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Old 27 March 2014, 09:34 AM   #1
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2014 Pepsi GMT II Ceramic

A world first

Rolex introduces world first on its Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II, unveiling a red and blue Cerachrom bezel insert, echoing the first GMT‑Master bezel of 1955. An exceptional achievement on two counts: firstly, red is an extremely difficult colour to obtain and, therefore, an unusual colour for ceramic; secondly, having succeeded in creating a red insert, Rolex then found a way to locally modify the chemical composition of each grain, right to the core of the ceramic, and change the colour of half the insert from red to blue, while ensuring a sharp delineation between the two colours.

High technology and iconic aesthetics
The resulting bulk-coloured, single-piece Cerachrom insert is red for the hours between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. and blue for the hours between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. By virtue of being manufactured in a single piece, the insert acquires mechanical resistance properties that respond to the quality and reliability demanded of a Rolex product. Like all Rolex Cerachrom bezel inserts, it offers exceptional scratch and corrosion resistance. Its colours are unaffected by ultraviolet rays.

The aesthetic effect is equally spectacular. The ceramic’s sheen gives volume to the insert and enhances the colours in a way that is reminiscent of the Plexiglas insert of the original GMT-Master. The engraved numerals and graduations are coated with a thin layer of platinum via a PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) process patented by Rolex. Their depth and matt finish underscore the contrast with the insert's polished surface, producing a three-dimensional effect that ensures optimal legibility.

Pushing the boundaries of the possible
The new GMT-Master II’s two-colour red and blue Cerachrom insert is a unique, high-technology ceramic component, which adds new patents to the Cerachrom insert developed by Rolex in 2005. It combines the exceptional technical performance of the Cerachrom bezel with the GMT‑Master’s iconic two-colour appearance.

2014 Pepsi.jpg

2014 Pepsi 2.jpg

Pepsi Ceramic.jpg

GMT-Master II
In the beginning, there was red and blue
From its launch in 1955, the Rolex GMT-Master stood out with its rotatable 24-hour graduated red and blue bezel. Thanks to an additional hand that circled the dial once every 24 hours, airline pilots on intercontinental flights – a rapidly expanding sector at the time – could read the time in two time zones simultaneously. Red and blue, situated at opposite ends of the colour spectrum, are strongly contrasting colours for the human eye, a determining factor for legibility on a Professional watch. The first GMT‑Master bezel inserts were made of transparent Plexiglas, painted half red and half blue on the underside. This method of production gave a certain depth to the bezel, as the colour showed through the Plexiglas.

In 1959, still in the original two colours, the Plexiglas insert was replaced by one in anodized aluminium once the manufacture of a two-colour insert in this material had been mastered. Various other combinations were introduced later, such as brown and gold on Rolesor (steel and gold) models, or burgundy and black on the GMT-Master II launched in 1982. But in the minds of many GMT-Master lovers, a red and blue bezel remains the signature feature of this model.

The Cerachrom bezel, an ideal ceramic component
In 2005, after several years’ research, Rolex developed in-house and patented a new high-performance component to equip the rotatable bezels of its watches: the Cerachrom insert. The polished surface of this extremely resistant ceramic insert features a deep, long-lasting lustre and provides a sharp contrast to the precisely engraved numerals and graduations coated in a thin layer of gold or platinum. Ceramic is a material with exceptional robustness and durability: it is virtually scratchproof, resistant to corrosion, and its colour is unaffected by ultraviolet rays. For Rolex, a brand that constantly seeks to innovate and perfect, this material constitutes the ideal replacement for the previously used anodized aluminium. The Oyster Perpetual GMT‑Master II was the first model in the Oyster collection to benefit from the Cerachrom bezel technology, and the new Cerachrom insert was adopted in 2005 in a uniform black colour.

Rolex know-how
In keeping with its quality standards and its mastery of the production of all its key watch components, Rolex developed in-house the expertise, processes and high-technology equipment needed to acquire complete independence in the production of its ceramic components. The workshops are housed at the impressive Rolex Plan-les-Ouates production site on the outskirts of Geneva. There, the brand makes all the elements for its cases and bracelets, starting with the casting of its own gold alloys or the sourcing of other raw materials, to their machining, assembly and polishing. The production of ceramic components is completely mastered, from raw material to the finished Cerachrom bezel insert. Such complete in-house mastery allows Rolex to devise innovative solutions and create components that correspond exactly to its specifications and quality criteria.

Since 2007, Rolex expertise has produced exclusive Cerachrom bezel inserts in blue and in green – in addition to black – for its Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date models or its 18 ct yellow gold Oyster Perpetual Yacht‑Master II. In 2010, it took another leap forward in developing a monobloc Cerachrom bezel – rather than a bezel insert – to equip the Cosmograph Daytona. It first appeared in black, and then in brown in 2013 on the platinum version that marked the 50th anniversary of the legendary chronograph.

