Rolex GMT-Master II Reference 116719BLRO

The Rolex watch everyone has been waiting for is there, partly that is. This means that there is a Pepsi bezel for the new style GMT-Master II, it also means that Rolex decided to use it on a 18 carat white gold watch first. We sat down with Rolex in Baselworld and had a look at the new models and would like to start with this Rolex GMT-Master II 116719BLRO first.

Rolex GMT Master II Reference 116719BLROAs you know we have a weak spot for the GMT-Master watches and covered them many times. An overview from the very first mid-1950s Rolex GMT-Master models to the latest models with Cerachrom bezel can be found here. After Rolex introduced the GMT-Master II 116710LN (Lunette Noir) in 2005 and last year the 116710BLNR (Bleu Noir), we could only hope for the best that there would be a 116710BLRO (Blue Rouge). Being Rolex and being in charge of things, they decided to come with a – let’s say – luxury sports watch edition first, in 18 carat white gold.

The GMT-Master II 116719 has – like the 116710 and basically most of its predecessors – a 40mm diameter. It appears to be larger than that, due to the thicker lugs and crown protector. However, in the end the case remains 40mm and wearable for just anyone. A smart move on its own.

Inside, it uses the Rolex in-house developed and manufactured caliber 3186 movement. This movement enables an easy-to-use second timezone by setting the 24-hour hand independently from the normal hour hand. This has always been the case with the Rolex GMT-Master II though (not with the GMT-Master, which had a 24 hour hand that needed the bezel to indicate a second time zone), nothing new here.

The most interesting aspect of the GMT-Master II Pepsi in white gold is actually the Pepsi bezel. The red and blue Cerachrom insert for its bidirectional bezel is the big buzz. Its manufacturing process has actually (or perhaps ‘of course’) been patented by Rolex, which is simply said a process of creating a red ceramic bezel inlay and then modifying half of the insert to a blue color. This is being performed by converting each grain of the bezel insert from red to blue by changing the chemical composition of it. The 24 hour scale is being engraved in the ceramic and then coated with platinum via a PVD process.

As you can see in the photo below, the new GMT-Master II ref. 116719 on the left and a 1977 GMT-Master ref. 1675, the Pepsi colors are a bit different. The blue in the new Pepsi bezel in cerachrom has a bit of a purple glare in our opinion. Not disturbing by any means, but it is quite different from the aluminium bezel inlay in the pre-11671x models. It is also a bit different from the 116710BLNR blue as introduced in 2013.

Rolex GMT Master II Reference 116719BLROThe Rolex GMT-Master II Ref 116719BLRO has a list price of approximately 31.5K Euro including 21% VAT (26K excluding VAT). More information available on the official Rolex website.

Rolex GMT Master II Reference 116719BLRO
Rolex GMT Master II Reference 116719BLRO
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Robert-Jan Broer

Founder & Editor at Fratello Watches
Robert-Jan Broer, born in 1977, watch collector and author on watches for over a decade. Founder of Fratello Watches in 2004.
Rolex GMT Master II Reference 116719BLRO
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8 Comments

  1. MAG Reply

    You said: “Rolex decided to use it on a 18 carat white gold watch first”. However, unless you refer to posibles futures references in either yellow or everose gold, or a combination of these two with stainless steel (which I honestly doubt), I don’t think we will ever see a pepsi cerachrom bezel in another reference other than the new 116719 BLRO.
    Following the Rolex philosophy, they will never produce a 116710 BLRO (stainless steel), as there is no way to differentiate (at first sight) stainless steel and withe gold. Unless they change the color of the dial (blue could be a good option) but I don’t think Rolex will do that as blue dials are normally linked to gold watches.
    See what happened with Submariner 116619 LB (white gold – blue dial). Rolex also produces other Submariners with blue dials, the 116618 LB (yellow gold) and the 116613 LB (yellow gold and stainless steel), but there is not (and there will never be) a 116610 LB. Because they will never produce the same colors watch in white gold and stainless steel.
    All GMT Master enthusiastic around the world (including myself) were waiting for this watch, Rolex knew that and they took the advantage: Release it in Gold only. If you want it you pay for it and their margin goes to the moon.
    It’s a “golden” opportunity that Rolex will not refuse as they normally do.
    MAG.

