Watches: Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi 2014

By Thierry Ané on April 7, 2014

Since the introduction of the first Cerachrom bezel back in 2005, Rolex has perfected its huge know-how in the manufacture of this extremely scratch-resistant material. A major breakthrough was achieved with last year’s GMT-Master II model that featured the first ever-produced single-piece, bulk-coloured ceramic bezel in two distinct colours. With a perfectly clear demarcation between its black and blue parts, the “batman” bezel represents a technical world first that will retain its vibrant colours for the biggest pleasure of the watch owner.

With its two-tone bezel and aviation roots (the watch was first developed for Pan Am pilots), the GMT-Master has always held a special place in the heart of the brand’s countless aficionados. Despite the many renditions introduced over the years, the so-called “Pepsi” model with a blue and red bezel remains the most sought-after. Produced on and off for decades, this legendary watch has been surprisingly out of the collection for several years until Baselworld 2014 where Rolex decided to revive it with a stunning Cerachrom bezel.

Ceramic is a tricky material to work with and particularly so with lighter colours. Watch connoisseurs know that white ceramic like the one Audemars Piguet used this year for the Offshore Diver or red ceramic like Hublot introduced for the Ferrari Hong Kong are more the exception than the rule. Being able to manufacture a mono-block bezel in blue and red ceramic is not just aesthetically pleasing: it is a great technical achievement!

Given the popularity of the aluminium “Pepsi” bezel of past models, since the presentation of the “batman” GMT-Master II last year, many watch journalists and Rolex fans were hoping for a “Pepsi” model this year. Rolex, however, is anything but predictable when it comes to guessing the novelties and although they indeed unveiled the much anticipated “Pepsi” GMT-Master II this year, they did it with a twist nobody saw coming: the watch features a white gold case and strap in place of the stainless steel of previous renditions, placing the price tag at CHF 36,500. Basically, Rolex tells us that if we are so interested in a GMT-Master II with a blue and red ceramic bezel, well, we have to buy it in gold! Well done…

For a technical description of the timepiece and additional pictures: