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Rolex Pepsi

The Rolex Pepsi is one of the Swiss manufacturer's most sought-after watches. Due to the watch being nicknamed after the beverages brand, many people think it has something to do with Pepsi. But that is not the case. Instead, the first-ever GMT Master was commissioned to Pan American Airways. Here’s all you need to know about the Blue/Red bezel GMT Master.

Rolex Pepsi: Naming the red-blue bezel

Rolex launched the GMT Master to fulfill a request made by Pan American Airlines. In the mid-1950s, airlines were doing a lot of international flights. They wanted the pilots to keep track of time simultaneously in both time zones. With that idea, they approached Rolex and the GMT Master was born.

Rolex GMT Master II Pepsi

Rolex commissioned the GMT Master II to the Pan American Airlines. As to why they chose the colors red and blue is unanswered to date. While some believe it is to differentiate between day and night easily, others say that these colors were chosen to offer the best legibility to the pilots. Nevertheless, the color combination was well-received in the community.

The red and blue color combination best-reminded everyone of the Pepsi can. Hence, everyone started calling it Pepsi.

References that shaped Rolex Pepsi into what it is today

Rolex Pepsi gained its popularity starting from the very first GMT Master 6542. Its popularity has just increased over the years. But there have been a series of different launches since then. Here’s a list of the references you should know about as they helped the watch take the shape of what it has become today.

Rolex Pepsi watches in Dubai

Rolex Pepsi – First ever GMT Master

Rolex first launched the GMT Master II in 1955. The watch was commissioned to the Pan American airline pilots as it was made only on the request of the airline. Later, the company decided to offer the same watch to its customers. Little did they know, the watch will immediately catch its own fan base.

The GMT Master reference 6542 was the first ever watch to feature a 24-hour hand. This in conjunction with the rotating 24-hour bezel, allowed the users to read two time zones at once. Pilots usually kept the local time as well as the standard time. During that time, international civil time standard was the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Hence, the watch received its official name of GMT-Master.

The first GMT Master sports watch was made from stainless steel and it features a Bakelite blue and red bezel. After sometime, Rolex got reports of the Bakelite cracking on people’s watches. This made the company replace it with an aluminum bezel. This also means that a Bakelite bezel 6542 in pristine condition is extremely rare today.

Rolex GMT Master 1675 – All about improvements

In 1959, 4 years after the launch of the original GMT-Master, Rolex knew the watch needed an update. They introduced the second-generation model with reference number 1675. This watch featured an aluminum bezel just like the updated 6542. It also got a larger 40mm case size along with crown guards making the pilot’s watch more legible and durable.

Rolex Pepsi price in uae

While the GMT Master 1675 was initially introduced in the Pepsi bezel, the company soon released an all-black bezel model as well as a gold model with a brown bezel. Besides the two new variations, Rolex also kept on introducing subtle improvements. The later models of the watch also got matte black dials and tritium lume. The company also came up with an improved movement.

In 1971, Rolex even added a hacking mechanism to the watch’s movement. This made the seconds hand stop when the crown was pulled out. The watch was discontinued in 1980, making it one of the longest-running references in the history of Rolex.

GMT Master 16750 – Upgrades under the hood

Up until this point, the GMT Master kept receiving aesthetic improvements. But reference 16750 was more focused towards the upgrades under the hood. It came with the Calibre 3075 movement that offered the quickset date feature. While the quickset date is a common feature to have today, it was an innovation at that time. It allowed the date to be set independent of the hour hand. This feature made it much more convenient to set the date and time.

Rolex Pepsi GMT Master II

The early models of the reference 16750 featured matte black dials just like the ons on the later editions of 1675. Rolex decided to switch it in favor of glossy dials with white gold surrounds on the hour markers. This made the watch look much more premium than before. Lastly, the watch got a water resistance rating of up to 100 meters.

Rolex GMT Master 16700 – The last GMT Master

From 1988 to 1999, the Rolex GMT Master buyers got to purchase the reference 16700. This was the last GMT-Master to be ever made as it was soon going to get a successor. The 16700 came with a sapphire crystal instead of the acrylic one seen on the 16750 and previous models. The new reference also came with the new Caliber 3175 movement, which was more power efficient.

