The Rolex GMT-Master II has its roots in the original GMT-Master model that was introduced back in 1954 as a request from Pam American Airlines, which was looking for a watch that could display the exact time in two time zones simultaneously. GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) was used as the international civil time standard at the time. The watch became an instant success among airline pilots and was soon adopted by other airlines worldwide.
The GMT-Master II model was released in the early 80s alongside the original model. The main differences are that it features a movement capable of adjusting the hour quickly without disturbing the minutes, seconds or GMT hand. Furthermore, since it features a rotating bezel, the watch is able to display a 3rd timezone. Newer models feature larger cases, hands, and hour markers. The ceramic bezels are also designed to be stronger and scratch resistant. This is a very elegant Rolex watch that is both functional and classy, excellent for the world traveler.
Rolex is responsible for producing arguably the most famous dual time watch ever made, the GMT-Master. The watch was first released in 1955, albeit in very small numbers, and featured a two-tone bezel in blue and red made of “bakelite”. This early version did not feature any crown protectors. The watch was made in collaboration with Pan American World Airways and intended as a pilot’s watch capable of simultaneously showing the prevailing time in two locations.