Now that the dust has well and settled, we dare say, when you think of Baselworld 2018, you’re bound to think GMT. Be it from Rolex or Tudor, what can be said with a great deal of certainty, is that both introductions from the Wilsdorf household were massive hits at the fair this year.

For now, let’s focus on the greener side of the fence.

Rolex’s lead watch at the fair — as you already know — was the Oystersteel GMT-Master II with the “Pepsi” Cerachrom 24-hour graduated bezel; the ref. 126710 BLRO. So, essentially, a steel version of the white gold 2014 “Pepsi”, the ref. 116719 BLRO. But what’s this Oystersteel business?

Remember Rolex’s own superalloy, stainless steel that we’ve always identified as 904L? Oystersteel is the name that they’ve given now to that number. Therefore, we can say that the ref. 126710 BLRO’s case and Jublilee bracelet are in Oystersteel. It’s also worth saying that this is the first modern day Rolex sports watch model that’s been fit on a Jublilee bracelet. One other interesting detail, as reported on watchesbysjx.com, is that the new Jubilee bracelet has been designed such that you won’t be able to fit it on another GMT-Master II that comes originally with the Oyster bracelet, or vice versa.

The 2018 Oystersteel GMT-Master II Ref. 126710 BLRO on the Jubilee bracelet (© Revolution)
The 2018 Oystersteel GMT-Master II Ref. 126710 BLRO on the Jubilee bracelet (© Revolution)

Metal aside, the movement used in the new Pepsi GMT is a fresh one, too. This is the caliber 3285, which succeeds the prior caliber 3186 that’s provided for Rolex’s GMT-Masters since 2007.

Along with 10 new patents filed during the development of the 3285, the movement also incorporates the barrel, gear train and Chronergy escapement technology first introduced in the Day-Date 40’s 3255 movement, in 2015. All of which results in a movement that boasts all of the GMT-Master II’s expected functions at greater efficiency and 3-day power reserve (up from 50 hours in the prior movement).

The use of this new generation movement for the 126710 BLRO is indicated on the watch’s dial with a small crown placed in between the words “Swiss Made” at 6 o’clock. The absence of this new marker on the dial on existing Cerachrom bezel GMT-Master II, therefore, indicates the use of the previous 3186 movement.

The crown logo placed in-between "Swiss Made' on the dial of the 2018 Oystersteel GMT-Master II Ref. 126710 BLRO indicating the use of the new generation caliber 3285 (© Revolution)
The crown logo placed in-between "Swiss Made' on the dial of the 2018 Oystersteel GMT-Master II Ref. 126710 BLRO indicating the use of the new generation caliber 3285 (© Revolution)

While on the subject, the white gold, black dial Pepsi ref. 116719 BLRO of 2014 will be discontinued from this year on. Rolex will however continue to produce a white gold version of the watch, just updated with a new blue dial.

The 2018 18ct white gold GMT-Master II Ref. 116719 BLRO with the new blue dial (© Revolution)
The 2018 18ct white gold GMT-Master II Ref. 116719 BLRO with the new blue dial (© Revolution)

There are yet newer variations of the GMT-Master II introduced at Baselworld 2018, starting with the bi-metal Oystersteel and Everose gold, ref. 126711 CHNR and the complete Everose gold, ref. 126715 CHNR. Both of these have a brown and black Cerachrom bezel that’s already been christened the “rootbeer” by the collective #watchfam over on Instagram.

The 2018 Everose gold GMT-Master II Ref. 126715 CHNR (© Revolution)
The 2018 Everose gold GMT-Master II Ref. 126715 CHNR (© Revolution)

The 2018 GMT-Master II watches are said to be available to buy as of May. But don’t expect to find ready and available stock at your nearest Rolex AD any time then. Chances are — as it has been the case in recent years — there was already a long waitlist for the four variants as of announcement on the 21st of March.

Technical Specifications & Prices in Swiss Francs

The 2018 Oystersteel GMT-Master II Ref. 126710 BLRO

GMT-Master II Ref. 126710 BLRO

Movement

Self-winding Rolex Manufacture Caliber 3285; hours, minute and seconds hands with a fourth second time zone hand; Superlative Chronometer (COSC + Rolex certification after casing); 70-hour power reserve

Case

40mm Oystersteel case; water resistant to 100m

Bracelet

Oystersteel five-piece link Jubilee bracelet with folding Oysterlock safety clasp and Easylink 5mm comfort extension link

Price

CHF 8,800

The 2018 Oystersteel and Everose gold GMT-Master II Ref. 126711 CHNR

GMT-Master II Ref. 126711 CHNR

Movement

Self-winding Rolex Manufacture Caliber 3285; hours, minute and seconds hands with a fourth second time zone hand; Superlative Chronometer (COSC + Rolex certification after casing); 70-hour power reserve

Case

40mm Oystersteel and Everose gold case; water resistant to 100m

Bracelet

Oystersteel and Everose gold flat three-piece link Oyster bracelet with folding Oysterlock safety clasp and Easylink 5mm comfort extension link

Price

CHF 13,400

The 2018 Everose gold GMT-Master II Ref. 126715 CHNR

GMT-Master II Ref. 126715 CHNR

Movement

Self-winding Rolex Manufacture Caliber 3285; hours, minute and seconds hands with a fourth second time zone hand; Superlative Chronometer (COSC + Rolex certification after casing); 70-hour power reserve

Case

40mm Everose gold case; water resistant to 100m

Bracelet

Everose gold flat three-piece link Oyster bracelet with folding Oysterlock safety clasp and Easylink 5mm comfort extension link

Price

CHF 35,000

The 2018 18ct white gold GMT-Master II Ref. 116719 BLRO with the blue dial

GMT-Master II Ref. 116719 BLRO (Blue Dial)

Movement

Self-winding Rolex Manufacture Caliber 3186; hours, minute and seconds hands with a fourth second time zone hand; Superlative Chronometer (COSC + Rolex certification after casing); 70-hour power reserve

Case

40mm 18ct white gold case; water resistant to 100m

Bracelet

18ct white gold flat three-piece link Oyster bracelet with folding Oysterlock safety clasp and Easylink 5mm comfort extension link

Price

CHF 35,000