Just like the 16750, the earlier versions of the reference 16700 featured tritium lume on the dial. This changed in 1997 as Rolex started using LumiNova.

First GMT Master II reference – Beginning of a new era

While the GMT Master 16700 was still in production till 1999, Rolex had already released the GMT Master II in 1982. The reference 16760 only came in the “Coke” version, which featured a red and black bezel. The watch also featured a thicker case giving it another nickname, “The Fatgirl.”

In 1989, the Swiss watchmaker introduced the reference 16710. This reference brought back the much-appreciated Pepsi bezel. The reference 16710 and the 16750 were available in retail stores at different price points giving users the choice. This new reference was also made available in a black bezel variant.

Rolex GMT Master II 116719BLRO – A game-changer

Rolex Pepsi got a modern touch with the reference 116719BLRO. The watch was launched in 2014 in white gold. This time the red and blue bezel was made using cerachrom making the colors differ from the older generation. The timepiece also offered more legibility in the dark thanks to the use of Rolex Chromalight lume.

The new Rolex Pepsi was powered by the Caliber 3186 movement, which brought a lot of improvements. It came with the blue Parachrom hairspring that is able to resist higher magnetic fields.

Rolex Pepsi 126710BLRO – Continuing the legacy

Rolex Pepsi legacy

Today, the legacy of a Rolex Pepsi is carried by the 126710BLRO. The new reference is fashioned in 904L stainless steel and gets the new Caliber 3285 movement. The new movement offers a power reserve of approximately 70 hours. Rolex also offered this watch on a Jubilee bracelet. Interestingly, the Jubilee is available only on the steel variant of the GMT Master II.

Why should you buy a Rolex Pepsi?

Rolex Pepsi is a popular watch, and there are several reasons why you should also obtain one. These reasons range anywhere from the investment opportunity to the looks of the watch.

Rolex Pepsi GMT Master

Investment

Rolex GMT Master II Pepsi has increased in value over the years. In the secondary market, the Rolex Pepsi 126710BLRO exchanged hands for around AED 60,000 in 2019. The price shot up to around AED 112,000 in March 2022. This clearly shows that the value of the watch will keep increasing.

The rich history

If you are a true watch aficionado, you will have the urge to own one. The Rolex Pepsi has a rich history attached to it. This shows how far the watch industry has come and how Rolex has contributed to the community. With all that combined, the watch speaks for itself.

Design

Rolex GMT Master II is one of the best-looking sports watches one can buy. It looks so good that many watch brands have tried creating similar designs. With the red and blue bezel combined and the iconic GMT dial, the watch looks incredible. Additionally, the watch is available in both Oyster and Jubilee bracelet options. If you prefer a more dressy look, you cannot go wrong with the Jubilee. On the other hand, for people who prefer a sporty look, the Oyster does the job.

Frequently asked questions about Rolex Pepsi

What does BLRO stand for in Rolex Pepsi 126710BLRO?

The BLRO in the reference number of the Rolex Pepsi stands for blue/rouge. This lets people know that it is a blue/red bezel watch.

Why is Rolex Pepsi so popular?

Rolex GMT-Master II is a popular lineup of sports watches and the Pepsi is a favorite to many watch collectors. It has a rich history and closely resembles the original GMT Master.

How much does a Rolex Pepsi 126710BLRO cost?

A Rolex Pepsi Jubilee's retail price is around AED 38,000. You can also get it with the Oyster bracelet for around AED 36,000.

Where can I buy a Rolex Pepsi in Dubai?

Rolex Pepsi has a huge demand, and hence there is a long waiting period at the retail store. You can instead choose to buy the watch from WatchMaestro at unbeatable prices.

Why is it called Rolex Pepsi?

Rolex community likes to call the GMT Master II 126710BLRO and 116710BLRO - 'Rolex Pepsi' because its red-blue bezel reminds them of the soda can.

What is the difference between Rolex Pepsi and Rolex coke?

While the Rolex Pepsi features a red-blue bi-colored bezel, the Rolex Coke has a red-black bi-colored bezel.

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