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The Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II was designed to display the time in two different time zones simultaneously. Robust and functional, it is the ideal watch for criss-crossing the globe.
In function as well as in name, the GMT-Master II evokes long-distance travel across time zones. Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) marks mean solar time at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London – historically the location of the official prime meridian used for calculating longitude and determining different time zones around the world.
ACROSS TIME ZONESLaunched in 1955, the Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master witnessed the rapid expansion of intercontinental travel in the latter half of the 20th century. It even became the official watch of Pan American World Airways, better known worldwide as Pan Am, the most prominent American intercontinental airline at the time. In 1959, a major event marked the partnership: the first non-stop Pan Am Jet Clipper flight from New York to Moscow. The captain was wearing a GMT-Master, which was used as a navigation aid during the flight.
The GMT-Master, a true “tool watch”, evolved continually to offer increasing technical performance. In 1982, Rolex introduced a new movement that allowed the hour hand to be set independently of the other hands. To clearly mark this evolution, and to avoid any confusion with the GMT-Master, the model fitted with the optimized movement was named the GMT-Master II. The GMT-Master II has won over a much wider audience, proving itself to be the ideal watch for criss-crossing the globe.
24-HOUR DISPLAY AND INDEPENDENT HOUR HANDIn addition to conventional hour, minute and seconds hands, which display the local time (the time in the wearer’s current location), the GMT-Master II features an arrow-tipped hand which circles the dial once every 24 hours, as well as a bidirectional rotatable bezel and a 24-hour graduated Cerachrom insert in two-colour ceramic. When the bezel is in the neutral position, that is with the triangle at 12 o’clock, the 24-hour hand displays the reference time (home time, for example), which can be read using the graduations on the bezel.
When abroad, travellers can set the local time easily, with the hour hand “jumping” from hour to hour thanks to a mechanism operated via the winding crown. The adjustment can be made independently of the minute and seconds hands, and without affecting the 24-hour hand. As a result, travellers can simultaneously read their local time as well as the reference time.
ROTATABLE BEZEL AND ALTERNATIVE TIME ZONEThe time in an alternative time zone can be displayed by simply turning the rotatable bezel. In this case, the reference time is no longer shown, as it is the alternative time zone that is now read via the 24-hour hand against the graduations on the bezel.
The bezel was carefully designed to ideally fulfil its function. Rolex developed a bezel rotation system with a spring that allows the bezel to be turned crisply and securely in either direction and locate with a positive click in each of the 24 different hour positions. The bezel can be turned with ease thanks to its knurled edge, which offers excellent grip.
BEZEL WITH CERACHROM INSERTThe bidirectional rotatable bezel of the GMT-Master II is equipped with a 24-hour graduated two- colour Cerachrom insert. The insert, patented by Rolex, is made of an extremely hard and corrosion- resistant ceramic; it is virtually scratchproof, and its colours are unaffected by ultraviolet rays. The moulded, recessed numerals and graduations are coated with gold or platinum using a PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) process. Over and above its functions and its intrinsic technical assets, the GMT-Master II bezel contributes to the model’s strong visual identity.
In 2013, Rolex broke new ground when it introduced its first single-piece, two-colour ceramic bezel insert – blue on one half and black on the other – on an Oystersteel version of the GMT-Master II. A year later, it unveiled the two-colour bezel insert in red and blue ceramic, on a GMT-Master II in 18 ct white gold. In 2018, the brand presented its latest innovation, a two-colour bezel insert in brown and black ceramic, on two variants of the GMT-Master II – one in 18 ct Everose gold and the other in an Everose Rolesor version (combining Oystersteel and 18 ct Everose gold). These Cerachrom inserts blend the technical performance of high-technology ceramic with the iconic aesthetics of the original GMT-Master.
THE GMT-MASTER II, SUPERLATIVE CHRONOMETERLike all Rolex watches, the GMT-Master II is certified as a Superlative Chronometer. This exclusive designation testifies that every watch leaving the brand’s workshops has successfully undergone a series of tests conducted by Rolex in its own laboratories and according to its own criteria, which exceed watchmaking norms and standards. These tests are carried out on the fully assembled watch, in order to guarantee superlative performance on the wrist. The Superlative Chronometer status is symbolized by the green seal that comes with every Rolex watch and is coupled with an international five-year guarantee.
