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Rolex 16710 vs. 126710: The Two Coveted GMT-Master II “Pepsi” Models

April 13th, 2020

Rolex introduced the GMT-Master in 1954 in association with the Pan American Airways.

However, the brand made a version in 1955 that featured the red-and-blue GMT bezel for the 24-hour display. And, the red-and-blue bezel watch was dubbed as “Pepsi”.

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The iconic “Pepsi” has been a cornerstone of Rolex’s pilots’ watch collection. The latest Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi demonstrates the renewal of the classic keeping its original aesthetics.

Indeed, the other classic dual-tone bezels like the black-and-blue Rolex GMT-Master “Batman” and the black-and-red GMT-Master “Coke” are cherished by collectors.

However, the GMT-Master red-and-blue Pepsi bezel is yet considered as the symbolic pilots’ watch of the brand.

Thus, let’s today have a quick look at two current and highly coveted Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi references – 16710 and 126710.

The Rolex GMT-Master II “Pepsi” Reference 16710

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The Rolex GMT-Master II 16710 is a significant reference because it is the second version of this collection.

Rolex introduced the new iteration with the automatic Calibre 3185 movement, housed within a slimmer case.

However, the manufacturer made several upgrades to the watch during its virtually 20years production period.

  • Rolex launched the new Calibre 3186 movement, replacing the Calibre 3185 COSC-certified movement.
  • The new movement provided similar hour hands that users can adjust independently.
  • However, it came with an improved and new Parachrom hairspring.
  • The brand launched a laser-etched crystal crown at 6 o’clock position.
  • The later versions of reference 16710 also received a case with no lugs.
  • They were denoted by the letter “T” at the end of the reference number like “16710T”.

Moreover, Rolex upgraded the luminous material over the years from Tritium to LumiNova to Super-LumiNova.

Alternatively, the aluminium bezel remained consistently that gradually faded with time and exposure to sunlight.

Rolex rectified this defect with the new generation of GMT-Master II models.

However, it might be interesting to know that many collectors covet for this unique aluminium bezel “flaw”.

The Rolex GMT-Master II “Pepsi” Reference 126710

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Rolex introduced the stainless steel GMT-Master II 126710BLRO in 2018 with a ceramic Pepsi bezel.

The reference also featured the 5-link Jubilee bracelet, making it look ideally dressier than its earlier siblings.

However, while the watch sports a rugged steel construction, the GMT-Master II 126710 is highly desirable among collectors.


Both the reference 16710 and 126710 are made of stainless steel. However, reference 126710 offers a significantly more bold case design.

  • The case comes with broader lugs, thicker crown guards and a more prominent Triplock crown.
  • However, the Rolex made the red-and-blue bezel on the reference 126710 out of Cerachrom.
  • The ceramic is more robust and resistant to fading and scratches.
  • Thus, the Pepsi Cerachrom bezel will not change its colours or fade.

Interestingly, the reference 126710 will not bear a similar unique character like the reference 16710 with aluminium bezel.

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However, Rolex offered a bolder Maxi dial, wider hour markers and hands to the new GMT-Master II 126710.

The Chromalight luminous element on the dial provides a vibrant blue glow for nearly eight hours.

Moreover, this new reference houses a new Perpetual Calibre 3285 movement. It offers 70hours of power reserve.

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