Our review of the Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi 126710BLRO
The Rolex Pepsi is one of the most iconic and sought-after Rolex GMT. All around the world, Rolex fans and even some investors are looking for a new "Pepsi" on their wrist. You will find below our review of the Rolex GMT Master II 126710BLRO.
Rolex GMT Master II Pepsi : a symbol of speculation but a great watch.
The problem with the Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi presented in Basel in 2018 is that it symbolizes the speculation that surrounds virtually every professional steel model from the brand with the crown. In fact, it crystallizes all the positive or negative comments, generating quite excessive reactions. Is it the fault of Rolex, of the retailers, of the clients with their sheep-like behaviour, of of the low interest rates? It doesn't really matter after all. Because the fact is that this watch, as well as the 2019 version with blue and black bezel are among the most sought-after Rolex and therefore difficult to obtain. A pre-owned Rolex Pepsi often has a second-hand value that roughly doubles the official value, which generates a lot of frustration and even irritation among amateurs.
The problem is that this reference is only talked about in terms of investment or availability. It's really sad because it remains an excellent watch. This is the point we wanted to stress because we sometimes have the feeling that we tend to forget it and focus on other arguments. In fact, we really like this watch for several reasons.
The true beauty of the bicolor "Pepsi" bezel
The rendering of the bicolor ceramic bezel is varied and surprising. This is a point that we appreciate very much. Ceramic appears here as a living material. Depending on the light, this refractor can appear dark or lighter. The blue can even be adorned with some purple reflections in some cases. The bezel therefore livens up the watch and can even brighten it up.
A special elegance for this Rolex GMT Master II
In spite of this sophistication, at no time did the watch seem ostentatious to us. This is one of the remarks frequently made against it: the GMT-Master II Pepsi Jubilee is show-off. It is really not serious or the remark was made without having closely observed the piece. As mentioned before, the rendering is more sophisticated and this is indisputable. The watch can catch the eye because it has recognizable elements (links of the bracelet, magnifying glass and two-tone bezel) and because it is, after all, one of the most famous models. But it is still of a reasonable size (40mm) and a controlled thickness (12mm). The notches of the bezel are discreet and the watch fits under a shirt without any problem. The bracelet creates beautiful light reflections which contribute to its elegance and certainly not to its "shine". There is on this theme a bad trial that is made and that does not correspond to reality or at least not to our perception.
The Jubilee bracelet : a great asset for the Rolex 126710
First of all, we think the Jubilee bracelet suits it very well. It is not basically an incongruity and this return is, in our opinion, consistent with the more sophisticated rendering. In any case, we always feel that it is in the context of the fluted bezel Datejust or the GMT-Master that this bracelet is at its best place. The more complex rendering due to the five links goes well with the two-tone notched bezel. In general, the watch appears more refined, more luxurious. We know that many people regret the attenuation of the utilitarian dimension of the GMT-Master II. But on the other hand, the improvement in real and perceived quality and the more elegant overall style are in line with Rolex's brand image and positioning. The downside is the aesthetically unfortunate integration of the Oysterlock clasp. The latter is certainly very practical and comfortable, but its size and appearance swear with the subtlety of the bracelet. It's a pity.
A very pratical wristwatch
The GMT-Master II Pepsi Jubilee is a watch that proves to be a practical watch. It can already be worn with great comfort thanks to the Oysterlock bracelet and clasp with the useful Easylink extension. The toothed bezel is easy to handle, allowing a third time zone to be displayed. Its versatility is confirmed by the 100-meter water-resistance ... which is hardly surprising for a professional Rolex. The crown can be easily screwed on and off and the positions can be found without hesitation. Finally, its legibility is irreproachable thanks to the contrasts between the hands, the indexes and the dial. The Chromalight display works well in the dark even if we still have trouble to distinguish the triangle from the hours hand.
A non-perfect Oysterlock integration
Ultimately, it's the performance of the 3285 movement that makes the GMT-Master II Pepsi Jubilee a success. The movement is easy to use thanks to an independent local time hand that can be adjusted forwards or backwards in one-hour steps. When you reach your destination, simply move this hand thanks to the crown set in the appropriate position, the reference hour hand obviously remaining immobile during this manipulation. Being a new-generation movement, it incorporates the latest developments from Rolex (such as the Chronergy escapement) and above all it offers a power reserve of 70 hours (for a frequency of 4hz), which is appreciable. The calibre 3285 is obviously certified superlative chronometer, allowing it to announce a more demanding range of precision than the COSC's of -2/+2 seconds per day. Easy to use, reliable and precise, this movement offers a lot of pleasure and above all establishes the confidence on which the watch is based.
The points I have highlighted above are hardly surprising. They are even known to everyone. But considering the particular context in which the GMT-Master II Pepsi Jubilee (or its little friend Rolex Batman) finds itself, we wanted to recall its intrinsic qualities. We are well aware that this is not going to slow down the frustration of the Rolex enthusiasts and lovers who wish to acquire the watch and who see large volumes being sold at delirious prices.
+ a very practical watch to use
+ the performance of the 3285 movement
+ comfort in wear
- the aesthetic integration of the Oysterlock clasp which swears with the overall elegance of the watch
Each new generation of watches launched by Rolex bears witness to the move upmarket of the Geneva manufactory's production. Mechanically, of course, Rolex is constantly working to improve the precision, reliability and robustness of its movements. This is therefore undoubtedly a positive point for the end customer. This perpetual move upmarket is also reflected in the packaging, in particular with the widespread use of ceramic rotating bezels. The new GMT-Master II 126710 BLRO is no exception to the rule. While preserving the original spirit of the 1955 model and its functionality (simultaneous display of two time zones), it raises this legendary pilot's and globetrotter's watch to the level of a luxury traveler's watch. More luxurious and less toolwatch-like than previous generations, this new GMT-Master II is nonetheless highly desirable, and its formidable versatility can make it your one and only watch. If, like us, you love it, go for it: every hour that passes sees the waiting list grow longer...