The GMT-Master, introduced in 1955, was developed to meet the needs of intercontinental airline pilots, and proved invaluable to those whose professions involve long-distance travel. Featuring a rotatable 24-hour graduated bezel and a separate 24-hour hand, it allows those who travel the world to read two different time zones simultaneously, and up to three by turning the rotatable bezel.
Originally designed to aid airline pilots in their navigation, the GMT-Master has become an unmistakable icon. Over the years its emblematic bezel has been presented in various colours, in both single and two-coloured combinations. It is the signature feature of its unique and instantly recognizable aesthetics.
With a traditional hour, minute and seconds display via hands; a 24-hour hand; and a bidirectional rotatable bezel with a 24-hour graduated Cerachrom insert, it is possible to read the time in two time zones at once: either the local time and a reference time, or the local time and another time zone as desired. The date, shown at 3 o’clock, is synchronized with the local time display.
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.
In 2018, Rolex is extending its GMT-Master II range with three new versions equipped with the calibre 3285. This new self-winding mechanical movement offers fundamental gains in terms of precision, power reserve, resistance to shocks and magnetic fields, convenience and reliability.
Since 2005, Rolex has played a pioneering role in the development of special ceramics for monobloc bezels and bezel inserts. These new materials are exceptionally resistant to scratches and corrosion, and offer particularly intense colours that are unaffected by ultraviolet rays. Rolex made full use of its expertise in developing the high-technology production methods that allow it to manufacture its ceramic components independently in-house.
Over time, through close collaboration between the Research & Development Division and the Creation Division, Rolex has developed highly resistant single-colour and two-colour ceramics. Today, the palette ranges from brown, a colour introduced in 2018, to black, green, blue, chestnut brown and red. Clear, deep and intense, these coloured ceramics bring a unique vibrancy to the watches that bear them.