During all this time, the creation of a two-colour ceramic bezel – which should, moreover, be half red – remained mission impossible from a technical point of view. Yet the extensive internal resources of the Research and Development Department took up the challenge and finally managed to combine the technical performance of the Cerachrom bezel with the iconic two-colour aesthetics of the GMT‑Master.

In 2013, after many years of research and fine-tuning the exclusive manufacturing process, Rolex unveiled the first two-colour Cerachrom insert in the world – in blue and black. Now, in 2014, that mission has been brought to a successful conclusion with the introduction of a two‑colour Cerachrom insert in red and blue that complies with Rolex's strict quality standards for its watch components.

Red and blue Cerachrom
The name "Cerachrom" derives from a contraction of the word “ceramic” juxtaposed with the suffix “chrom” from the ancient Greek word for “colour”. The range of available shades for ceramic is however restricted by its very manufacturing process. Colours are generally created by adding mineral pigments that can withstand the very high temperatures at which the ceramic is fired for its densification and to acquire its characteristic hardness. Red, typically, is a colour for which no stable mineral pigments exist to create a Cerachrom component. Rolex nevertheless managed, in the first instance, to produce a red ceramic according to a secret process. But this innovation represented only half the journey – or, more precisely, took the brand only half way to manufacturing the emblematic red and blue Cerachrom insert.

Rolex’s in-house engineers finally found an answer to the second half of the challenge. The ingenious process consists of introducing an intermediate step in the manufacture of the standard Cerachrom insert. During this innovative bulk-colouring step, half of the red ceramic insert is coloured blue. The colour is achieved by impregnating the part of the insert representing night-time hours, between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., with a controlled quantity of a solution of chemical compounds. The solution is added before sintering at more than 1,600 °C, when the ceramic acquires its mechanical resistance properties as well as its colour. In the course of this firing, the ceramic densifies and the added compounds react with the basic elements of the red Cerachrom insert to conjure up the final blue colour.

Although the idea in itself may appear simple, a number of major technical hurdles had to be overcome before it could be implemented: the formulation of a solution of precursor chemical compounds that would turn red into blue; the homogenous application of an appropriate quantity of this solution; ensuring a sharp, precise and clear demarcation between the two coloured areas, the definition of the precise length of time and temperature for the sintering so as to prevent any distortion of the piece. Every single one of these parameters is crucial for the success of the process and the quality of the final product.

The new GMT-Master II

The Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II is renowned as the watch for long‑haul travellers. Precise, reliable and functional, it was designed to allow airline pilots to read the time in two different time zones simultaneously.

The new-generation GMT-Master II with two-colour Cerachrom bezel inserts in ceramic is a distillation of Rolex expertise and technology that remains faithful to the style of the legendary watch created in 1955.

The new GMT-Master II

In function as well as in name, the GMT-Master II evokes intercontinental travel across time zones. Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) marks mean solar time at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London − the location of the original meridian used for calculating longitude and determining different time zones around the world.

As intercontinental travel developed in the 1950s with the advent of the jet age, airliners began to fly swiftly across several successive time zones, making it important to know simultaneously the time in various places in the world (such as the airport of departure and arrival, or local time and GMT reference time). The GMT-Master was developed to meet the specific needs of airline pilots. It became the official watch of the famous Pan American World Airways, better known as Pan Am.

The new GMT-Master II

An evolution of the first model, the GMT-Master II was launched in 1982. In addition to conventional hour, minute and seconds hands, it features an arrow-tipped hand which circles the dial once every 24 hours as well as a bidirectional rotatable 24-hour graduated bezel. This 24-hour hand displays the reference time in a first time zone ('home' time for example), which can be read on the graduations on the bezel.

Oyster (monobloc middle case, screw-down case back and winding crown), 40 mm
40 mm
18 ct white gold, satin and polished finish
Screw-down with Rolex fluting
Bidirectional rotatable 24-hour graduated, with two-colour Cerachrom insert in red and blue ceramic, engraved numerals and graduations coated with platinum via magnetron sputtering (PVD)
Screw-down, Triplock triple waterproofness system
Integral part of the middle case
3186, Manufacture Rolex Mechanical movement with bidirectional self-winding via Perpetual rotor
3186, Manufacture Rolex Mechanical movement with bidirectional self-winding via Perpetual rotor
Officially certified Swiss chronometer (COSC)
Centre hour, minute and seconds hands; 24-hour display via an additional hand; Second time zone via independent rapid setting of the hour hand;
Instantaneous date at 3 o’clock
Stop-seconds for precise time setting
Frequency: 28,800 beats/hour (4Hz)
Paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring
Breguet overcoil
Large balance wheel with variable inertia
High-precision regulating via four gold Microstella nuts
Traversing balance bridge
31 rubies
Approximately 48 hours
Black lacquer
Black lacquer
Highly legible Chromalight appliques (long-lasting luminescence) in 18 ct white gold
Chromalight hands in 18 ct white gold, red 24-hour hand
Oyster, three-piece solid links
18 ct white gold, polished centre links, satin-finished outer links with polished edges
Oysterlock folding safety clasp
Easylink 5 mm comfort extension link
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Old 5 April 2014, 07:20 AM   #2
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The pics make me want to buy it!
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Old 6 April 2014, 12:58 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by bayerische View Post
The pics make me want to buy it!
You and me both!


