-Master Root Beer Reference, Features, and Options

Throughout the decades, Rolex has made a number of GMT-Master Root Beer References

  • GMT-Master 1675/3
  • GMT-Master 16753
  • GMT-Master II 16713
  • GMT-Master II 126715CHNR
  • GMT-Master II 126711CHNR

Here's an overview of the similarities and differences between the various generations of GMT-Master Root Beer watches

GMT-Master 1675/3 GMT-Master 16753 GMT-Master II 16713 GMT-Master II 126715CHNR GMT-Master II 126711CHNR
Production Years 1970 - 1980 1980 - 1989 1989 - 2006 2018 - Present 2018 - Present
Case 40mm Yellow Gold/Steel 50m WR 40mm Yellow Gold/Steel 100m WR 40mm Yellow Gold/Steel 100m WR 40mm Everose Gold 100m WR 40mm Everose Gold/Steel 100m WR
Bezel Aluminum Brown/Yellow Aluminum Brown/Yellow Aluminum Brown/Yellow Cerachrom Brown/Black Cerachrom Brown/Black
Dial Nipple Dial Nipple Dial or Flat Markers Flat Markers Flat Markers Flat Markers
Lume Tritium Tritium Tritium or Luminova or SuperLuminova Chromalight Chromalight
Crystal Acrylic Acrylic Sapphire Sapphire Sapphire
Bracelet Jubilee or Oyster Jubilee or Oyster Jubilee or Oyster Oyster Oyster
Movement Caliber 1575 Dual Time Synced Hour Hands Date Hacking Non-Quickset Caliber 3075 Dual Time Synced Hour Hands Date Hacking Quickset Caliber 3185 Dual Time Independent Hour Hands Date Hacking Quickset 3285 Dual Time Independent Hour Hands Date Hacking Quickset 3285 Independent Hour Hands Dual Time Date Hacking Quickset

It's important to note that while Root Beer bezels are technically those that are either brown and yellow or brown and black, it is not uncommon for all-brown bezel versions to be classified as GMT-Master Root Beer watches too. These include the following references:

  • Yellow gold GMT-Master ref. 6542 with brown Bakelite bezel
  • Yellow gold GMT-Master ref. 1675/8 with brown aluminum bezel
  • Two-tone GMT-Master ref. 1675/3 with brown aluminum bezel
  • Yellow gold GMT-Master ref. 16758 with brown aluminum bezel
  • Two-tone GMT-Master ref. 16753 with brown aluminum bezel
  • Yellow gold GMT-Master II ref. 16718 with brown aluminum bezel
  • Two-tone GMT-Master II ref. 16713 with brown aluminum bezel

Buying GMT-Master Root Beer Pre-Owned Vs. New

The GMT-Master II ref. 126715CHNR and ref. 126711CHNR are the only two current-production GMT-Master Root Beer watches, which retail for $38,250 and $14,800, respectively.

Historically, pre-owned gold and two-tone Rolex watches from the current collection could be purchased at discounted prices. Yet, this does not seem to apply to the modern-day Root Beers as they are both valued higher than their retail prices in the secondary market due to their lack of availability at authorized dealers.

Since the ref. 1675/3, ref. 16753, and 16713 GMT-Master Root Beer watches have long been discontinued by Rolex, the pre-owned market is the only source where they are available for purchase. Prices for vintage GMT-Master Root Beer watches start at around $12,000, however, prices can jump up significantly for sought-after variants. GMT-Master Root Beer watches have witnessed a surge in popularity in recent years, which is naturally driving up their prices in the market.

Rolex GMT Master Root Beer

Rolex Root Beer Reference Number(s):

1675/3, 1675/8, 16753, 16758, 16713, 16718

Years Rolex Root Beer was Produced:

1959 - 2007

Rolex Root Beer Nickname Origin:

Keeping with the trend of soda nicknames for Rolex’s multi-time zone pilots’ watches, GMT-Master and GMT-Master II watches fitted with brown dials and brown and gold bezel inserts have earned the nickname "Root Beer GMTs" by many members of the Rolex collecting community. These watches are made from solid 18-karat gold, or a combination of both stainless steel and gold, and are fitted with bezel inserts that are half gold and half brown, or all brown with gold-colored text on them. The "Root Beer" nickname has its origins in the watch’s resemblance to a frothy glass of root beer; however much like the "Coke" nickname, it primarily arose as a response to the pre-existing "Pepsi" nickname that collectors were already using to describe the red and blue version of Rolex’s multi-time zone pilots’ watch. To browse additional GMT models visit our used Rolex GMT watches for sale

Rolex Root Beer Celebrity Associations:

Clint Eastwood, Bradley Cooper, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hunter S. Thompson

Unique Features for the Rolex Root Beer

A brown dial paired with a half brown, half gold, 24-hour bezel insert, or an all-brown, 24-hour bezel insert with gold text - made from aluminum.

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Bob's Watches is an independent watch dealer and is not sponsored by, associated with and/or affiliated with Rolex S.A., Rolex USA, or any other brand listed on its website. Bob's Watches only sells pre-owned watches and provides its own warranties on the watches it sells. The brand names and associated model names for Rolex, OMEGA and other manufacturers are the trademarks of their respective owners.