The precision of every movement – officially certified as a chronometer by COSC (Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute) – is tested a second time by Rolex after being cased, to ensure that it meets criteria for precision that are far more exacting than those for an official chronometer. The tolerance for the average rate of a Rolex Superlative Chronometer is of the order of −2/+2 seconds per day. Its precision is tested by Rolex using an exclusive methodology that simulates the conditions in which a watch is actually worn and is much more representative of real-life experience.
The Superlative Chronometer certification testing is carried out after casing using state-of-the-art equipment specially developed by Rolex. The entirely automated series of tests also checks the waterproofness, the self-winding capacity and the power reserve of 100 per cent of Rolex watches. These tests systematically complement the qualification testing during development and production that ensures the watches’ reliability, robustness, and resistance to magnetic fields and shocks.
THE OYSTER CASE, SYMBOL OF WATERPROOFNESSThe GMT-Master II’s Oyster case, guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 100 metres (330 feet), is a paragon of robustness and reliability. The characteristically shaped middle case is crafted from a solid block of particularly corrosion-resistant Oystersteel or 18 ct gold. The case back, edged with fine fluting, is hermetically screwed down with a special tool that allows only certified Rolex watchmakers to access the movement. The winding crown, fitted with the Triplock triple waterproofness system, screws down securely against the case. The crown guard is an integral part of the middle case. The crystal, with a Cyclops lens at 3 o’clock for easy reading of the date, is made of virtually scratchproof sapphire. The waterproof Oyster case provides the GMT-Master II’s high- precision movement with optimal protection.
PERPETUAL CALIBRE 3285The GMT-Master II is equipped with calibre 3285, a self-winding mechanical movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. The architecture, manufacturing and innovative features of this movement make it exceptionally precise and reliable.
The oscillator has a large balance wheel with variable inertia regulated extremely precisely via gold Microstella nuts. It is held firmly in place by a height-adjustable traversing bridge enabling very stable positioning to increase shock resistance.
Calibre 3285 has an optimized version of the blue Parachrom hairspring, manufactured by Rolex in an exclusive paramagnetic alloy. Insensitive to magnetic fields, the Parachrom hairspring offers great stability in the face of temperature variations and remains up to 10 times more precise than a traditional hairspring in case of shocks. It is equipped with a Rolex overcoil, ensuring its regularity in any position.
Calibre 3285 is fitted with a self-winding module featuring a Perpetual rotor, which ensures continuous winding of the mainspring by harnessing the movements of the wrist to provide a constant source of energy.
The GMT-Master II’s movement will be seen only by certified Rolex watchmakers, yet it is beautifully finished and decorated in keeping with the brand’s uncompromising quality standards.
NEW-GENERATION MOVEMENTCalibre 3285 is a new-generation movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex for a superlative level of performance. A consummate demonstration of Rolex technology, it offers fundamental gains in terms of precision, power reserve, resistance to shocks and magnetic fields, convenience and reliability.
The oscillator is fitted on high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers, designed and patented by Rolex, which increase the movement’s shock resistance.
Calibre 3285 incorporates the Chronergy escapement, patented by Rolex, which combines high energy efficiency with great dependability. Made of nickel-phosphorus, this escapement is also insensitive to magnetic fields. Thanks to the barrel architecture and the escapement’s superior efficiency, the power reserve of calibre 3285 extends to approximately 70 hours.
BRACELET AND CLASP: SECURE AND COMFORTABLEThe GMT-Master II is available on a three-piece link Oyster bracelet – variants in the Everose Rolesor version (combining Oystersteel and 18 ct Everose gold) and versions in 18 ct white gold or 18 ct Everose gold; or on a five-piece link Jubilee bracelet – versions in Oystersteel.
These bracelets are equipped with a Rolex-designed and -patented Oysterlock safety clasp that prevents accidental opening. They are additionally fitted with the Easylink comfort extension link, developed by the brand, which allows the wearer to easily increase the bracelet length by approximately 5 mm, providing additional comfort in any circumstance.
A concealed attachment system ensures seamless visual continuity between the bracelet and case. On the 18 ct gold versions of the GMT-Master II, the Oyster bracelet includes ceramic inserts inside the links to enhance its flexibility and longevity.