Wrist Test: Rolex GMT Master II “Coke” Bezel
by Xupes Team ; @Xupes | June 14, 2016
The Rolex GMT Master II 16710 is a bona fide Rolex classic and sure-to-be collector’s favourite in years to come. It was introduced in 1989 in three different aluminium bezel colour schemes, which the Rolex faithful soon nicknamed the Pepsi bezel, the Coke bezel and the, well, just plain black bezel.
The 16710 ran until 2007 when it was replaced by a slightly beefier model with a ceramic bezel. The modern version had some upgraded features but the bezel colours were changed and, by then, the Coke and Pepsi colour schemes had become firm favourites.
For this week's Wrist Test, Reece, a Rolex aficionado and long-term Datejust wearer, decided to go against his usual style and try out the GMT Master II with a Coke bezel. The sporty GMT Master II is a world apart from his somewhat ritzy Datejust—a diamond-studded, black-dialed, yellow gold and stainless steel model—and to be honest we were quite surprised when he told us what he was going for. But he strapped it on for a week and reported back with his findings. Here’s how he got on:
What initially attracted you to this model?
This watch is very different from my usual style but I fancied trying out the sporty look. While I love my Datejust, I also like the idea of having a classic Rolex with a colourful bezel. After pondering a few Rolex GMT Master II's I decided on the 16710. It was a close call between that and the earlier model, the 16760, but in the end the 16710 was a little slimmer and I definitely prefer a slimmer watch.
I picked the playful “Coke” bezel model. Red is not a usual colour choice for me but I think next to the steel and black it looks ultra-stylish and modern, even though it’s a vintage watch.
Is there anything you weren’t you too keen on?
I actually liked the watch all round. My Datejust is a lot smaller, at 36 mm, so the 40 mm GMT Master II took some getting used to. But overall I was quite impressed.
How did it feel on the wrist?
Generally speaking the watch was very comfortable to wear. I’m used to wearing a Jubilee bracelet, which I find a little more comfortable as it’s more flexible than the Oyster.
I found it really hard to get used to the size of the crown compared to my Datejust, as I was very aware of it when it pressed into the back of my hand. But I forgot about this after a few days of wearing the watch.
Would you say it's an everyday watch or an occasion watch?
I would say it’s an everyday watch that can be worn on occasions too. It’s comfortable, versatile and, despite the relatively “out there” colour on the bezel, I found it easy to style with outfits and actually quite liked how it clashed with certain items of clothing. I wore this to work and to events after work, and for me it’s definitely suitable for both day and night.
Did your opinion towards the watch change over the week?
I was worried about wearing a bigger watch, but after wearing it for a week I would definitely consider buying one. I was also unsure of the sportier look, but now I think the look suits me.
Who would you recommend this watch for?
I wouldn’t like to pinpoint it to just one type of person as I find it very versatile. I could see this on city workers in suits or men with a more casual street style. Equally I could even see women wearing it!
And finally … Score out of ten?