Baselworld 2014: New Rolex GMT-Master II with “Pepsi” Bezel

Traditionalists rejoice: the GMT Master with a red and blue “Pepsi” bezel – the watch that graced the wrists of the Concorde test pilots – is back, and it’s better than ever. Bringing it back wasn’t as easy. The new bezel is as much a technological feat as it is a return of an aesthetic icon. The complex process for creating Cerachrom bezels, and some basic rules of chemistry, conspired to make the rebirth a challenging process.  

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Rolex uses a patented, proprietary system to create Cerachrom bezels. It begins with with an entirely red  mono-block disk, one section of which is chemically modified at the granular level to change the red to blue, with a perfectly clear demarcation between the colors. Red is an especially difficult color to work with, because firing the material affects the color. Rolex worked with a team of scientists to solve the problem, allowing them to revive the original GMT Master’s colors. read more

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Watch Review: 5 Square and Rectangular Watches Under $3,000

Are you a fan of four-sided watches and looking for a “Square Deal?” In this watch review feature from our archives, we take a look at five watches from Eterna, Fortis, Frédérique Constant, Nomos and Oris, all with square or rectangular cases and all priced under $3,000*.

Square and rectangular cases have a venerable history reaching back to the earliest days of the wristwatch. Although they’ve nearly always been outnumbered by round ones, their appeal has endured a full century. Some of the most famous watches ever made have been rectilinear: the Santos-Dumont, a square model that Cartier launched commercially in 1911 (the company had produced a prototype several years earlier); the Movado Polyplan, from 1912, a curved, elongated rectangle (there were also oval Polyplan models); the Cartier Tank, from 1919; the Gruen Curvex, from 1935; the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso, introduced in 1931; and, an icon of the quartz revolution, the razor-thin Concord Delirium, from 1979. read more

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Reviewing the Swatch Sistem51

The Swatch Sistem51 is certainly the cheapest watch we’ve ever reviewed on, and we are doing it without any shame or regrets. Why? Because the Swatch Sistem51 is clearly one of the most important new watches of the last 10 years.

Like the first Swatch watch in 1983, this new automatic watch is a major industrial milestone that could (emphasis on “could” because, for the moment, we are not sure of possible future developments) change the face of the Swatch Group and indeed the whole watch industry. read more

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