Designed for long-haul pilots, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II allows you to keep track of up to three time zones, with a jumping hour hand, a 24-hour hand and a tough, rotatable, 24-hour graduated Cerachrom bezel in ceramic.
Although the GMT-Master II was designed essentially for professional pilots, its combination of peerless functionality and rugged good looks has attracted a wider travelling public. As well as appreciating its ability to display different time zones, these travellers admire the robustness and versatile appearance that make the GMT‑Master II eminently suitable for globetrotting and, indeed, for any occasion.
The 1950s was the golden age of commercial air travel, with the world opening up thanks to long-haul flights. To assist the pilots of these early airliners, who had near-rock star status, Rolex created the Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master. It allowed them to track two time zones simultaneously, which pilots used for the times at the departure and arrival destinations. The design was so successful it became the official watch of many airlines, including America’s Pan Am. Today’s GMT-Master II offers a third time zone, controllable by the bezel.
The GMT-Master II is equipped with calibre 3186, a self‑winding mechanical movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. In addition to the conventional hour, minute and seconds hands, it features a 24-hour hand to display a second time zone. Like all Rolex Perpetual movements, the 3186 is a certified Swiss chronometer, a designation reserved for high-precision watches that have successfully passed the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) tests.
The bidirectional rotatable bezel of the Rolex GMT-Master II has been fitted with a Cerachrom insert in ceramic that is extremely tough, virtually scratchproof and resistant to corrosion. The numerals and graduations on the patented Cerachrom bezel are engraved into the ceramic and coated with gold or platinum, through a PVD (physical vapour disposition) process that is unique to Rolex. In 2013, Rolex introduced bi-colour Cerachrom bezels, which were particularly notable as they were made from a single block of ceramic. The blue and black bezel was followed a year later by a red and blue version, a world first. Like all Cerachrom inserts, the colours are unaffected by ultra-violet lights.