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Rolex ‘Pepsi’ Vs. Rolex ‘Coke’: 2024 Buying Guide

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In the illustrious realm of luxury timepieces, the Rolex GMT-Master series effortlessly embodies a blend of modern classic with a touch of sophistication and practicality. Crafted in 1955 in a unique partnership with Pan American World Airways, these watches were a game-changer for pilots soaring across international or local time zones. The GMT-Master wasn’t just another watch; it was a groundbreaking tool, letting aviators effortlessly track multiple time zones, a boon during those endless flights.

What really sets the GMT-Master apart is its snazzy bi-color bezel. Far more than just a pretty face, this two-tone bezel makes the design cleverly distinguishes daytime hours from nighttime hours – practical and stylish.

Pepsi Vs Coke: At a Glance

FeatureRolex GMT-Master II “Pepsi”Rolex GMT-Master II “Coke”
CaseOyster, 40 mm, OystersteelOyster, 40 mm, Oystersteel
BezelBidirectional rotatable 24-hour graduated; Red and blue CerachromBidirectional rotatable 24-hour graduated; Red and black Cerachrom
StrapOystersteel bracelet (Oyster or Jubilee)Oystersteel bracelet (Oyster or Jubilee)
DialClassic black with luminous hour markersClassic black with luminous hour markers
MovementCaliber 3285, Self-winding, offering a power reserve of about 70 hoursCaliber 3285, Self-winding, offering a power reserve of about 70 hours
Price PointTypically higher due to longer history and widespread recognitionGenerally lower compared to Pepsi, but still highly valued

Heritage and Brand 

The Rolex GMT-Master saga unfolds like an epic tale, beginning in 1954 when Rolex made a bold entrance into the world of aviation timekeeping. Initially designed for the intrepid pilots and globe-trotters of the jet age, this revolutionary watch offered the ability to track two time zones, a feature that resonated deeply with the spirit of exploration and adventure of the time. It wasn’t just a watch; it was a companion for the new, exciting era of transcontinental travel.

  • In 1983, the Rolex GMT-Master II emerged, retaining its dual time zone feature but with enhanced capabilities, including a new movement. 
  • This period also introduced the iconic “Pepsi” bezel in red and blue. Later in the 1980s, the “Coke” model debuted, distinguishable by its black and red bezel. 

But the real intrigue lies in their shared heritage, deeply intertwined with the pioneering spirit of aviation. Born from a collaboration with Pan American World Airways (Pan Am), these watches were more than mere timekeepers; they were tools designed to navigate the complexities of time zone changes, assisting pilots on their long-haul flights. The bezels were about functionality, symbolizing the day and night hours in a visually intuitive manner.

Rolex has meticulously honed the GMT-Master II series over the years, balancing technological strides with the preservation of its classic design ethos. The heart of these watches, the Rolex caliber 3285 movement, is a paragon of precision and reliability, reflecting Rolex’s unwavering commitment to excellence.

  • The Rolex Coke, affectionately known as the “Fat Lady” for its slightly thicker case, was discontinued in 2007, adding to its mystique and desirability among vintage watch collectors. 

Design and Aesthetics

While the bezels of the Rolex Pepsi and Coke are eye-catching, there’s much more to their design. The Rolex Pepsi boasts a Cerachrom bezel, known for its scratch and UV resistance, maintaining color integrity over time. It also features the ‘Super Case’ with larger lugs and a wider bezel, lending a modern, robust look to the classic design on the wrist. 

In contrast, the Rolex Coke maintains a traditional aesthetic with a sleeker case, smaller lugs, and crown guards. Its aluminum bezel offers a more subdued vibrancy, adding a timeless charm to its overall appearance.


Both the Rolex Pepsi and Coke models boast the iconic Oyster case, with the Pepsi featuring a bolder ‘Super Case’ design for a modern, larger look, while the Coke retains a classic, slimmer profile, appealing to vintage enthusiasts. 

The Pepsi’s Cerachrom bezel offers scratch resistance and color longevity, contrasting with the Coke’s aluminum bezel that gains a unique patina over time, adding to its vintage allure. 

Both models come with the durable Oystersteel bracelet, with options like the classic Oyster or the more intricate Jubilee bracelet, allowing for versatile styling from sporty to formal.

Movement and Precision

The original GMT-Master, while innovative in allowing pilots and travelers to track multiple time zones, had limitations with its synchronously moving hands. The GMT-Master II marked a significant advancement, introducing independent settings for the 12-hour and 24-hour hands, greatly enhancing its functionality for precise time tracking across different time zones, making it a more valuable tool for global travelers.

The ability to display multiple time zones simultaneously and with greater ease was a game-changer. This functionality was not just a convenience but a necessity for pilots and international travelers, allowing them to keep track of time more efficiently and accurately.

At its core is the Rolex caliber 3285 movement, exemplifying precision, robustness, and energy efficiency, with a power reserve of about 70 hours, highlighting its advanced engineering.

Price Range

In the fascinating world of Rolex’s GMT-Master Pepsi and Coke, their prices are as intriguing as the watches themselves. 

  • The GMT-Master Pepsi, as of September 2021, retailed around S$4,400, but in the pre-owned market, its value jumps to around S$16,283, underscoring its popularity.
  • Conversely, the GMT-Master Coke, with a retail price of S$4,000 as of June 2023, shines in the vintage market, commanding a price of approximately S$19,588. This hike in the pre-owned market illustrates the enduring charm and collector’s appeal of these iconic watches.

