Modern Rolex GMT-Master Ads

Advertisements for many models miss key references, but modern GMT Master ads seemingly cover all the versions designed and released. Starting in the late 1980s, you'll find ads featuring the transitional Ref. 16750 and Ref. 16760, which began the "Coke" generation and spawned the current "Batman" GMT Master II.

Modern Rolex GMT-Master Advertisements

The latest GMT Master II collection is coming of age during a time when mechanical wristwatches, particularly Rolex watches, are becoming more of a status symbol rather than a timekeeping instrument purely used for their functionality. The design updates reflect this new approach and attitude towards timepieces. One of the new GMT Master II models - the steel, 6-digit Ref. 116710 from 2007 - display significant aesthetic changes, including a shinier finish, larger case and all-new Cerachrom ceramic bezel that give the watch more wrist presence than it’s ever had before. Like the “Coke” GMT Master II that introduced a new flavor to the masses, the blue and black “Batman” Ref. 116710BLNR released in 2013 piqued interest from many collectors. To date, I’ve only found one ad showing this latest evolution. Likewise I’ve only found one ad showing the BLRO “Pepsi” GMT Master II, the new icon of the storied GMT Master family. Ads for these coveted modern watches show only the watch and are very-simplistic - a stark contrast to older ads and the watch buying experience of yesteryear. It’ll be interesting to see how the modern references endure and are worn over time and if advertisements for the modern Rolex GMT Master II will ever resemble those great ads from back in the day.

Rolex GMT-Master Neo-Vintage

In the early 1980s, Rolex introduced the Ref. 16750 as the successor to the classic and well-known Ref. 1675. A number of design updates were made, including an eventual transition to a glossy dial that carried into later Refs. 16700 and 16710. Before the Ref. 16710 was released, Rolex introduced the Ref. 16760, the first GMT Master II that was also affectionately nicknamed the “Fat Lady” by the watch community. Its name described its thicker case, necessary for housing a new movement, that for the first time, allowed the wearer to adjust the hour hand only. The GMT Master II also featured an insert in a new colorway - a simple red and black combination that naturally led to its nickname, the “Coke” GMT. Scanning ads from the 1980s through early 2000s, you’ll definitely notice this “Coke” GMT Master II featured, showing the early “no-date” dial to later ads associating it with legendary pilot and lifelong Rolex wearer, General Chuck Yeager. The appeal of these neo-vintage watches is certainly tied to their resemblance to vintage models and their robustness and wearability. Certainly one appealing aspect of ads from the 1990s and early 2000s is that they connect us to the days where we could walk into a jewelry store and buy just about any Rolex. Watches and ads from this era keep the glory days of Rolex alive.