New Rolex GMT-Master II in Yellow Gold and Two-Tone: Specs and History

New Rolex GMT-Master II in Yellow Gold and Two-Tone: Specs and History

Rolex made a splash on the opening day of Watches and Wonders Geneva 2023. They introduced a new movement (caliber 4341), a new model (Perpetual 1908), and a heap of new variants across their current catalog. The new Rolex GMT-Master II – offered in solid 18 ct yellow gold and Rolex’s two-tone ‘Yellow Rolesor’ (steel and yellow gold) – features a black and gray 24-hour bezel with gold markings. Both variants are offered on Jubilee bracelets. Let’s take a closer look at these new GMTs and briefly discuss their historical significance. 

Rolex GMT-Master II in Full Yellow Gold and Two-Tone Yellow Rolesor

 Rolex GMT-Master II in full 18 ct yellow gold (left) and two tone Yellow Rolesor (right)

Image Source: press center

Rolex’s new precious metal GMT-Master II variants are mechanically identical to all 1267xx references, originally introduced in 2018. The 40mm watch features an in-house caliber 3285, 100 meters of water resistance, a bidirectional 24-hour Cerachrom bezel, and of course, GMT functionality. The new references – 126718GRNR (yellow gold) and 126713GRNR (yellow Rolesor) – feature a brand new black and gray bicolor bezel. It offers enough contrast to clearly distinguish day/night cycles without distracting from the star of the show: the Jubilee bracelet. The two-tone's steel and gold Jubilee bracelet (pictured above on the right) is the only such example in Rolex’s entire catalog. The full yellow gold Jubilee (pictured above on the left) is the first on a GMT-Master since the early 1980’s. These watches are not only beautiful, they’re historically significant for the brand. 

The Precedent for Yellow Gold GMT-Masters 

Yellow Gold Rolex GMT-Master II

Image Source: press center

The new yellow gold GMT-Master II is a big deal for Rolex. Solid yellow gold GMT-Masters are released few and far between. The first example was actually the first GMT-Master: a limited run of the introductory reference 6542 featured solid yellow gold cases and bracelets. This was around 1954. The next example, and the last on a Jubilee bracelet until today,  came in the early 1980’s with the reference 16758. Over 20 years later in 2005, the solid gold reference  116718 was released. This was a revolutionary model for Rolex. It ushered in the ‘six-digit’ generation of GMT-Master II, establishing multiple flagship properties for Rolex: the super case, maxi dial, and Cerachrom bezel insert. Simply put, the release of a yellow gold GMT-Master II is a momentous occasion. This watch instantly achieves grail status for many collectors, and will undoubtedly be hard to get your hands on. 

Final Thoughts

Rolex two-tone Yellow Rolesor GMT-Master II

Image Source: press center

Rolex hit it out of the park with both of these watches. The black and gray bezel insert is interesting on its own (and honestly reminds me of the Seiko SSK001), but a solid gold GMT-Master II on a Jubilee is remarkable. The two-tone variant is also a great looking watch; it's entirely unique due to its steel and gold Jubilee bracelet. While they're both phenomenal releases, the all gold variant will be remembered for decades to come. For more coverage of Watches and Wonders Geneva 2023, stay tuned here on the Everest Journal.

Header Image Source: press center

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.