Mis à jour : 2 sept. 2020
The story behind the Rolex GMT Master
Let’s start by a brief reminder of the Rolex GMT Master story. This model was created in the 1950’s at the request of the largest and most prestigious airline at that time, the PAN-AM. This airline decided to mandate Rolex to create a tool-watch intended for its pilots and capable of giving the time in two time zones simultaneously. Local time and GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) reference time. The original model, better known as Pepsi, wore both the colors blue and red on its bezel. Blue for day-time hours and red for night-time hours. Over the years, other types of bezels have emerged, up to the latest, the blue and black bezel (BLNR). This version of the GMT Master II 116710BLNR was launched by Rolex at Baselworld 2013.
Why this choice?
First of all, I have been a watch enthusiast for a few years and this passion is still developing today. I already owned a mechanical watch that reminded me at every glance that a beautiful watch is much more than just an object. Seeing my attraction for watchmaking, my family decided to offer me a watch for the success of my diploma. At that time, my choice naturally turned to Rolex. This brand has been in the back of my mind for some time. When I bought my first mechanical watch, I had already entered a Rolex AD. It was not to try a Rolex, since it was way too expensive for me at that time, but it was to look for a Tudor. However, I couldn't help but look at some of the Rolex legendary models in the displays. I would be lying if I said that the GMT Master II BLNR was an obvious choice from the beginning. I have always loved this model, but I was hesitating between the legendary Submariner and the GMT. I saw the Submariner as a safe bet to enter luxury watchmaking. When I went into the store to try out these models, I found myself faced with a well-known problem at Rolex: the GMT Master II was not available. However, and as surprising as it may seem today, two Submariner were available. The Date and the No Date versions. So, I tried the Submariner and loved it right away. The comfort, the weight, the proportions, the thickness, all these elements immediately won me over. I spent a long time in the shop alternating between the two Submariner on my wrist. After this long test session, and because it is difficult to buy such watches impulsively, I left the store telling myself that I was going to think about it. I felt that I shouldn't be mistaken about this purchase. It was a gift and I intended to keep it all my life. A few minutes later, I was walking in front of another famous dealer of the brand. I was already charmed by the Submariner, but when I was in front of this second AD, I thought that I had to try ... Maybe they had a GMT Master II BLNR to show me? I walked in, made my request, and a very nice saleswoman hesitantly told me that she was going to see what she could do. I saw her come back five long minutes later with a Rolex box in her hands. The saleswoman invited me to sit down and told that she was exceptionally presenting the watch to me because it was already sold.
I took the time to look at the watch, and there it was the crush. The blue of the ceramic bezel stood out beautifully and kept changing according to the inclination of the watch. Sometimes the watch looked completely black, sometimes the blue came out brightly. The polished appearance of the center links of the bracelet brought more precious aspect to the watch. The fourth hand of the GMT brought an additional complication that made me fell in love. In short, it has taken me a few seconds in front of this watch to understand that this was the one I wanted.
After three years owning the watch
I've been wearing this GMT Master II BLNR almost every day for 3 years now. It follows me everywhere, when I work, when I go out with friends, when I travel, when I swim, ... I sometimes look at it forgetting to check the time. It suits to all situations, and makes you forget when you are not looking at it, because it is really comfortable. I am still a fan of the ceramic bezel, which is often criticized by some enthusiasts. The colors that change throughout the day make it its real strength. The fact that it is scratch proof is also very appreciable. Indeed, when you wear a Rolex with a polished Oyster bracelet, it is nice to know that at least one element of the watch cannot be scratched ... To conclude, I am attracted by many other watches and many other brands, but this watch is and will remain a very important watch to me. On the one hand thanks to the symbolism of the gift that it represents, and on the other hand for all the reasons described above. I will keep it for life!