Over the years, the GMT Master line has never failed to maintain the legendary status it achieved at the jump, with robust and useful watches that share names with probably at least one of your favorite soft drinks and perhaps even on of your favorite vigilant comic book heroes.
Yet of all the watches making up one of the hottest watches on the market, there is one that manages to be forgotten.
The Rolex GMT-Master (II) finally stepped out of the shadow of its diving brother, the Submariner. With the introduction of the ceramic Pepsi and Batman (on Jubilee) recently, the hype is real. Long waiting lists and market prices far over retail result in disappointed customers, but that doesn’t seem to slow down the demand. On the contrary.
How it started...
It all starts with a request from the former airline Pan-Am for a proper pilot’s watch.
Not just a very readable pilot’s watch (there were many out there already), but one that was capable of displaying an extra timezone. A useful for pilots on transatlantic flights, as Pan-Am was about to do so.
An accurate and reliable timepiece was a necessity, and adding an extra timezone would make it perfect.
Pan-Am inquired at Rolex, and they came up with the GMT-Master. A watch with chronometer specifications and displaying an additional timezone.
As we know now, the Rolex GMT-Master wasn’t only popular amongst Pan-Am pilots (or civil aviation), also NASA (Jack Swigert of Apollo 13 wore one) and US Air Force pilots wore them.
Also, people who travelled to different time zones for their jobs started wearing the Rolex GMT-Master, as reading home time and local time at the same time has a positive [mental] effect on fighting jet lags.
Over the years, the Rolex GMT-Master became a very popular watch. Also for people who aren’t flying that often, or do business all over the world. It has become – like it or not – a symbol of success and wealth, like many other luxury items.
For watch enthusiasts, the history of the Rolex GMT-Master (II) plays an important role. It is part of the fun when owning and wearing such a watch.
The success story began with the very first Rolex GMT-Master, introduced in 1954, and continued until the very latest in 2019. GMT-Master has underwent many changes and innovations, they are still clearly related to each other. It is one of the (important) ingredients that makes them a iconic watch or, better said perhaps: a classic.
SOURCE: FRATELLO MAGAZINE