In Baselworld 2018, Rolex has managed to reignite interest in its classic travel watch by revising and improving the iconic GMT “Pepsi” watch. Originally designed in collaboration with Pan Am Airways, the Rolex GMT Master was created for Pan AM and issued to their pilots for long-haul flights. The GMT-Master II improved over the original version over the years with better movement, functionality to read time of three different timezones, and Cerachrom bezel to name a few. With a price tag of CHF 8,800 (USD$9,148) and long waiting lists, this piece is out of reach for many. So here are some other more affordable alternatives to the two-tone blue and red tool watch.
Tudor Black Bay GMT
A surprise release for Baselworld 2018 but obvious one to include in the list. Tudor being the sister company of Rolex and the more affordable one of the two, it does make sense to include this piece in the range. I’m really digging the toolish look with the matte burgundy and blue anodized aluminum bezel, colors which were taken from existing Black Bay models. Coming with the new calibre MT 5652 with 70 hours power reserve and 200 meters water resistance makes this an ultimate everyday watch. Just make this in the Tudor Black bay Fifty-Eight 39mm case size instead of the 41mm and I’ll be rushing to the stores to get one.
Tag Heuer Aquaracer GMT Red/ Blue Bezel WAY201F
This 2017 release is one GMT watch since a long time to feature a blue and red bezel. Part of the Aquaracer series, it comes with the same 43mm stainless steel case that is 300 meters water resistant. The attractive case has a mixture of polished and brushes finishes and houses the Calibre 7 movement which has a 28,800 vph and a power reserve of about 42 to 46 hours. The horizontally recessed streaked black dial adds character paired with the dodecagon aluminum red, blue polished 24 hour scale bidirectional turning bezel. There is also the cyclops over the 3 o’clock date window but it’s either a love it or hate it for some.
Steinhart GMT-OCEAN One 39 blue-red
Steinhart the German company has attracted both a legion of fans as well its fair share of controversies. It’s quite apparent with some of their offerings, unique is not what you would describe them but they make up with their fine finishing at an affordable price. This particular piece is worth trying out with the new 39mm case makes it excellent for slim wrists though I still find the lug to lug still a bit tall at 47.6mm. Equipped with the reliable ETA 2893-2 movement, 300 meters water resistance, sapphire glass and the Superluminova BGW9 lume makes this watch a hit for many.