Urban legend has it that Rolex may or may not have made a Rolex GMT with a white dial and a two color aluminum bezel for Pan Am around the 1950’s. This watch is known as the Rolex GMT Master “Albino” Ref: 6254. For us here at Everest, after a week of internet research, we cannot confirm this to be true or false. However, Hodinkee covered a Rolex that fits this description and is believed to be a genuine Rolex GMT Master that Rolex created. What we do know is that we love the idea of this watch and we wish that the combination of colors would have made it into the permanent collection of the GMT Master.
Rolex folklore has it that Rolex designed the Rolex GMT Master for transcontinental airplane pilots to use to track two time zones. For example they could easily track the time zone of the location that they took off from and also the time zone of the location that they planned to land in. It is likely that due to the popularity and prestige of the Pan Am company and its focus on transcontinental flight, that Rolex and Pan Am worked together on this design with Pan Am’s pilots in mind for this multi-time zone tracking device.
Since Everest has no affiliation with Rolex whatsoever, and we are just a group of passionate watch guys making incredibly cool stuff for Rolex owners, let us weave a tail of hope that someone in the Rolex design department feels that 2021 is the year to make this incredible design a reality!
After a ton of research we found a few really cool people who have modified their Rolex to achieve this unique look. First, let us take a look at a set of Explorer II’s that have had their steel bezel removed and replaced with a GMT Master Bezel mechanism. Rolex is notorious for creating interchangeable parts. This dates back to when they first started making sports watches. As we can see here they must have reused the cases from the GMT-Master for the Explorer II allowing for this mod to happen with ease. This franken-watch may turn heads, and if you wish to do this on your Explorer II we suggest trusting this modification to a professional watchmaker trained in ensuring that the watch is water resistant after the work is done.
Next up is a much more invasive change to a Rolex. The famed Rolex modifier out of Germany, Blaken took a brand new Rolex GMT Master II and did some really cool stuff to it. They were able to create this homage to the watch in question flawlessly. Sadly, this watch is no longer. It had a very limited run and is sold out (of course it is, thanks 2020!!!). Blaken modified the case by removing the crown guards. They also replaced the ceramic bezel insert, created a custom aluminum insert, and developed an albino white dial with gilt hands. One added touch that Blaken did is to engrave the case back of the watch with a Pan Am logo and other unique identification to prove it is a limited production by Blaken. The watch is a complete stunner!
As mentioned above we can only hope this watch shows up in Rolex’s website catalog. It is a unicorn that we hope comes prancing from the hills of Switzerland, however we expect not to see it. The best we can do is hope to see a white dialed GMT Master go from the pages of message boards to the display case at our local Rolex AD.
What do you hope for from Rolex in 2021? Tell us in the comments below, here is to hoping!