It happened before the BaselWorld Fair even opened to the public. Just a couple of days before, a few members of the watch press got the first look at the new Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT Master II watch. A world’s first, this timepiece features a Cerachrom bezel created in blue and red. Suddenly, the timepiece had a nickname: Pepsi. The reason for the moniker is evident with just one look at the timepiece. The press-given title also has roots in the original pieces made in the 1950s for Pan Am – they were nicknamed accordingly because of the red and black aluminum inserts of the day. The new watch, mind you, this is one expensive Pepsi at $38,250.
In fact, the watch is a grand mix of aesthetics, high technology and – well – Rolex DNA. It recalls the original two-toned m 1955 model but features a color combination ceramic bezel that was long thought impossible to create. The red and blue Cerachrom monoblock bezel is quite complex and expensive to make. One of the difficulties in creating this Cerachrom bezel comes with the heating process and its relation to the color red. In intense heating and firing, red breaks down reducing its vibrancy. To achieve the intense red hue, Rolex engineers had to totally reconfigure the molecular structure of the color – no easy feat. Then, , via a specially developed and patented manufacturing process, each grain of the chemical composition is locally modified to the core of the ceramic to change the red into blue on half of the bezel insert.
The Rolex Cerachrom bezels were first introduce nearly a decade ago and have the distinction of being virtually scratch resistant, highly corrosion resistant and unaffected by UV rays. Underscoring the material’s resistance to the elements, Rolex choose to unite this bezel with famed, robust Oyster case – with guaranteed water resistant to 330 feet.
Crafted from a solid block of 18-karat white gold, the watch houses the self-winding Caliber 3186 Superlative Chronometer and offers second time zone function and date display. The COSC-certified chronometer features an oscillator with a blue Parchrom hairspring that is patented by Rolex and built of an alloy of niobium and zirconium that makes it insensitive to magnetic fields. The 40mm watch features a black lacquer dial, Chromalight applied hour markers and hands and an Oyster bracelet. You can ask about the Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT Master II watch at your authorized Rolex jeweler, but they will most likely know it better as the Pepsi watch.