    1. Th3 Answer Reply

      I hope and think you’re right Mag. I still have my 16710 Pepsi and I love it! No SS cerachrom successor is fine by me :)

  2. MAG Reply

    GONE WITH THE CERACHROM

    There has been some changes since the ceramic was introduced for the first time in the GMT Master II. Due tho these changes, all those who own a SS “Pepsi” bezel should keep it as it value will increase in the years to come. And the same applies to the “Coke” bezel, as we will never see it again in SS version. If Rolex decide one day to produce it in cerachrom -something that I really doubt- it will be another Gold version, or a combination of Gold and SS. So, we have to say good bye to it.

    However, the most important and the thing everybody will miss due to the ceramic introduction, it will be the “interchangeable bezels era” for the GMT Master.

    Even if it could be technically possible, Rolex will make sure you will never be able to do it. And if you do, the color of the 24-hours hand will betray you. So, another thing gone with the cerachrom era.

    MAG.

  3. Srk Reply

    @ MAG, I hear (read) what you say about new GMT and steel version but I am certain that Rolex will introduce this model when they milk the gold version out. For sure Rolex will milk this new GMT for years, but they also made Yachtmaster II in steel while this one only was available in gold models (also white gold/platinum) and allot of people did not see this comming.

  4. Wesley Reply

    @srk you cant compare the way the ym2 was introduced with this one.. They ss version is totally different then the wg/plat version imho if there will be another pepsi in the future it will be a YG not ss

  5. MAG Reply

    @Srk
    The SS version of the Yacht Master II is different to the WG/P one. While you see a blue ceramic bezel and a blue seconds sub-dial ring in the SS version (116680) the same are graved in platinum for the WG/P version (116689). So if you put the two watches together you will easily recognize which one is the gold watch and which one is the steel one.
    What Rolex will never do is producing the same watch in SS and WG using the same colors for bezels and dials, because if they do, it will be difficult for some people to recognize them.
    If Rolex does something very well is protecting the customer who paid 4 times the price of the SS version to have, at the end of the day, the same watch. There must be something different in between them.
    So, based on your comment, if Rolex one day would decide to produce the GMT Master II in SS with “Pepsi” ceramic bezel (suggested price of 9,000 Fr.) it would be literally laughing in the face to those clients who paid 36,000 Fr. for the WG version, and if I know Rolex a little bit, that will never happen.
    That’s why the Rolex GMT Master II – 116710 BLRO will never exist.
    MAG.

  6. FRED Reply

    It is wrong to say that the bial and bezel colors are the only ways of telling SS from WG in Rolex. I own a 114060 and a 116619LB and i can tell you that the colors of the metals are totally different, making very different watches even if they had the same dials:
    – the steel is grayish, with a nickel like “smoked” shine
    – the white gold is a little yellow (gold), a little pink, not just plain white, and definitely not gray at all; neither does it have the “smoked” shine.
    Whichever you choose, Rolex alloys are simply superb!

    1. MAG Reply

      @FRED
      Yes, you are right, SS and WG does not look the same, but you can only say that after a few minutes (maybe a few hours I would say) of watching them together very carefully.
      You can say it because you own both models (congratulation by the way) so you have all the time on the earth to compare them, but think for a moment in all those people that never had that opportunity, think also about your self before you had both watches in your hands, can you say you were able to be so assertive about the different shining shades of both metals as you are today, well I think not.
      So, as everybody else, the only and quick way to distinguish a 114060 and a 116619 (it can only be LB) it is the color of dial and bezel, black for the first, blue for the second. Not mentioning the absence of the calendar in the first model which could be (only in this case) another way of differentiate both watches.
      That’s (again) the reason why Rolex will never produce the same colors watches (dial and bezel) in SS and WG at the same time, which is the case for the “Pepsi” bezel for the GMT Master II, we will never see the SS version with that bezel, which was the reason of my first comment.
      Now, if someone in this community can find an example in the entire Rolex history that can prove the contrary of my conclusion I invite him/her to show it.
      MAG

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