Easily the most anticipated Rolex watch introduction this year was the stainless steel GMT-Master II with a “Pepsi” bezel.
Debuting alongside it were two additional GMT-Master II references referred to unofficially as “Rootbeer” GMTs. One is the Everose Rolesor version (Ref. 126711 CHNR) that combines Oystersteel and 18K Everose gold and the other made entirely in 18K Everose gold (Ref. 126715 CHNR).
The GMT displays the local time via 18K pink gold 12-hour central Mercedes-style hour hand and minutes via a baton-shaped central hand. The 24-hour GMT hand features an oversized arrow tip, the seconds hand is baton-shaped with a lollipop tip and circular counterweight, also in 18K pink gold. The applied markers and all the hands feature Rolex’s proprietary luminescent material called Chromalight which lights up blue.
The dial is a black lacquer, which is glossy and will surely sell, but I could imagine a matte dial selling just as well. The flange still has ROLEX ROLEX ROLEX engraved on it, which is another point of contention amongst watch enthusiasts. And while the overall execution of the GMT-Master II is quite good, I do think that is a superfluous design element.
Both versions feature the new black and brown ceramic bezel, which is where the soft drink nickname comes from. The bezel is 18K gold, with a 24-hour graduated ceramic insert that has molded numerals and graduations coated with pink gold via PVD (physical vapor deposition).
As you would expect, these Everose versions feature the new contoured lugs and smoother edges and the same 40 mm diameter case as the redesigned GMT-Master II in stainless steel. They also have the all-new caliber 3285 automatic movement which has 31 jewels, a 70-hour power reserve, and is accurate to -2/+2 seconds per day. It’s worth noting that the movement has a more premium finish than its predecessor, which further increases the value and places the watch more closely with the price range which typically consists of watches with high-quality Swiss finishing.
On the wrist, the new rounded lugs and case edges do make a noticeable difference. The watch not only feels more comfortable, it also looks better on the wrist, in my opinion. That said, I would have liked to see the new Jubilee bracelet as an option, however, that retro style bracelet is available exclusively on the steel GMT. The solid gold Everose bracelet and the Oystersteel with solid Everose links are not bad options at all, though.
This is an Oyster Professional, and so the crown and caseback are both screw-down and water-resistance is 100 meters. Retail for the Oystersteel/Everose gold two-tone is $14,050 and $36,750 in Everose gold.