Hands-On: The Rolex GMT Master II Pepsi: Old And New Compared
We as of late had two watches in the workplace: a late creation arrangement Pepsi bezel GMT Master II, and the new hotness, taking all things together its white gold magnificence. Normally as diehard vintage Rolex fans we were set up to hate on the newbie with all the spleen and toxin we could marshal (obligingly, yet) and we set them two – the work of art, and the arriviste – up against each other, for what we thought would be a convincing David versus Goliath fight, with the outcome not in uncertainty even before the chime for Round 1. So here’s the issue: the GMT Master II in white gold, is an incredibly, acceptable watch.
Let’s begin with the work of art: the remainder of the aluminum embed GMT Master IIs, the 16710. This is one of the purported stick dial GMT Master IIs, with the serifs missing on the “II” and it has inside – we accept, since we haven’t torn it open – the Rolex type 3186, probably the soonest watch to get the development with the then-new Parachrom Bleu balance spring. It’s a watch I’ve gone with pretty widely and in many regards I’m comfortable saying it’s basically the ideal travel watch – intelligible, exceptionally flexible, happy to go from meeting space to career expo floor to long, strange Baselworld after-party not otherwise indicated with all the assurance you anticipate from one of the extraordinary works of art from The Crown. It is right in the Goldilocks zone regarding size and weight and it has huge loads of character without one feeling like there’s a little devil sitting on your wrist going “me! me! me!” In short it has that generally preferred of Rolex characteristics: you wear it, not the other way ’round; it is a tabula rasa whereupon the tale of one’s own experiences might be writ enormous (in small hairline scratches, however still).
Now, the new person. Early introductions: the GMT Master II (reference 116719BLRO) has been to the rec center. It’s a much more strong watch; beefier case; you can feel the weight of each individual connection and yet (and as a matter of fact, a specific measure of this is down to it being quite a great deal of white gold) it doesn’t feel bulky on the wrist. (Curiously enough, regardless of the impression of more noteworthy width one gets from the new GMT Master IIs versus the old, they are a similar size generally: 40 mm in measurement.) There’s a weird gracefulness to the arm band; that bank-vault-entryway combination of mass and exactness that gets an awful part of individuals who thought it would never happen dependent on Rolex valuable metal watches. The bezel is heavier, as well, and gone is the cheery brightness of anodized aluminum; rather we have the dull gleam of Cerachrom. Since the bezel is what gives these watches their moniker, we should discuss.
Whatever you may feel about the beautifying agents it is hard to contend that Cerachrom is essentially a superior material. It’s scratch-evidence in every practical sense, it will not blur with openness to the components after some time (as Picasso once said of earthenware production, when somebody asked him late in his life for what reason he was accomplishing such a great deal ceramics, “Shards are until the end of time”). Rolex figured out how to build up an assembling technique that allows for an exceptionally fresh change between the blue and white territories of the bezel also. Furthermore, one other exceptionally pleasant detail: the bezel now clicks in discrete one-hour hops, making it simpler than at any point to stamp time in three diverse time regions (home time, neighborhood time through the hour hand, and a third time region utilizing the bezel as a reference).
One of the little niggles I’ve always had with the old GMT Master II is the crown – it’s completely practical (we’re discussing Rolex here, all things considered) however it’s always felt just slightly excessively little for the work. Issue tackled (or perhaps I should simply say “improvement made”) in the new person. The bigger crown makes it unquestionably simpler to re-set the hour hand to nearby time – once more, not that it was by and large a Sisyphean undertaking before however nonetheless, it’s a utilitarian improvement. The dials are comparative in plan, yet not indistinguishable – lume plots and hands are simply slightly bigger on the new model and it quickly appears to be more decipherable. Reference 16710 was not by and large a watch one battled to peruse, but rather when you are fighting plane slack in the crepuscular melancholy of some plane halfway between god-knows-where and you-can’t-recollect what, every last piece helps. I even like the bigger crown monitors. The more established model’s crown watches always felt somewhat remorseful; there however putting forth an attempt not to point out themselves. The new ones feel like they’re saying, “Guess what? We’re crown monitors. That’s what we are. Gotta be me (we).”
Lastly, how about we take a gander at the fastens. The 16710 has a totally useful one, however the New Guy has a much safer inclination Oyserlink fasten that gives a wonderful feeling of strength and solidity.
The certainty that one of these watches is steel, and one is white gold, makes this something of a one type to a totally different type comparison; the 16710 in steel is an extraordinary looking instrument watch with a satisfying vibe of unadorned reasonableness and a genealogy that goes right back to Pan Am and Pussy Galore, which is anything but a little thing. The new form is somewhat strange. To deliver this watch first in white gold was an intriguing choice most definitely; clearly we are generally waiting eagerly for a steel model. Making perhaps the most cherished device watches ever in a valuable metal is downright odd; I’m quite sure, in all seriousness, that Rolex didn’t do it as a functional joke and yet, it’s similar to utilizing Kobe meat to make impersonation tofu – you simply anticipate that things should be the other way around.
None the less the reality stays that taken absolutely on its benefits as a apparatus watch – avoiding the valuable metal with regards to the equation completely – this is basically a technically predominant watch. The bezel is improved, all ergonomics are improved, the fasten and wristband are better; readability is improved; easily overlooked details like changing the bezel pivot so it lines up intelligently on the hour each time are really strong signs that Rolex is doing what we like most about it – improving things each little detail in turn. (On the off chance that you wanted to, you could even contend that white gold, being safe to consumption, is a more down to earth material than steel.) On the other hand, the 16710 has a charm and feeling of association with the past acquired over numerous years – the new Pepsi may grow into that, however, as it invests more energy out in the world. It’s a watch I’ll always adore, however subsequent to investing some energy with the reference 116719BLRO it’s hard to try not to presume that Rolex made an extraordinary thing even better.
Pepsi being served on Rolex.com right here, and investigate while you’re grinding away at HODINKEE organizer Benjamin Clymer’s glance at one of the biggest unicorns in vintage Rolex collecting. And take a ride in the wayback machine and read HODINKEE benefactor Jason Heaton’s thoughts on the GMT II as the solitary watch you might wear for the remainder of your life.