Rolex GMT Reference

The Rolex GMT-Master is also known as the pilot's watch. This luxury timepiece has multiple time zone settings. Here, Sant Blanc will explain the technical aspects of the Rolex GMT.

The Rolex GMT-MasterGMT master

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The Rolex GMT-Master  was introduced in 1955.

The first GMT Master watches had the red and blue bezels because of the color contrast.  The contrast made it easier on the human eye to focus on the watch.

The 1st GMT-Master bezels were made of transparent plexiglas.  The plexiglas was painted half red and half blue on the underside giving the bezel of the GMT depth.

GMT-Master bezels were changed in 1959 from the original plexiglas to a new material called anodized aluminum.

The GMT-Master II was introduced in 1982.

The Cerachrom bezel was introduced to the world of Rolex in 2005.

In the 1950’s, Pan-Am Airlines requested Rolex to design a watch with the capability to read different time zones at once due to the increase in flight distances travelled by the pilots. Thus, Rolex designed their first aviation watch, the Rolex GMT Master. This watch included a fourth hand that allowed the display of another time. The fourth hand corresponds with the numbers and markings on the GMT Master’s outer bezel. The second time displayed was set to match Greenwich Mean Time, or GMT, hence the name given by Rolex to the watch. The Greenwich Mean Time was replaced in 1972 to Coordinated Universal Time by the Aviation Industry; however Rolex kept the title of GMT for the watch.


The Hairspring

The Rolex GMT-Master’s main function is to allow the wearer to read up to three time zones simultaneously. As customary with Rolex and their strive for excellence and perfection, the GMT-Master is considered to be one of the most accurate and precise time-keeping mechanisms in the world. A watch’s precision is related to the strength of its oscillator. Oscillators are typically made from ferromagnetic alloys, and are vulnerable to alteration from shock and magnetic fields. Rolex, striving for excellence, decided that this was unacceptable and thus began research. After five years of dedication Rolex created the blue Parachrom Hairspring. The Parachrom Hairspring proved to be ten times less susceptible to alterations caused by shocks. It is also made from paramagnetic alloy and thus is completely unaffected by magnetic fields. This mechanism, as a result of Rolex’s strive for excellence, guarantees the accuracy of your Rolex.

In 2014, Rolex introduced to Blue and Red "Pepsi" Ceramic bezel to the GMT Master II line-up.

In 2014, Rolex introduced to Blue and Red "Pepsi" Ceramic bezel to the GMT Master II line-up.


The Easylink

The Easylink is an extension system created by Rolex. It folds out of the bracelet and allows a length increase of about 5mm. Rolex’s Easylink feature was invented to ensure maximum comfort as your wrist expands due to temperature and certain physical activity.


The Ceramic Bezel

Bezels are prone to deterioration and scratches when exposed to various elements such as sunlight. Rolex set out to overcome this setback and created the ceramic bezel in 2005 that was a replacement for the previously used anodized aluminium. The ceramic bezel is made with a Cerachrom Disc and the extremely hard ceramic material makes the bezel resistant to corrosion, ultraviolet rays, and the polished surface is virtually scratch-proof.  The engraved numerals and graduations are coated by Rolex in a thin layer of gold or platinum.

Sant Blanc

Notice: SANT BLANC is not an official nor an authorized Rolex dealer for any product offered or sold and SANT BLANC has no affiliation with the manufacturer. All brand names and trademarks are the property of their respective owners and are used for identification purposes only. SANT BLANC is the sole warrantor. Original Rolex factory warranties no longer apply. Rolex is a registered trademark of Rolex Watch USA Inc. SANT BLANC is not affiliated in any way with Rolex.

Article by: Brad Cecil