Where the GMT-Master on the right (ref.16758) shows the old style case, in gold, and the brown dial with nipple hour markers, you almost think the new Rolex GMT-Master II Everose gold is much bigger. The lugs are beefier, but the diameter is exactly the same at 40mm. The brown color is different from the vintage GMT-Master, and has more a cappuccino color on the new reference 126715CHNR. The bezel with its two-colour brown and black Cerachrom insert in ceramic, engraved numerals and graduations, works like a charm. The current mechanism feels much nicer and better engineered than the bezels from the old days. The color scheme of the new Rolex GMT-Master II Everose is very nice, but miles away from the former brown dialed (and bezel) GMT-Master model.
The image below shows the difference in thickness as well as a good demonstration of how different the gold tones are. The new Rolex GMT-Master II Everose has, of course, a Triplock crown to ensure water resistance (up to 10ATM).
My initial enthusiasm was not so big for this model, since it did not have the brown dial and was not made of yellow gold. That said, this disappeared rapidly when I had the chance to try it myself. It’s a well balanced watch, and the use of the brown and black on the bezel matches perfectly with the Everose gold case and bracelet. The gold details also come back in the dial, in the writing of ‘GMT-Master II’ as well as in the indices and hands. Did you also notice the little crown between Swiss and Made? The new <strong>Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi with Jubilee also has this feature.
I’m not going to keep the mystery going here, but after I made my decision I talked to one of the consummate watch professionals whom I entrust for purchases, George Mayer over at Govberg Jewelers. Shortly after that I had my Explorer II on the wrist and I couldn’t be happier. However, the decision was tougher than I had imagined and, in an ideal world, I would have gotten both the Explorer II and the Submariner. Here, I’m going to attempt to objectively compare the two watches to help make this decision a little easier for anyone out there struggling with the same choice.
Fortunately, the Submariner and Explorer II are solid offerings that retain value but are reasonably easy to acquire. However, Rolex is constricting inventory more and more and an inevitable price increase down the road makes this a good time to pull the trigger on one of these pieces if you’ve seriously been considering it.
The first Rolex Submariner ref. 6204 watch arrived in 1953 and has gone on to become the most iconic dive watch in modern history, and one of the most iconic and ubiquitous luxury sports watches out there, period. Originally measuring 37mm wide, the Submariner was waterproof to 100 meters due to its Oyster case though in subsequent years this was improved to 200 meters (1,000 feet) of water resistance. Of course, when Sean Connery wore the Submariner as James Bond in 1962’s Dr. No, the watch was chiseled into the imagination of nearly every young man (and woman) who saw a 007 film through the years.
The Submariner has been an icon for decades, and the two most common models we see are the reference 16610 with aluminum bezel which was introduced back in 1989 and was in production until 2010. In 2010 we saw the introduction of the Submariner we are discussing here in the ref. 114060 as well as the date model ref. 116610. Updates that were made to the newer versions were: the most obvious inclusion of the Cerachrom (that’s Rolex for ceramic) bezel; superior Chromalight lume.
It is true that Rolex does have their own particular alloy blends made for them all the time. It is also true that until recently, really no other watch brand used 904L stainless steel. 904L is harder to machine, polishes up better, and has some corrosion resistance properties that make for a good diving watch.
The Ring Lock System case is part of the reason it can withstand such massive pressures. The sapphire crystal alone is 5.5mm thick and the caseback is produced from grade five titanium. For 2018 Rolex will no longer really be using the “904L steel” designation to refer to the steel they use. They are still using 904L steel for their watches, but they just won’t call it that. Rolex has introduced “Oystersteel” as the preferred term, which makes their special 904L alloy blend unique to them.
Speaking of text, Rolex seemed to want the new for 2018 reference 126660 to look similar to the outgoing 116660, so it kept one of the original Deepsea’s most controversial features. That is a silver rehaut ring around the dial which contains two phrases being “Original Gas Escape Valve” (referring to the automatic helium release valve) and “Ring Lock System,” which refers to how the case is constructed to ensure such high levels of water resistance. The silver ring itself is actually part of the Ring Lock and is a “high-performance nitrogen-alloyed stainless steel ring.” Honestly, when you wear the watch you quickly forget that it is there, but in truth Rolex didn’t need to remind the wearer at each glance of the dial that the timepiece contains these parts/systems. I’m usually not one to complain about too much text, but I am not sure the text on the Ring Lock needed to be there. Oh well, it isn’t that big of a deal in an otherwise fantastic package.
The vast majority of people who wear a Deepsea will not take it underwater – let alone to almost 13,000 feet. The Rolex Deepsea has 3,900m of water resistance thanks to an actual submarine-like case construction. Rolex has made watches that can go deeper – but it barely matters unless you find yourself in a miniature, wearable submariner pissing contest. The reason people tend to wear a Rolex Deepsea (other than the fact that it is a really cool machine) is the size. At 44mm wide and almost double the thickness of the Submariner, the Deepsea is a beast on the wrist – but one that fans love.
The traditional black dial for the 126660 Deepsea is not identical to the D-Blue (blue to black gradient dial) in terms of text. The primary difference (in addition to colors) is the placement and size of “Deepsea.” On the D-Blue 126660 the word is placed right above “Sea-Dweller” under where the hands connect. On the the black dial, “Deepsea” is smaller and placed just over where the hands connect under “Oyster Perpetual Date.” I happen to prefer the black dial myself, as part of that is the placement of the text. Yes, we aren’t even talking about the functionality, construction, or comfort of the watch, but rather, where a small term is placed on the dial. Welcome to being a watch nerd.