While originally made for airborne adventure, the original Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II soon became accessible to globetrotters on land and in the air. More than just an accessory, this ‘tool watch’ has evolved over time, offering increasing technical performance. And now, Rolex launches the latest and best incarnation of the model.
The watch of choice for travellers
The timepiece was first designed as a navigation aid for professional aviators crisscrossing the globe — in 1982, Rolex launched the GMT-Master II, with a movement that allowed the hour hand to be set independently of the other hands.
Its unique signature style has a bidirectional rotatable bezel and a 24-hour graduated insert – made available in various dual and single colour combinations – with the lower half symbolizing daytime and the upper signalling night-time. A crystal, which is fitted with a Cyclops lens for easy reading of the date, is made of virtually scratchproof sapphire, with an anti-reflective coating.
The latest edit sees the crown and crown guard are on the left side of the watch case. This meant changing the precision testing process for some of the final controls carried out as part of the Superlative Chronometer certification, as a result, the date aperture and the Cyclops lens have also moved and appear at 9 o’clock.
Connecting people beyond time zones
Equipped with calibre 3285 – a movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex, released in 2018 and introduced on the model the same year – the timepiece displays the hours, minutes, seconds, date and an additional time zone in 24-hour format.
Three traditional hands, a triangle-tipped 24-hour hand, plus a bidirectional rotatable bezel with a 24-hour graduated Cerachrom insert, ensure the GMT-Master II can display the time in two zones simultaneously (local and the reference time, or local and an alternative time zone); the date synchronizes with the local time.
Fitted with an Oyster bracelet and crafted from Oystersteel, the latest version features a two-colour monobloc Cerachrom bezel insert in the refreshed hues of green and black ceramic, that’s anti-corrosive. A knurled edge provides a good grip, allowing it to be turned with ease. The moulded, recessed graduations and numerals are coated with platinum via PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition). A Rolex Easylink comfort extension link allows the wearer to adjust the bracelet length by approximately 5 mm.
The new GMT-Master II’s 40 mm Oyster case is guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 100 metres (330 feet), with a middle case made from a solid block of the corrosion-resistant alloy Oystersteel. Its case back is edged with fine fluting, hermetically screwed down with a special tool that allows only Rolex watchmakers to access the movement and the Triplock winding crown has been fitted with a triple waterproofness system, protected by an integral crown guard that screws down securely against the case. Not only are these materials virtually scratchproof, their colours effect a rare intensity and resistance to environmental effects.
Readiness for discovery and reinterpretation
As is standard with Rolex watches, the Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II carries the Superlative Chronometer certification, for excellent performance on the wrist.
The Calibre 3285 also incorporates the patented nickel-phosphorus Chronergy escapement, for high energy efficiency, dependability and insensitivity to magnetic fields. An optimized blue Parachrom hairspring, manufactured by Rolex in a paramagnetic alloy, has an overcoil, protecting the calibre’s regularity in any position — the oscillator is fitted on the Rolex-designed, patented high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers. A self-winding Perpetual rotor, barrel architecture and the escapement’s superior efficiency, means the power reserve of calibre 3285 is in the region of 70 hours. And the precision of a Rolex Superlative Chronometer is −2/+2 seconds per day.
The Superlative Chronometer status of the Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II is demonstrated by the green seal that comes with every Rolex watch, coupled with an international five-year guarantee.