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WOTW: Haotong Li’s Rolex GMT-Master II “Pepsi” in Stainless Steel

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Haotong Li won the BMW International Open in Germany after a one-hole playoff. This was Li’s third win on the DP World Tour and ends his four year winning drought. After sinking a long putt on the first playoff hole, Li celebrated by holding up the silver trophy while wearing what looked like a Rolex GMT-Master II “Pepsi” on his wrist.

WOTW Specs

Name: Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II
Reference: 126710blro-0002
Limited: No
Date: 2021 – Present
Case: 904L Oystersteel
Bezel: Blue & Red Cerachrom Ceramic
Dial: Black
Size: 40mm
Movement: Calibre 3285, 31 Jewels
Power Reserve: 70 Hours
Glass: Saphire Crystal
Waterproof: 100 Meters
Bracelet: Oyster, 904L Oystersteel
Price: $10,550 (~$24,000)

The GMT-Master II is currently one of the most collectable pieces in the Rolex line. It was first released in 1954 as a watch designed for pilots so they could keep track of an additional time zone when flying to new destinations. The current generation GMT is grown a little larger than the original but keeps the legendary Pepsi bezel colors. The GMT gained the Pepsi nickname from the two-tone bezel that is a similar blue and red that the cola company uses for their brand. Li’s GMT looks to be the newest version, reference 126710, that was released 2021.

The current GMT-Master II keeps the same 40mm case size as the previous version and it is made from a solid block of 904L Oystersteel. This version of stainless steel is harder to machine but is far more corrosion resistant than other grades. The caseback is solid Oystersteel and screws down into the case to ensure its 100 meter waterproof rating. On the right side of the case, protected by thick crown gaurds, is the screw-down crown that features Rolex’s Triplock sealing system.

On top of the case is the legendary GMT bezel that is crafted from Oystersteel. This bidirectional bezel features a Red and Blue insert that is made from Rolex’s Cerachrom ceramic for its lightweight and extreme scratch resistance. The numerals are recessed and filled with a silver paint that contains actual platinum in it for a luster that cannot be matched any other way.

Rolex originally used an acrylic called Bakelite in the first GMT Master models but it was brittle and scratched very easily. Aluminum replaced Bakelite in the late 50’s for its durability and was used up until the 2005 when Cerachrom was used on the 50th Anniversary GMT-Master II. That ceramic insert was black and it took Rolex until 2013 to perfect and release the two color inserts.

The black dial is surrounded by traditional Rolex hour markers that are crafted from white gold and filled with Chromalight luminescent material for a bright blue glow at night. Traditional hour, minute, and sweeping second hands are joined by a fourth hand that tracks and additional time zone and is finished in red. All of those hands are crafted in white gold as well to ensure that they don’t fade or tarnish over time. The date window sits at 3 o’clock and is covered by a sapphire crystal with a magnifying cyclops window.

Running this complicated machine is Rolex’s Calibre 3285 perpetual, self-winding, automatic movement. The 3285 is a certified Superlative Chronometer by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) as are all Rolex movements. After the COSC certification Rolex then cases the movement and runs tests that are even more stringent to ensure the accuracy of the watch. A Paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring and Rolex’s Paraflex shock absorbers ensure that the 3285 can take shocks and temperature changes without effecting the precision of the movement. A power reserve of 70 hours allows you the flexibility to rotate this piece in your collection without having to reset the time and date.

Rolex’s Oyster bracelet first was offered in 1948 while leather or fabric straps were the more popular option. It is crafted from solid, flat links of Oystersteel with polished center links for a classic look. Rolex’s folding Osyterlock safety clasp holds the watch on your wrist and the Easylink extension link lets you dial in the perfect fit with 5mm of adjustment. This version of the GMT has been loved and hated by the collecting community since its release. Typically the GMT has been offered with the more dressy Jubilee bracelet but in 2014 a white gold GMT Pepsi was released with a white gold Oyster bracelet. The Oyster bracelet was an easy way to let people know you had the more rare and expensive Pepsi. The current version is wildly debated as to how it influences the price of the now discontinued (in 2018) white gold model.

Currently the GMT Pepsi is a highly sought after piece and watch fans are willing to join waiting lists that are years long to try and get one. If you are able to get in line, wait patiently, and get your GMT then you will pay the reasonable $10,550 retail price for it. If you can’t wait that long, or have no relationship with an authorized dealer, then you can expect to pay around $24,000 on the secondary market.

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I have been an employee at GolfWRX since 2016. In that time I have been helping create content on GolfWRX Radio, GolfWRX YouTube, as well as writing for the front page. Self-proclaimed gear junkie who loves all sorts of golf equipment as well as building golf clubs!

