I’ve always been a fan of the Rolex GMT-Master II. In fact, for a long time, the background of my computer in the late 1990s was a picture of the reference 16710 because it was my dream watch. My love for gold only came later, but the GMT-Master (II) in precious metal has been one of my all-time favorite watches. German TV detective Derrick (from Aus der Reihe) sported one in several of the 281 episodes.

2023 Rolex GMT-Master II 126718GRNR

The 2023 Rolex GMT-Master II

The gold Rolex GMT-Master or GMT-Master II isn’t new. Indeed, there have been several iterations or references over the years. One of my favorites was the GMT-Master ref. 16758 — it’s also one that my Fratello colleague Mike owns. The GMT-Master II in full gold (16718) would be the version I would go for as I prefer to have the independently adjustable hour hand when crossing time zones.

When Rolex brought out the Everose gold GMT-Master II 126715CHNR in 2018, I was excited about it, and I still am. This year, however, Rolex introduced a new addition to the GMT-Master II family in yellow gold, ref. 126718GRNR, and a steel and gold (Rolex calls this “Rolesor”) model, ref. 126713GRNR. Unlike the previous Everose and Everose Rolesor models from 2018, the new additions come exclusively on a Jubilee bracelet.

A Jubilee looks vintage

The Rolex Jubilee bracelet is one of the most comfortable bracelets I’ve worn (I also included it in the overview of the best bracelets out there). I have one on a Datejust, and that’s also the first Rolex watch that came with one back in 1945. Since then, Rolex improved the Jubilee bracelet slowly but effectively, resulting in what it is today — a supple bracelet with an iconic design (and I don’t use this term lightly) and an Easylink comfort extension that can add an extra 5mm in length. Putting the GMT-Master II on a Jubilee bracelet gives it that vintage vibe, just like the “Root Beer” models from previous decades.

Modern specifications

Buying a gold Rolex GMT-Master 16758 or 16718 would tap into that vintage vibe even more, or you could just decide to find a real vintage GMT-Master in gold, like a reference 1675/8. However, if it’s possible to buy the new 2023 Rolex GMT-Master II at the retail price (€38,800), it would be very close to the price of a pre-owned or vintage model in good condition.

And to be honest, I think I’d be aiming for the modern 2023 Rolex GMT-Master in gold. It has a solid bracelet (the older models often had hollow links) and a ceramic bezel with a Cerachrom insert, adding some modernity to a classic-looking watch. Inside is the Rolex caliber 3285, ensuring an accuracy of ±2 seconds per day on average, well within chronometer standards. It also provides a power reserve of no less than 70 hours. However, to tell the truth, even with older Rolex watches, you never have to worry about the movement.

2023 Rolex GMT-Master II 126713GRNR


Besides the full-gold GMT-Master II with the Jubilee bracelet, Rolex also introduced the bi-color version (ref. 126713GRNR). My colleagues liked this version a bit better than the full-gold one, but as always, good taste is something that develops over time. Joking aside, it is mainly because the gray half of the bezel matches the steel parts of the watch a bit better, according to them. I agree to a certain extent, but I’ve noticed that in real life, the gray part of the bezel isn’t even that distinguishable from the black part. And I didn’t mind the black and gray color scheme on either version. It goes well with my hair (or what’s left of it) these days.

Gold always combined nicely with the GMT-Master (II)

The retail price of the 2023 Rolex GMT-Master II 126713GRNR is €16,450. This Rolesor GMT-Master II has the same vintage vibe as the full-gold 126718GRNR. A Rolex GMT-Master II 16713 in good condition can be found for just below that price, so based on the availability of the new one, there’s the option to go truly (neo-)vintage.

2023 Rolex GMT-Master II 126718GRNR

The best GMT is a Rolex GMT-Master II

I own a few watches with GMT complications and have owned the GMT-Master II (16710), and I still feel the modern GMT-Master II is the best GMT watch out there. Why? It’s simple. The GMT-Master II is a flyer GMT (or a “true” GMT). This means you set the 12-hour hand independently, and you can use the bezel for the 24-hour indication or to check a third time zone. The ceramic bezel has an incredibly smooth click per hour (the pre-ceramic versions had a little spring that made it click similarly to a Submariner or Sea-Dweller), the Jubilee is among the best bracelets out there, and the appearance of this watch is just iconic. Then there’s the backstory of the GMT-Master and Pan Am. Although it is just a story, it is nice to know this watch was developed at the request and with the help of real pilots.

Afterthoughts on the 2023 Rolex GMT-Master II

The changes that Rolex makes to its watches are often very minimal. However, it’s clear that a lot of thought goes into them. Adding a different color (gray) or offering another type of bracelet are incredibly minimal steps, but they yield surprising results. Until recently, the 18K Everose Rolex GMT-Master II 126715CHNR was my absolute favorite Rolex in precious metal. But now that the new yellow gold version is here on a Jubilee, this is my favorite.

2023 Rolex GMT-Master II 126718GRNR

Of all the watches I saw at Watches and Wonders, the 2023 Rolex GMT-Master II models, both in full gold and Rolesor, stuck with me the most. There were surely other watches that were more technically advanced or had (hand) finishing to a higher standard, but it is also about attractiveness. To me, the GMT-Master II with a Jubilee bracelet is a very attractive sports watch with an additional (and useful) complication.

What’s your favorite GMT-Master? Let me know in the comments.

You can also follow me on Instagram: @rjbroer

Watch specifications

GMT-Master II
126718GRNR (Yellow gold), 126713GRNR (Yellow gold and stainless steel)
Case Material
18K Yellow gold (126718GRNR); Yellow gold and stainless steel (126713GRNR)
Case Dimensions
Diameter: 40mm
Case Back
Yellow gold (126718GRNR), stainless steel (126713GRNR)
Caliber 3285 — automatic winding, 28,800vph frequency, 70-hour power reserve. Guaranteed accuracy of ±2 seconds per day on average. Paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring, High-performance Paraflex shock absorbers.
Water Resistance
100 meters / 10 ATM
Jubilee bracelet, 5-piece links, Folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Easylink 5 mm comfort extension link
Time, date, additional time zone(s), rotating bezel with 24-hour scale
€38,800 (126718GRNR) / €16,450 (126713GRNR)
Five-year international warranty