Rolex GMT-Master II (Ref. 116719 BLRO) - Baselworld 2014

Rolex GMT-Master II (Ref. 116719 BLRO) – Baselworld 2014

by Matthew Boston

Rolex has surprised a lot of people with its release at Baselworld of a new version of the iconic Rolex GMT-Master II especially coming so soon after the recent (for Rolex) blue and black version. Whats more the new Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II features a two-colour Cerachrom bezel insert in red and blue, a colour combination considered difficult if not impossible to achieve. By combining contemporary technology with the aesthetics of the original 1955 model they have created a new version of this emblematic model.

Rolex GMT-Master II (Ref. 116719 BLRO)

Rolex GMT-Master II (Ref. 116719 BLRO)

Creating a Cerachrom two-tone bezel is a technological challenge and obtained by a special process invented and patented by Rolex allowing a ceramic component of two different colors to be merged into a single block. Cerachrom was first introduced in 2005, and has the advantage of being virtually scratch-proof, highly resistant to corrosion and impervious to the bleaching effects of UV rays. The 24-hour graduation has been engraved in the ceramic and coated with a platinum layer by means of PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition).The surface has been diamond-polished to provide a long-lasting lustre. Incidentally the name “Cerachrom” is a contraction of the words “ceramic” and “chrom” from the ancient Greek word for “colour”.

The new Rolex GMT-Master II (Ref. 116719 BLRO)

The new Rolex GMT-Master II (Ref. 116719 BLRO)

In the creation of this new two tone bezel Two main challenges were presented. Firstly there is a difficulty creating red. To create colours in ceramic a mineral pigment is used that is capable of surviving the very high temperatures involved in the “densification” process. However red is typically a colour for which no stable mineral pigments exist to create a Cerachrom component. Rolex nevertheless overcame this and produced a red ceramic according to a secret process.

The new Rolex GMT-Master II (Ref. 116719 BLRO) - Bezel

The new Rolex GMT-Master II (Ref. 116719 BLRO) – Bezel

Secondly it was necessary to overcome the challenge of combining the two colours by turning half of the red into blue so that you had a clear transition from one to the other with 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. Having overcome these technological hurdles Rolex presents us with this new Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II, well known as a watch for long-haul travellers and designed to enable airline pilots to read the time in two different time zones simultaneously. This new-generation GMT-Master II featuring the same colour scheme as the original watch created in 1955 but using the latest technological innovations is sure to generate plenty of interest.

The new Rolex GMT-Master II (Ref. 116719 BLRO) come only in SolidI White Gold and will retail for 36,500 Swiss Francs and should be available in the Fall of 2014. You will find a great In-Depth Hands-On review by Ariel Adams (live from Baselworld) about this Watch on ABTW.

    Author Bio

    Articles by Matthew Boston


    Matthew Boston has worked in the computer graphics industry for 17 years in various parts of the world, currently residing back home in the UK. His interest in watches was first piqued as a youngster when he was fascinated by a Seiko digital watch he received. He's also founder of UniqueWatchGuide which is dedicated to sharing the news about timepieces that are unusual, unconventional and more often than not unobtainable.