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WOTW: Joohyung Kim’s Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph “Panda”

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The Wyndham Championship gave a young pro, Joohyung Kim, his first PGA Tour win! Kim shot a 61 in the final round to win by five strokes at Sedgefield Country Club in North Carolina. Kim was presented with the silver trophy that he held high while wearing a discontinued Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph “Panda.”

WOTW Specs

Name: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph
Reference: 26331ST.OO.1220ST.03
Limited: No
Date: 2017 – 2022
Case: Stainless Steel
Bezel: Stainless Steel
Dial: Silver Toned Grande Tapisserie
Size: 41mm
Movement: Calibre 2385, 37 Jewels
Power Reserve: 40 Hours
Glass: Saphire Crystal
Waterproof: 50 Meters
Bracelet: Stainless Steel Royal Oak
Price: $24,500 (~$60,000)

Audemars Piguet, sometimes referred to as just AP, was founded in 1875 by Jules Audemars and Edward Piguet. As one of the largest and most respected names in luxury watchmaking, they are still family owned to this day. Paul-Edward Piguet is the great-grandson of Edward and on the board of directors, ensuring the 147-year-old company holds true.

Audemars Piguet was in rough financial shape back back in 1970 with quartz movement watches taking over the industry. Quartz movements are more accurate and far cheaper than mechanical ones, offering precision timepieces to the masses. In 1972, Audemars Piguet looked to one of the most famous watch designers, Gerald Genta, to create a piece that would save the company. Genta did not disappoint, creating one of the most iconic watches ever in the Royal Oak. Introduced in 1972, the Royal Oak was larger and more expensive than any other stainless steel sports watch in history.

The Royal Oak Chronograph that Kim is wearing was introduced in 1972 and looks like it was discontinued earlier this year. The case is made from stainless steel and measures in at 41mm across. On the right side of the case is the crown and 2 pushers to run the chronograph sub dials. The caseback is solid stainless steel, with an etched Royal Oak logo, and held down with 8 screws. On top of the case is the iconic 8-sided Royal Oak bezel, crafted in matching stainless steel. The top of the bezel has a brushed finish and contains 8 hex screws that hold it in place.

The dial is again a legendary AP design, the Grande Tapisserie texture. Grande Tapisserie is raised squares with some texture that looks like very fine milling marks on it. That dial is done in a Silver Tone that looks more white in the light. White gold hour markers and hands add some more luxury to the watch and should keep its color for years to come. Three black sub dials are arranged at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock for timing minutes and hours along with the pushers on the side.

Inside the Panda is a self-winding automatic movement designed and built in house by Audemars Piguet. The Calibre 2358 is based off of a Frédéric Piguet caliber 1185 that was originally designed in 1988. The 2358 features 40 hours of power reserve and contains 37 jewels. The 2358 has been used in quite a few timepieces and could be considered a workhorse for Audemars Piguet.

The bracelet was designed to flow perfectly with the case when Genta first designed it. The Royal Oak bracelet is crafted from stainless steel and the full width lugs are held together with 2 smaller links. The outside of bracelet is finished in a brushed look while the beveled edges are polished to a mirror-like look. The clasp features a twin trigger release with and thick steel swing arms for durability. An AP logo on the claps is the only way you can really tell it is there, almost invisible.

The Panda looks like it was discontinued this year and prices have been slowly increasing since then. If you would like one of these very popular watches, expect to pay around $60,000 in the current market.

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WOTW: Sean Crocker’s Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Golf Edition

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Week number two on the PGA Tour where the winner wasn’t wearing a watch, so we head over to Scotland where Sean Crocker blessed us with his Omega! Sean won the Hero Open with a 1 stroke victory over Eddie Pepperell. Sean celebrated his first DP World Tour win with his caddie while wearing an Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Golf Edition on his wrist.

WOTW Specs:
Name: Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Co-Axial Master Chronometer
Reference: 220.12.41.21.01.002
Limited: No
Date: 2017 – Current
Case: Stainless Steel
Bezel: Stainless Steel
Dial: Black
Size: 41mm
Movement: Caliber 8900, 39 Jewels
Power Reserve: 60 Hours
Glass: Saphire Crystal
Waterproof: 150 Meters
Bracelet: Black and Green Nato Strap
Price: $5,400 (~$4,000)

Omega has been making precision timepieces since 1848 when the company was founded. They have had the privilege of making watches for the British Royal Flying Corps as well as being the official timing brand for the Olympic Games. The first Seamaster was introduced in 1948 and since then has been one of the most popular lines in the Omega catalog. The first prototypes were built in 1932 as dive watches for famous diver, Yves Le Prieur. The Aqua Terra was introduced in 2002 as a watch you could wear under the ocean or with a suit to the office. Sean’s Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M is a the Golf Edition that was released in 2017 with the green accents.

