An Enduring Benchmark
PORTFOLIO Magazine|November 2018
An Enduring Benchmark

Precise, reliable, robust and functional, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II allows travelers the ability to read the time in two different time zones simultaneously and has become the benchmark reference for watches with multiple time zones.

Keef Wong

The first GMT-Master was launched in 1955, marked by a 24-hour graduated two-color insert in the bezel and an extra 24-hour hand that was synchronized with the conventional hour and minute hands. This watch witnessed the rapid expansion of intercontinental travel and even became the official watch of Pan American World Airways, better known worldwide as Pan Am.

In 1982, Rolex introduced a new movement that allowed the hour hand to be set independently of the other hands. To mark this evolution, the new models fitted with the optimized movement were named the GMT-Master II and set a new standard in ease of use.

When abroad, travelers can set the local time easily, with the hour hand “jumping” from hour to hour thanks to a mechanism operated via the winding crown. The adjustment can be made independently of the minute and seconds hands, and without affecting the 24-hour hand. As a result, travelers can simultaneously read their local time as well as the time “back home”

The time in an alternative time zone can be displayed by turning the rotatable bezel, then reading the 24-hour hand against the graduations on the bezel. Carefully designed to ideally fulfill this function, Rolex developed a bezel rotation system with a spring that allows the bezel to be turned crisply and securely in either direction and locate with a positive click in each of the 24 different hour positions.


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November 2018