At the recent grand timepiece show, Rolex unveiled its latest collection to an eager watch world. Among the surprises: a green-black bezel GMT-Master II with a left-sided crown! Will wonders never cease?

The anticipation around the watch world’s first major conclave in nearly three years was particularly palpable leading into the Geneva show a few weeks back. Ben Bridge Jeweler’s President/CEO, head of merchandising and lead watch buyer were at the show to get a first look at the new models and meet with the leading watchmaking brands. As is the case with any major watch-unveiling event, all collective eyes were on Rolex.

Of course, Rolex did not disappoint, revealing many new models that kept in lock-step with the brand’s traditional approach of measured evolutionary change in its products. But, in at least one new model, Rolex makes a strong case for it being more of a revolutionary shift.

The Rolex GMT-Master II

While the aim of giving customers more options is certainly not unexpected from Rolex, the execution of this new watch is a bit unexpected. The stunning timepiece is constructed with the crown on the left side of the case, instead of the traditional right-side location, and further, the date aperture is at 9 o’clock, instead of the expected 3 o’clock position. This so-called “destro” orientation (an Italian term that has come to mean something designed to be worn on the right hand) certainly offers a functional advantage to left-handed customers who might desire access to the crown by wearing the watch on their right wrists. But, left or right, the unique orientation is a bold, differentiating statement courtesy of Rolex.

As if that wasn’t enough, the rotating bezel is crafted with a dynamic half-green, half-black Cerachrom insert. This is a first-of-its-kind color combination for the GMT-Master II, and the ever-creative Rolex nickname mill is already running rampant (“Green Hornet” or “Green Lantern” anyone?).

On the Wrist Experiments

While originally developed in 1955 as a pilot’s tool watch, over time the GMT-Master has become the Rolex of choice for global travelers. In 1982, Rolex introduced the GMT-Master II with a movement that allowed the hour hand to be set independently from the other hands. That triangle-tipped bold green 24-hour hand has become the timepiece’s de facto style statement as it can be set to display local and reference time or local and any second time zone.

In this new left-handed execution, additional style points are awarded to its jet-setter owners, in spades. As stated, a left-handed customer now has easier access to the crown of the new GMT-Master II if worn on the right wrist, with the crown in its traditional outward position. The cyclops lens date aperture is now oriented on the left side of the case, as well, which is a more efficient viewing position for the right wrist. But, just the appearance of perfectly designed left-crown GMT timepiece on the right wrist delivers a “something different” look when you are traveling out and about.

For something really different, you can certainly try wearing the new GMT-Master II on your left wrist. The “destro” orientation becomes even more unexpected and intriguing to the eye, while the location of the crown further up your wrist is just as comfortable as wearing it on your right. In fact, many customers will prefer this unusual and stylish wearing approach, whether right or left-handed. There is just something so subtle and cool about the timepiece’s eye appeal, wherever it ends up on you.

Moreover, the gorgeous green/black Cerachrom bezel insert, in keeping with the spirit of the watch itself, pretty much begs for its own experimentation. Try it black up, green down; the reverse; split laterally half and half; and every colorful angle in between. In a very real sense, the ways you choose to wear the new Rolex GMT-Master II make it very much your own. To up the bezel style quotient, the recessed graduations and numerals are PVD coated with platinum, and the knurled edging makes it a pleasure to click around and find the perfect color display for your mood (as well as for reading and using the bezel for its traditional timing purposes, of course).

The Details

The Caliber 3285, introduced in 2018, still ticks reliably inside the 40mm Oystersteel case with a 70-hour power reserve. But Rolex reported that they had to adapt their internal precision measuring processes for this model (most likely because of the right-to-left flip of the components).

The 40mm Oyster case carries all the movement security and water resistance so closely associated with its intended design: It is guaranteed waterproof to 100 meters (330 feet). The fluted case-back is hermetically screwed into the middle case, which is honed from a single block of corrosion-resistant Oystersteel. The Triplock winding crown carries triple-waterproof protection and is further protected by an integrated crown guard. The cyclops-lens fitted crystal is crafted from virtually scratch-proof sapphire and receives an anti-reflective coating for improved legibility.

Available on a steel three-link-across Oyster bracelet with the patented Oysterlock safety clasp and EasyLink bracelet extension system or on a stunning, more ornate, five-link-across Jubilee steel bracelet, this ground-breaking GMT-Master II carries all the ear-marks of a future Rolex collectible.

Visit Ben Bridge Jeweler to explore this new Rolex masterpiece and the fun world of options it opens up.