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Old 6 April 2014, 01:21 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by bayerische View Post
The pics make me want to buy it!
Originally Posted by SteelerFan65 View Post
You and me both!
Make that three of us.

Thanks for the specs Larry!
He who wears a Rolex is always on time,even when late!!

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Old 6 April 2014, 01:34 AM   #5
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Why not in stainless steel as well?

This made the black and blue GMT more accessible to a larger group of Rolex purchasers.

Maybe it is a two stage thing... like with the YachtMaster II.
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Old 6 April 2014, 01:42 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Maxtor View Post
Why not in stainless steel as well?

This made the black and blue GMT more accessible to a larger group of Rolex purchasers.

Maybe it is a two stage thing... like with the YachtMaster II.
YMII has platinum bezel on WG model and blue ceramic on SS. There already are 2 SS references and we are talking about a bezel not a model and in this case the bezel is what differentiates them. Sorry but the ship has sailed and well done Rolex!


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Old 6 April 2014, 09:23 AM   #7
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Rolex had to make it look very different between SS and WG model with coated platinum on the bezel

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Old 6 April 2014, 11:48 AM   #8
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My grail watch !
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Old 7 April 2014, 11:55 AM   #9
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Oh my! I wish I had the $$$! Lovely!
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Old 7 April 2014, 12:24 PM   #10
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Great addition to the reference library - thanks Larry.

Those pics are killing me! Beautiful watch... if I sell my whole collection maybe I could afford one
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Old 9 May 2014, 01:27 AM   #11
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Icon6 GMTC P for sales already?

Originally Posted by takuya View Post
OMG! Dude, how on earth did you lay your hands on one that fast?!
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Old 9 May 2014, 06:12 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by sleddog View Post
Make that three of us.

Thanks for the specs Larry!
The list is growing, please include me.
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Old 9 May 2014, 08:59 AM   #13
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My indifference to this new PepC reference is eroding. Infinitesimally mind you, but still...
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Old 11 September 2014, 04:02 PM   #14
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I am currently looking for my first Rolex... GMT Pepsi and really sad that this is only in white gold and not in SS. Would be awesome to buy a new one of the Pepsi style.
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Old 12 September 2014, 03:57 AM   #15
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Can't wait to see this in person!
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Old 13 September 2014, 09:27 PM   #16
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Love the look, but am sticking with my classic.
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Old 3 October 2014, 11:15 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by rolio View Post
Love the look, but am sticking with my classic.
...and also still not certain they have that blue just right on the bezel.
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Old 3 October 2014, 01:40 PM   #18
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Nice pick up!
I saw a Batman in person today and had a chance to get my hands on it for an up close viewing and I liked the contrast between the black and blue. Saw the Batman and a TT Blue Sub and the blue was hard to discern on both of them in a dark lit room.
Pretty sure that I would rather pay extra for a 18k/stainless GMT before I would pay extra to get a two tone Bezel.
I did see a Batman with a super jubilee bracelet on here and thought that it looked very nice.
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Old 6 October 2014, 10:21 AM   #19
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The GMT II is just so beautiful, I feel they are the watches worn by angels in heaven.
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Old 6 October 2014, 07:59 PM   #20
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Simply stunning!
Really like the looks of it.
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Old 16 October 2014, 09:12 PM   #21
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White gold always wins!
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Old 17 October 2014, 01:00 AM   #22
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Great thread and what a beauty; green with envy for those that have one.
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Old 21 October 2014, 11:16 PM   #23
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Am glad the new GMT is not on my radar. It saves me ever having to make decision to part with that sort of money. My pepsi 16710 more than does the trick!
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Old 8 November 2014, 05:15 AM   #24
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cool thread!!
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Old 10 August 2017, 09:00 AM   #25
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Old 13 October 2017, 06:21 AM   #26
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Very nice watch, bit I definitely would miss switching the inserts from time to time
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Old 15 October 2017, 02:30 PM   #27
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Thread revival! The BLRO is a great looking reference.
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Old 23 February 2018, 04:46 AM   #28
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the batman is on my list.
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Old 30 May 2018, 09:44 PM   #29
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gotta pepsi gmt from my grandpa
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