Performance of a Similar Model
The Rolex GMT-Master with a red and blue "Pepsi" bezel is popular with collectors and investors. This striking tool watch has a second time zone and is one of the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer's most popular models.
The story of the Rolex GMT-Master began in the 1950s when Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) commissioned the Swiss watch manufacturer to produce a timepiece for their pilots and flight attendants. The signature Pepsi bezel in red and blue has been the defining feature of these Rolex watches since the very first model in 1954. However, the two-tone design is not merely for aesthetic purposes; the red half symbolizes the daytime, while its blue counterpart symbolizes nighttime.
Over the last several decades, Rolex has released an array of different Pepsi references, all of which have remained faithful to the basic design. Rolex fans flock to the GMT-Master Pepsi in appreciation of the subtle model upgrades that have been made over the years. However, as is typical of Rolex watches, high demand and limited supply mean that waiting lists for these models are growing endlessly. Don't be surprised if you have to wait several years to get your hands on one.
Needless to say, prices have risen considerably as a result of the huge popularity, and virtually all references have seen eye-popping value appreciation. Prices peaked in spring 2022, and have since fallen considerably for certain references. The white gold ref. 126719BLRO with a meteorite dial, for example, was selling for over 90,000 USD in spring 2022, whereas not even 18 months later, it was valued closer to 65,000 USD. Particularly popular models like the GMT-Master ref. 6542 and ref. 1670 have continued to rise in value, while the equally celebrated ref. 1675 has remained more or less stable over the long term.
|Reference number||Price (approx.)||Caliber, features|
|126719BLRO||65,000 USD||3285, meteorite dial, white gold|
|6542||66,000 USD||1036, Bakelite bezel|
|116719BLRO||52,000 USD||3186, ceramic bezel, white gold|
|126719BLRO||45,000 USD||3285, blue dial, white gold|
|16750||24,000 USD||3075, aluminum bezel|
|126710BLRO||22,500 USD||3285, ceramic bezel|
|1675||26,000 USD||1565 or 1575, aluminum bezel|
|16710||17,000 USD||3085, aluminum bezel|
|16710||17,000 USD||3185 or 3186, sapphire crystal|
|16700||13,000 USD||3175, aluminum bezel|
At the time of writing in August 2023, the most affordable entry point into the world of Rolex GMT-Masters with Pepsi bezels was approximately 13,000 USD. This amount will get you a vintage reference 16700 with an aluminum bezel. The ref. 16710 was the first GMT-Master model to be fitted with a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, replacing the acrylic glass that was used in previous models. Expect to spend around 17,000 USD for a copy in new condition.
The GMT-Master ref. 16750 was brought to market in 1981 and was the first model to have a stop-seconds mechanism and a quickset function for the date. Although this reference cost approximately 28,000 USD in August 2022, you can expect to pay closer to 24,000 USD for a well-maintained copy one year later.
The ref. 1675 was part of the Rolex catalog for over 20 years and is now one of the most sought-after Pepsi models. Depending on the condition, prices for this reference come in at around 26,000 USD – around 5,000 USD more than in August 2022.
The bezel inlays on the earlier ref. 6542 models were made of Bakelite, a synthetic plastic, which the manufacturer quickly swapped for aluminum. Plan to spend about 66,000 USD for a ref. 6542 in good condition. This reference has been on an upward trend, rising from 38,000 USD in August 2022.
In 1982, Rolex added the GMT-Master II ref. 16760 to the mix. Thanks to its somewhat thicker case, Rolex fans dubbed this model the "Fat Lady." Rolex equipped this watch with a black and red bezel, meaning it isn't actually a Pepsi, but rather a Rolex Coke. Nevertheless, it had certain features that would also be significant for future Pepsi models. For example, its caliber, the 3085, can display three time zones at once. In addition, Rolex provided this watch with a larger crown guard and replaced the plexiglass with sapphire crystal. You can purchase a "Fat Lady" in good condition for around 17,000 USD.
The next stage in the Pepsi's evolution followed with the 1989 release of the reference 16710. Rolex first outfitted this timepiece with the caliber 3185 and later with the caliber 3186. This version is also available as a "Coke" model or with a solid black bezel. Rolex made the switch from tritium to Super-LumiNova for the luminous material in models produced from around 1998 onwards. Pre-owned Coke models change hands for around 13,500 USD.
In 2014, Rolex released a GMT-Master II with a Pepsi bezel, which can be found under the reference number 116719BLRO. Unlike its predecessors, this model is only available with an 18-karat white gold case. What's more, the Swiss watch manufacturer furnished it with a Cerachrom ceramic bezel, a triple-sealed Triplock crown, and a "maxi dial" with enlarged, glow-in-the-dark indices. The caliber 3186 with a Parachrom hairspring ticks away inside this watch. New, one of these watches costs about 52,000 USD, which is a loss of around 4,000 USD compared to its value one year ago in August 2022. Looking back to 2020, however, this reference "only" cost 36,000 USD.
At Baselworld 2018, Rolex announced that they would be adding a stainless steel GMT-Master II with a Cerachrom Pepsi bezel (ref. 126710BLRO) to their portfolio. In addition to the material and slightly altered case design, the watch manufacturer also made changes to the inside of this model. It is now powered by the in-house caliber 3285, which features Rolex's patented Chronergy escapement. Thanks to the use of a nickel-phosphorus alloy, this escapement is not only impervious to magnetic fields but also much more efficient. It also features a new Jubilee bracelet in Rolex's proprietary Oystersteel stainless steel.
This edition is in high demand. If you can find an offline retailer willing to sell you one, expect it to come with a long waiting period. This scarcity has caused prices for this model on the secondary market to skyrocket: We are now seeing listings that are more than triple the original retail price. When it was released, the ref. 126710BLRO had an official list price of 9,500 USD. As of spring 2023, a mint-condition timepiece will set you back some 22,000 USD, around 4,000 USD less than 12 months beforehand. Rolex currently demands around 10,700 USD for this GMT-Master model.
Rolex unveiled two new GMT-Master models featuring a red and blue Cerachrom bezel in 2019. Both timepieces are powered by the caliber 3285, made of white gold, and can be found under the reference 126719BLRO. The version with a blue dial costs around 45,000 USD in mint condition; its value has fallen by almost 20,000 USD since August 2022, and is thus on par with market prices upon its release in 2019.
The second model is technically identical, but you will instantly recognize its bright meteorite dial. Rolex claims the dial material has cosmic origins, coming from the center of an asteroid or exploded planet. Listings on Chrono24 for this galactic timepiece in mint condition are priced up to 65,000 USD, meaning it has also depreciated by close to 20,000 USD in 12 months.