Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II

March 25, 2016

Rolex released the first GMT-Master in 1955 at the height of the jet age. In collaboration with Pan Am, the watchmaker added a 4th hand, the 24 hour hand, and a 24 hour bezel so that international travelers could keep track of the time in two geographical locations on one watch. 

Rolex GMT-Master II 116710LN (photo: Rolex)
The GMT in the name refers to Greenwich Mean Time. Greenwich, England, is located at 0º longitude (also known as the Prime Meridian) and time zones have been set using GMT since the late 19th century. For every 15º you move from the Prime Meridian, you add (or subtract, depending on what direction you're traveling) 1 hour to the time. If you move 15º from the Prime Meridian 24 times, you will be right back where you started after traveling 360º around the globe.

In the 1980s, Rolex released the GMT-Master II with several improvements over the original. One of the improvements allowed one to easily adjust the hour hand without interrupting the minute or second hands.

The current GMT-Master II (photographed below at Baselworld 2016) is equipped with a 3186 movement, a 24 hour rotatable Cerachrom bezel and Rolex's patented Easylock extension system. Easylock allows the wearer to lengthen the bracelet up to 5mm at times when inflammation or physical activity may make the bracelet tighter than usual.

rolex GMT-MAster 2 display at baselworld 2016 cerachrom bezel, 904l stainless steel
GMT-Master II Models Displayed at Baselworld 2016
The GMT-Master II is one of the more popular professional models, alongside the Daytona and the Submariner. This timepiece is masculine and utilitarian, making it a hit with international travelers with style.

The suggested retail price for the GMT-Master II 116710 LN (left) is 8,000 Swiss Francs (approximately $8,391 US) and the 116710 BLNR, or 'Batman' model to the right in the photo above goes for 8,500 Swiss Francs or $8,915 US.


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