Omega’s Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M is a 41mm watch with a case made from solid stainless steel. The right side of the case features the screw-down crown but no crown guards, interesting for a dive watch. The stainless steel caseback threads into the case and does feature a large sapphire crystal viewing window to view the mechanical movement inside. The bezel on the case is made from solid stainless steel and is polished to a mirror-like finish. The dial on Sean’s Seamaster is finished in black and features horizontal lines that are meant to mimic teak planks on ships. Around the dial are triangular hour markers, filled with luminescent material, that glow for easy reading in low light. The date window sits at the 6 o’clock position and the dial features green markings and second hand, showing off the golf influence.

Inside the Seamseter is a Caliber 8900 self-winding, automatic movement designed by Omega. The 8900 is the first Omega movement to be METAS certified as a Master Chronometer. METAS is the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology and have more stringent certification methods than the traditional, and more famous, COSC chronometer certification. Omega’s Co-Axial escapement was engineered to better handle the energy transfer and make the movement more precise. Omega designed the 8900 to withstand magnetic fields up to 15,000 Gaus due to parts like the silicon balance spring. The twin barrels are mounted in series and offer the wearer about 60 hours of power reserve. The winding rotor, along with other parts of the movement, is finished with Geneva waves for a more luxurious look.

There are many options for straps and bracelets with the Aqua Terra series of Seamasters and the Golf Edition comes with a black and green Nato strap. The Nato strap is made from nylon and comes together with a stainless steel pin buckle. There is also a Golf Edition done in blue and orange if that is more your style. This Gold Edition Seamaster retails for $5,400 but the price is a little softer on the secondary market. You can pick one up from a grey market dealer for around $4,000 currently.

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WOTW: Nick Faldo’s Blancpain Fifty Fathoms 500 Fathoms Titanium at The 150th Open Championship

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The 150th Open Championship this week was one that we will never forget. Cam Smith played an unbelievable final round but decided to keep his wrist bare while accepting the Claret Jug. Thankfully Sir Nick Faldo was on location and wearing a Blancpain Fifty Fathoms 500 Fathoms dive watch on his wrist.

WOTW Specs

Name: Blancpain Fifty Fathoms 500 Fathoms Titanium
Reference: 50015-12B30-52B
Limited: Yes, 500 Pieces
Date: 2009
Case: Titanium
Bezel: Titanium Saphire Crystal
Dial: Black
Size: 48mm
Movement: Blancpain Calibre 1315, 35 Jewels
Power Reserve: 120 Hours
Glass: Saphire Crystal
Waterproof: 10,000 Feet
Bracelet: Sail-Canvas Strap
Price: $24,700 (~$15,000)

Blancpain is not the most common name when it comes to watches but they have been making timepieces for over 280 years. Jehan-Jacques Blancpain started the company in 1735 in Villeret, Switzerland. Introduced in 1953, the Fifty Fathoms line is one of the most popular lines in the Blancpain lineup. Sir Nick’s 500 Fathoms was a limited edition of just 500 pieces for the entire world. It is a larger dive watch, clocking in at 48mm, but built from titanium so it is still lightweight. The titanium case has the traditional screw-down crown at 3 o’clock and then a decompression valve at the 10 o’clock location. The 500 Fathoms is waterproof rated to a wild 10,000 feet and the decompression valve helps to ensure no damage to the watch when diving to extreme depths. The back of the case screws down and contains a very large display back window to view the beautiful automatic movement. On top of the case is a large uni-directional bezel that features an easy to read diving scale. The bezel is crafted out of lightweight titanium and contains a diving scale that is covered in luminescent material. The bezel is then covered with sapphire crystal that is domed for a special look that also is extremely scratch resistant.

The dial on the 500 Fathoms is black and grey but as you look closely textured in a unique pattern. The base of the dial is a dark grey and then black sections are actually raised to contain the 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock Arabic numerals. Those numerals are very large and filled with luminescent material for very easy reading in low light or dark water during dives. The hands on the watch are finished in matte black and the date window sits at the 4 o’clock position. Inside the titanium armor is a Blancpain self-winding automatic movement, the Calibre 1315. The 1315 features a beautiful winding rotor that is styled after a ship’s propeller. A triple balance wheel design gives the wearer almost 120 hours of power reserve while running smoothly on 35 jewels. A glucydur free sprung balance is made from beryllium bronze for added precision since it does not expand or contract much with temperature change.

The fabric strap is made from woven sail canvas that is extremely durable and contains a rubber backing for comfort on the wrist. At 24mm wide and held to the lugs on the case with hex screws, the strap is extremely durable. A double deployant clasp cannot be accidentally released, you have to press down the twin triggers in order to release the clasp. The market for Blancpain watches is not near as strong as some of the bigger brands so you are able to get this watch at a good discount. The retail price for one of these 500 pieces was $24,700, but you are now able to get one on your wrist for around $15,000 on the secondary market.

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