Now, choosing between Pepsi or Coke as a tool watch isn’t just about the price. It’s deeply about your personal style and how you prefer to see the watch fitting into your quality of life.

  • Coke: If you’re someone who appreciates timeless elegance with a hint of nostalgia, Coke is your go-to. It’s a piece that speaks of history and carries a certain gravitas.
  • Pepsi: For those drawn to a current watches that is more dynamic, energetic vibe, the Pepsi is a perfect choice. It’s bold, it’s vibrant, and it’s a watch that makes a statement.

Investment Potential

The investment allure of Rolex’s GMT-Master Pepsi and Coke models lies in their unique blend of rarity, historical significance, and celebrity association, making them highly collectible. The Rolex Pepsi is not just a visually striking watch with its blue and red bezel;

  • It’s steeped in history, having been the choice for Pan Am pilots and even NASA astronauts. 
  • Its connection to celebrities like Sylvester Stallone and Daniel Craig further elevates its desirability and market value, cementing its status as a collector’s dream.

On the other hand, the Rolex Coke, with its distinctive red and black bezel, stands out for its bold design and rich heritage. 

  • Endorsements from icons like Drew Barrymore and Marlon Brando not only add to its charm but also boost its investment potential. 

Both models have shown strong price appreciation trends in the secondary market, underlining their status as not just watches, but valuable assets that attract both collectors and investors, promising potential growth in value over time.

The Rolex GMT-Master Pepsi model outperforms the Coke in investment potential, with its strong price appreciation, historical ties to Pan Am and NASA, and celebrity associations boosting its value and appeal in the collector’s market.

Top 5 Pepsi Model

1. Rolex GMT-Master II Ref 126719BLRO

Rolex GMT-Master II ref. 126719BLRO-0002

Market Price

  • Retail Price: S$56,700
  • Pre-Owned Price: S$72,900

This timepiece boasts a meteorite dial in a 40mm white gold case, with a ceramic dual time zone bezel and an automatic 3285 caliber, highlighted by a 70-hour power reserve and a matching white gold bracelet, exemplifying luxury and technical finesse.

2. Rolex GMT-Master II Ref 16750

Rolex GMT-Master II Ref 16750

Market Price

  • Retail Price: S$4,000
  • Pre-Owned Price: S$19,506

Blending classic style with practicality, this Rolex watch features the iconic “Pepsi” red and blue bezel, a tribute to its aviation roots dating back to 1955. As part of the brand’s esteemed tool watch category, it stands alongside models like the Submariner, offering not just timekeeping but also a slice of history and functionality.

3. Rolex GMT-Master II Ref 16700

Rolex GMT-Master II Ref 16700

Market Price

  • Retail Price: S$4,400
  • Pre-Owned Price: S$16,102

Showcasing a seamless blend of durability and elegance, this Rolex features an automatic movement encased in robust steel, complemented by a matching steel bracelet. A classic from 1991, it epitomizes the timeless appeal and reliability synonymous with the brand.

4. Rolex GMT-Master II Ref 116719 BLRO

Rolex GMT-Master II Ref 116719 BLRO

Market Price

  • Retail Price: N/A
  • Pre-Owned Price: S$56,396

This 2015 Rolex GMT-Master II marries sophistication with functionality, featuring an automatic movement within a 40mm white gold case. The watch is accentuated by a ceramic bezel, a sapphire crystal, and a blue dial with no numerals, all tied together with a white gold bracelet, offering a modern twist on a classic design.

5. Rolex GMT-Master II Ref 126710 BLRO

 Rolex GMT-Master II Ref 126710 BLRO

Market Price

  • Retail Price: S$14,950
  • Pre-Owned Price: S$25,900

Combining a sleek 40mm case with a classic black dial, this Rolex GMT-Master II is a perfect blend of timeless style and modern functionality. Its design is both versatile and sophisticated, making it suitable for a variety of occasions.

Top 2 Coke Model

1. Rolex GMT-Master II “Fat Lady” Ref 16760

Rolex GMT-Master 16760

Market Price

  • Retail Price: S$4,000
  • Pre-Owned Price: S$18,522

The 1986 Rolex Coke GMT-Master II, with its 40mm steel case and bracelet, showcases a classic yet bold style. It features an automatic 3085 movement, a 42-hour power reserve, and a striking black dial, all embodying the blend of durability and elegant design.

2. Rolex GMT-Master II Ref 16710

rolex gmt-master ii coke ref. 16710

Market Price

  • Retail Price: S$7,700
  • Pre-Owned Price: S$18,700

This exquisite watch melds functionality with elegance, featuring a 40mm steel case paired with a matching steel bracelet. Equipped with an automatic movement, a 48-hour power reserve, and a black dial without numerals, it effortlessly combines precision with a sleek design, enhanced by date and GMT functions.

Final Word

The Rolex Pepsi and Coke are not just timepieces; they are integral chapters in Rolex’s illustrious history and the wider narrative of luxury watches. Their enduring appeal and iconic status continue to redefine horological excellence and style.

Key Takeaways

  • The Rolex Pepsi edges out with its longer history and classic status, symbolizing Rolex watches’ pioneering spirit in aviation timekeeping.
  • The Rolex Coke, though younger, holds its own with a bold design and a strong following, especially among vintage collectors for its discontinued status.
  • Both models exemplify Rolex’s commitment to innovation, style, and precision, making them coveted pieces for collectors and watch enthusiasts alike.

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