Why Is It So Hard to Get a Pepsi Rolex GMT-Master II?

Why Is It So Hard to Get a Pepsi Rolex GMT-Master II?

The prospect of buying a watch is always exciting, and like many of us, I have a few at the top of my list. However, one has always been out of my reach: the Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi (reference: 126710). I’ve always wondered why this particular watch is so unobtainable. So, I decided to do some digging and ask Rolex experts and authorized dealers to give me the hard facts about the Pepsi GMT-Master II. I was pretty shocked by what I found. 

The only group who really knows why this watch is not easily available is Rolex S.A. I have zero direct access to them, and they infamously (and smartly) veil their secrets. Leaks just don’t happen with Rolex. The information gathered in this article is a combination of what Rolex has told their salespeople to tell customers (jewelry stores) and what I’ve been told by press people who have had access to Rolex staff during the famed tradeshow, Watches and Wonders.

Bi-Color Cerachrom Isn’t Easy

Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi Ref. 126710

Image Source: timeandtidewatches.com

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s dig into what Rolex is telling their team. The most common thing told to Rolex ADs is that manufacturing the bi-color “Pepsi” Cerachrom inserts is very difficult. Supposedly, the inserts have an incredibly high failure rate. One Rolex AD informed me that about 50% of the produced inserts are failed by Rolex’s quality control process, as told to them by Rolex. The failure comes from the red color. At times, it blends with the blue, resulting in a strange wavy look.

I was able to get my hands on a Red/Blue BLRO and a Black/Blue BLNR insert. The location of where the two colors met on the BLNR insert was quite crisp. It was a pretty tight line. However, I was quite surprised to see how imperfect the line was on the BLRO. It was somewhat shocking to see how smudged it looked under high magnification. You’d think that Rolex would have pulled this insert, but knowing how high the demand is, it must have been just good enough. 

Little Supply, Lots of Demand

Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi Ref. 126710

Image Source: timeandtidewatches.com

The next reason that I commonly heard was that GMT-Master watches (all references, not just Pepsi) are so sought after there aren’t remotely enough to fulfill demand. To make this even worse, the amount of Pepsi Rolex GMT-Master IIs delivered compared to other GMT-Master references is fractional. I was told about one Pepsi to three BLNRs. When I asked approximately how many GMT-Masters were being requested compared to other models, I was shockingly told three times that of any other model. 

Lastly, the Pepsi insert is also used in precious metal Rolex GMT-Masters and all steel models. Since it’s used in multiple models, the amount of steel Rolex watches that can use a Pepsi insert is reduced. This might seem like a small consideration at first glance, but all other GMT-Master inserts are specifically made for that model. For example, the brown and black insert in the GMT Master Root Beer which is not offered in an all steel version. Vice versa the BLNR is only offered in an all steel version. 

Fingers Crossed

Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi 126710

Image Source: watchfinder.com

Considering all of these reasons, it makes sense why this watch is so darn hard to get. I personally have been on the list for five years! Even when you could purchase a Hulk or a BLNR out of the display case, like you could back in 2018 , you could not get a Pepsi. This watch has become an icon, and with that, we all want one. But frankly, only a few will be lucky enough to wear one on the daily.

Header Image Source: timeandtidewatches.com

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