BaselWorld 2014 saw the return to the collection of the iconic Rolex GMT master II with the blue and red bezel. Traditionally known as the “Pepsi” bezel to Rolex collectors this iconic piece had been missing from the collection since Rolex started producing ceramic bezels for the GMT master a number of years ago. It had been thought up to know that the red and blue combination couldn’t be produced in ceramic but Rolex have disproved that theory. The new Pepsi bezel is only available on the 18ct white gold version die to the hugely complicated and expensive process of seamlessly mixing the red and blue ceramic into the Cerachrom insert.
The Cerachrom bezel insert in blue and black introduced by Rolex in 2013 was a world first. It was made in a single piece and the clear-cut demarcation of colours on each half of the insert was perfectly executed. This year, Rolex has pushed the technical and aesthetic prowess yet further on it’s Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II, unveiling a red and blue Cerachrom bezel insert, echoing the first GMT-Master bezel of 1955. An exceptional achievement on two counts: firstly,red is an extremely difficult colour to obtain and, therefore, an unusual colour for ceramic; secondly, having succeeded in creating a red insert, Rolex then found a way to locally modify the chemical composition of each grain, right to the core of the ceramic, and change the colour of half the insert from red to blue, while ensuring a sharp delineation between the two colours.
The resulting bulk-coloured, single-piece Cerachrom insert is red for the hours between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. and blue for the hours between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. By virtue of being manufactured in a single piece, the insert acquires mechanical resistance properties that respond to the quality and reliability demanded of a Rolex product. Like all Rolex Cerachrom bezel inserts, it offers exceptional scratch and corrosion resistance.
Its colours are unaffected by ultraviolet rays. The aesthetic effect is equally spectacular.The ceramic’s sheen gives volume to the insert and enhances the colours in a way that is reminiscent of the Plexiglas insert of the original GMT-Master. The engraved numerals and graduations are coated with a thin layer of platinum via a PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) process patented by Rolex. Their depth and matt finish underscore the contrast with the insert’s polished surface, producing a three-dimensional effect that ensures optimal legibility.
The new GMT-Master II’s two-colour red and blue Cerachrom insert is a unique, high-technology ceramic component, which adds new patents to the Cerachrom insert developed by Rolex in 2005. It combines the exceptional technical performance of the Cerachrom bezel with the GMT-Master’s iconic two-colour appearance. And it perpetuates the Rolex tradition of constantly extending the boundaries of the possible.