Rolex GMT-Master II 126711CHNR Oystersteel and Everose Gold
Five reasons why I would go for a Root Beer over a Pepsi in Oystersteel
Two thousand eighteen will be regarded as one of the craziest years in Rolex's history, from a commercial point of view. If we take a screenshot of the last five years and the watches the brand has released at each edition of Baselworld, nothing is comparable to what happened when the Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi 126710 BLRO was first unveiled.
As far as I remember, the only moment in the brand's recent history where a new watch has created such a buzz was when Rolex presented, in 2016, the Daytona in steel with a ceramic bezel. Since Rolex introduced the Oystersteel Pepsi, the watch's market price has almost doubled, unless you have not decided to enter an endless list of people who are eager to get one from an authorized retailer. In doing so, the 2018 Pepsi has overshadowed other models belonging to the GMT-Master II collection, like the Rolex GMT-Master II 126711CHNR Oystersteel and Everose Gold for example, which represents a great option and is far more readily available too.
It's the same old story: once the brand launches a modern re-edition of one of its iconic timepieces, fans go nuts, demand far exceeds supply, and the result is people waiting at least two years to get their hands on their new timepiece. Rolex has long been considered not just a luxury watch brand, but rather a long-term form of investment and a growing number of people, most of which are not watch enthusiasts, approach the brand just because they're looking for an investment, given that it often guarantees a double-digit value growth in less than a year.
From a watch aficionado point of view, why concentrate on a watch with a recommended retail price of around €9.000, that has almost doubled its market price in a few months, given that Rolex's offering also includes a Steel and Everose Gold GMT-Master II?
Forget technical specifications for a while, they are pointless, and you may find plenty of details in the article dedicated to the Pepsi: the Root Beer, as Americans nicknamed it, shares the same base features with a Pepsi. I think it's more intriguing to talk whether a GMT-Master II 126711CHNR Oystersteel and Everose Gold could represent a valid option to a Oystersteel Pepsi or not, considering that the two watches' market values are comparable and, currently, are in favor of the Oystersteel and Everose Gold version over the Oystersteel one.
A combination of colors that has already become a benchmark
Most people focus on the red and blue Cerachrom bezel, that is no breaking news since it was initially introduced with the White Gold Pepsi a few years back. What is new instead is the Oystersteel and Everose Gold GMT Master II's black and brown bezel. The technology behind the design of a Cerachrom bezel has been perfectioned over the course of the years, and Rolex is today capable of creating a two-tone bezel with virtually any color combination featuring a seamless union between the two colors, which represent day and night hours respectively. Conversely, the Oystersteel Pepsi has been criticized since the blue, and red colors seem not to match perfectly, along the separation line.
The Oyster bracelet
Do you know why I would go for a white gold Pepsi rather than a steel Pepsi? Because I consider the GMT-Master II a modern Rolex and I, therefore, believe any Oyster bracelet works better than a Jubilee bracelet, on a sports watch. The Oystersteel Pepsi seems to mimic the original too much, and it's not possible to replace its Jubilee bracelet with anything else from the Rolex's parts catalog, which makes no sense.
It is in fact not possible to adopt an Oyster bracelet on a Oystersteel Pepsi. This feat represents one of the greatest constraints, and it is something you should consider as you might get bored of a Jubilee bracelet pretty soon. The only option, in this case, is to go for an aftermarket strap as it is the case with a Deepsea or a Submariner (Rubber-B).
It's not a dress watch, but the Root Beer is an all-rounder.
Defining an Oyster a dress watch is ridiculous although most people use it on every occasion, except during a gala evening where you're expected to wear a Cellini rather than a Submariner. If you look at one of the very first advertisements from Rolex, the brand used to feature a Submariner under a gentleman's cuff, to prove decisive it is an excellent choice when you're wearing a suit and a tie.
The Root Beer also has its ancestor.
It is the reference 16713, better known as the Tiger Eye. Although there are not so many similarities between a 16713 and the reference 126711CHNR, it is clear that Rolex drew inspiration from this reference when they designed the new GMT-Master II 126711CHNR Oystersteel and Everose Gold.
The brand's policy in recent years has been that of creating a great expectation, thus fueling a demand higher than supply. According to rumors, it seems the brand is gradually reducing its production volumes and, if we exclude the Cellini collection that has not yet taken off, every Oyster in Oystersteel requires a long waiting time and no discount or so at all.
Quite a strange scenario considering that Rolex is a high-volume brand, isn't it? The GMT-Master II in Oystersteel and Everose Gold has a retail price of €13,100, and the current market price is 10 to 15% higher than the official price list. It is a price that makes it in my opinion incredibly attractive if compared to the asking price of a Pepsi which is when I'm writing, close to €16,000.
(Photo credit: Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting by Peter Tung)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®