The Rolex GMT-Master II “Pepsi” is more than a watch; it’s a chronicle of craftsmanship that stands as an emblem of precision, durability, and timeless style. In particular, the 2018 model with its Jubilee bracelet has caused quite a stir among watch enthusiasts, and for good reasons. Let’s dive into the captivating features and notable upgrades of this masterpiece.
An Introduction to the Rolex GMT-Master II “Pepsi”
The Rolex GMT-Master II “Pepsi,” named for its distinctive red and blue bezel that bears a striking resemblance to the logo of the popular soft drink, is an iconic timepiece. Introduced in 1954 to meet the needs of international pilots, the GMT-Master II has become synonymous with performance, resilience, and a unique allure that transcends the realm of aviation.
A Closer Look at the GMT-Master II “Pepsi” 2018 Model
Unveiled at Baselworld 2018, the updated Rolex GMT-Master II “Pepsi” boasts a steel version (904L steel) accompanied by the five-link Jubilee bracelet. This combination was a return to the model’s roots, as the original GMT-Master from 1954 was also offered with a Jubilee bracelet. This retro touch, coupled with contemporary advancements, truly sets the 2018 model apart.
The Jubilee bracelet, celebrated for its comfort and classic aesthetic, is designed with five-piece links. The 2018 model’s bracelet comes with an Oysterlock safety clasp, ensuring it remains securely on the wrist. What’s more, the bracelet includes the Easylink rapid extension system, enabling a quick 5mm adjustment for optimal comfort.
Interested in experiencing the beauty and precision of the Rolex GMT-Master II “Pepsi” for yourself? Explore the various authorized retailers to find this iconic timepiece.
What Makes the 2018 Model Stand Out?
Beyond the Jubilee bracelet, the most significant change in the 2018 model is the new-generation calibre 3285 movement. This new movement, entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex, demonstrates precision, power reserve, resistance to shocks and magnetic fields, convenience, and reliability that furthers the watch’s reputation for excellence.
The Power of the Calibre 3285 Movement
The 3285 movement offers approximately 70 hours of power reserve, a significant improvement from the 48 hours provided by the calibre 3186 in the previous model. This is attributed to the Chronergy escapement patented by Rolex, which combines high energy efficiency with great dependability, made of nickel-phosphorus and is also insensitive to magnetic interference.
The Beauty of the Ceramic “Pepsi” Bezel
Aesthetically, the ceramic “Pepsi” bezel is a sight to behold. While the previous model had a bezel made of anodised aluminum, the 2018 model’s bezel is crafted from extremely hard ceramic, known as Cerachrom. The ceramic “Pepsi” bezel not only offers vibrant colors, it’s also virtually scratch-proof, and its color doesn’t fade when exposed to UV light.
The Appeal of the Jubilee Bracelet
The choice to pair the Rolex GMT-Master II “Pepsi” with a Jubilee bracelet in 2018 was no causal decision. This change added a new level of versatility and visual appeal, making the watch even more comfortable and attractive.
To get your hands on this masterpiece, consider visiting one of the many Rolex authorized retailers but you’ll likely have to consider the secondary market due to long wait times and limited supply for the popular model.
Pricing the Pepsi: What to Expect
Purchasing a Rolex GMT-Master II “Pepsi” is not just an investment in a timepiece, but an investment in a work of horological art that holds its value remarkably well. Due to its iconic status and high demand, the “Pepsi” GMT-Master II commands a premium price.
Understanding the New Market Value
At the time of this writing, the retail price for a brand new Rolex GMT-Master II “Pepsi” with the Jubilee bracelet is $10,900. However, it’s important to note that this is the official price listed by Rolex, and availability at this price is extremely rare due to the popularity of all Rolex sport models.
Navigating the Pre-Owned Market
In the secondary market, which is often the more realistic route for acquiring this model, prices can vary significantly based on the watch’s condition, provenance, and whether it’s being sold with its original box and papers. For a mint condition pre-owned model, prices often start around $20,000 and can go upwards from there.
Considering the Cost of Ownership
Keep in mind that the prices in the secondary market are largely influenced by supply and demand and will fluctuate over time. Additionally, the purchase price is just one aspect to consider. Maintenance costs such as servicing every 5-10 years should also be factored into the total cost of ownership. The average cost of maintenance for a GMT model is $700 according to Official Time Watch.
Buying a Rolex GMT-Master II “Pepsi” is a significant investment. But for those who value the watch’s rich heritage, striking aesthetics, and world-class functionality, it’s an investment that is well worth making. This is not merely a timepiece; it’s a symbol of horological mastery that can be passed down through generations.
GMT-Master II Variations
While the “Pepsi” with its Jubilee bracelet certainly grabs attention, the Rolex GMT-Master II collection is rich with other equally enthralling variations that cater to diverse aesthetic preferences. Each version embodies the unique blend of Rolex craftsmanship and functionality, with subtle nuances that make them distinctive.
Here are some of the other current variants of the GMT-Master II that continue to enchant watch enthusiasts:
- GMT-Master II “Batman”: Nicknamed for its black and blue Cerachrom bezel, the “Batman” is another favorite among GMT-Master II admirers. Introduced in 2013, this model originally came with an Oyster bracelet, but as of 2019, it now sports a Jubilee bracelet, just like its “Pepsi” counterpart.
- GMT-Master II in Oystersteel and Gold: This two-tone, or “Rolesor,” model pairs Oystersteel with 18 ct yellow gold for a luxurious twist on the classic GMT-Master II design. It features a black dial and a bidirectional rotatable bezel with a 24-hour graduated two-colour Cerachrom insert in black and brown ceramic.
- GMT-Master II in Everose Gold: Showcasing Rolex’s proprietary 18 ct Everose gold, this model exudes elegance and sophistication. Its bidirectional rotatable bezel features a two-colour Cerachrom insert in a black and brown combination that complements the Everose gold perfectly.
- GMT-Master II with a Meteorite Dial: For those seeking something truly out of the ordinary, this GMT-Master II variant features a dial made from an actual meteorite. Paired with 18 ct white gold on the case and bracelet, this model is actually out of this world.
- GMT-Master II with Sapphire and Diamond: For those who appreciate a touch of opulence, Rolex offers a GMT-Master II variation adorned with sapphires, diamonds, and rubies. Its lustrous bezel and dial transform the timepiece into a statement piece, while the 18 ct white gold imparts an air of unmatched sophistication.
Every version of the GMT-Master II continues the legacy of Rolex’s commitment to functionality, precision, and aesthetic appeal. Regardless of the model you choose, you’re not just wearing a timepiece; you’re embracing a piece of horological history marked by relentless innovation and timeless style.
Summing Up the Rolex GMT-Master II “Pepsi” Experience
The Rolex GMT-Master II “Pepsi” with the Jubilee bracelet presents a seamless blend of classic allure and modern innovation. The upgraded features in the 2018 model stand as a testament to Rolex’s commitment to continuous improvement, enhancing not only the watch’s functionality but also its wearability and aesthetics.
Whether you’re a watch collector, an investor or someone who appreciates the blend of form and function, the Rolex GMT-Master II “Pepsi” is more than a timepiece; it’s a conversation starter, a statement of style, and a timeless investment. The next time you spot the distinctive red and blue bezel, you’ll appreciate the rich history, precise engineering, and iconic design that’s encapsulated in every single detail.