The Rolex GMT-Master II is one of the hottest watches ever made. Over the years, with powerful and useful watches, the GMT Master line has never struggled to retain the iconic reputation it gained at the hop. The original GMT-Master hit the market in 1954 when Pan American Airlines consulted Rolex for a solution to traveling through multiple time zones and needing to keep up with the accurate local time. Conceived in the 1600s GMT, or Greenwich Mean Time has been the standard across the world since the 1800s. The invention of commercial air travel brought the need for quickly knowing the time across all 24 time zones, and so the GMT-Master was born.
GMT-Master II has presented a variety of models based on the color combinations of the bidirectional rotating bezel. Since the debut of the first red and blue, which is the Pepsi, Rolex continues to produce watches with other bezel color combinations like the Batman or batgirl (black and blue), black and steel, steel, and yellow gold.
How the Rolex GMT-Master II is Used
GMT is the standard for time measurement in the world. All 24 time zones are based on the GMT time zone in Greenwich, London. Time zones usually have a number after them, like with Eastern Standard Time. It is often written as “EST -5” (EST minus 5) representing 5 hours behind GMT time. The standards of GMT were necessary for sailors and pilots, but in the era of smartphones, the GMT function can seem somewhat antiquated. Once you know how to use it, you will see it is a great alternative that can deliver a lot of information at a glance. The Rolex GMT Master II was first released in 1983 and replaced the original GMT-Master. It is the first Rolex with an independent 24-hour hand. This progress helps you to keep the time correct when setting the hand of the hour. It is now the benchmark for a true GMT complication. The benefit of the true GMT complication, like this Rolex, is the ability to jump the hour hand while still keeping time. The hour will pass independently of the GMT hand, with the crown in the second position. This is perfect for travelers who regularly switch between time zones.
How to Monitor 2 Separate Time Zones Using the Rolex GMT-Master II
To measure 2 time zones, you will first set the GMT hand to the local time, based on the 24-hour scale. For example, is 17:00 hours and then sets the hour hand to the current time on the 12-hour scale. Your watch will show the current, local time on both the 24-hour and 12-hour scale. Use the rotating bezel to represent the second time zone. By rotating the bezel clockwise, time goes back in time and counterclockwise goes forward in time.
How to Monitor 3 Separate Time Zones Using the Rolex GMT-Master II
To view 3 separate time zones, set first the GMT hand to GMT time, and have the hour hand set to local time. For example, the GMT time is 22:00 hours and the local time is 5 p.m. Then you can use the bezel to represent the third time zone by rotating it. There you go, 3 separate time zones at a glance. It is also worth noting that during daylight savings, you would need to account for the one-hour difference.
How Rolex GMT-Master II is Used as a Compass
Another awesome feature of the GMT-Master II hand is the ability to act as a compass. This only works if both the hour hand and the GMT hand are set to local time, and if you are in the Northern hemisphere of the globe. If this is the case, then you can go ahead and lay the watch flat and point the hour hand towards the sun. The GMT hand will point north. Again, you will need to factor in the difference of one hour during daylight savings.
The Rolex GMT-Master II timepiece is easy to wear under the cuff. You could slide underneath the sleeve and it is nicely braced and counterweighted.it has polished links and polished outer faces, satin shoulders. All removable links are fixed in place by screws, and there are gaps on the underside to vent the wrists on a hot day and avoid trapping wrist heat. You can see internally that the clasp is finished, polished with a beacon. You can hook the lift lock system. It has a double locking system with the EZ link system inboard. You can also see, if you look internally, there are a couple of small divots drilled inside of the clasp so you can use a strap tool to change the anchoring point in three different ways, so three different ways to adjust fit, easy link, the divots, and removable links. GMT-Master II has shear sites and squared-off lugs with satin tops and polished flanks.
The Rolex GMT-Master II makes one of the most enjoyable and practical daily wear watches you could buy. It strikes a strong balance of beauty, finesse, technical features, details, and generational quality that really set it apart from other watches. There is a reason that this is one of the most popular and respected steel sports models and the most iconic Swiss watch brand. In natural light, the Rolex GMT-Master II is visually magnificent. It displays everything from the polished center links to the ceramic bezel insert. How light plays off the reflective dial and sapphire crystal, the elegance stems from a clear design thought process. It all blends perfectly together, and it is in no way accidental.
In A Nutshell
The GMT complication can seem out of date in today’s tech age, but 65 years later, it still serves a purpose and delivers necessary information at a glance. This is a true tool watch, through and through. It boasts a unique look that you won’t find anywhere else. It is simply a great watch that is destined to be a future classic.