Reviewing: The Rolex GMT-Master II in White Gold with Pepsi Bezel

The “Pepsi” finally made its much-anticipated comeback at Baselworld 2014, and it sent shockwaves throughout the watch fair. Technically, the new ref. 116719 BLRO is very similar to last year’s Black and Blue GMT-II, which also houses the Calibre 3186. But the difference, an additional $25,000 on the price tag, is quite a big one. Here’s our review:

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That’s because the latest addition to the Rolex collection is a solid 18-carat white gold timepiece. The material chosen by Rolex came as a surprise to many and divided opinion. The move is certainly an unusual one from Rolex, since the Swiss brand normally unveils a watch in steel, and moves to a more precious metal later on.

While it meant most Rolex collectors will have to spend a little more time saving up to this watch, it’s a very clever move from a brand that has sometimes been accused of not taking risks. Rolex knows the new GMT-Master II in White Gold with Pepsi Bezel will do very well, and it makes the brand a little more exclusive, while protecting its vintage market.

The other major talking point, which is a little more interesting technically, was the new Pepsi bezel. It is made in Cerachrom through a complex coloring process patented by Rolex.

When Rolex introduced the first GMT-Master in 1955, it was one of the very first watches made specifically for travelers, and that’s exactly who will enjoy the latest GMT-Master II.


The latest edition has kept all the qualities that made it stand out then, from its signature 40mm Rolex sport case shape, to the combination of polished center links with brushed side links in the gold Oyster bracelet.

It’s a stunning and versatile piece, that wears comfortably and it’s even more solid than when it first came out with Plexiglass inserts. Of course, because it’s made of white gold, it’s easily the heaviest “Pespi” watch, but we like that extra heft, as it reminds us of just how special the watch around our wrist is.

The GMT-Master II in White Gold with Pepsi Bezel is priced at 36,500 Swiss Francs, or a little over $41,000. For more please visit the Rolex website.

Photo credit: Rolex