When it comes to classic and luxury watches, watch collectors and enthusiasts are divided between the Rolex GMT Master II and the Tudor Black Bay GMT. Both brands and both watches have a history of competition and quality that continues to influence trends in the watch industry today. Whether you want to buy or sell a luxury watch in Atlanta, GA, the battle between Rolex and Tudor could affect your next purchase. What’s the story behind these two classic watches and why is it so important? Keep reading to learn from the watch experts at Elan Diamond Group.
The Rolex GMT Master
The year is 1954; Joe DiMaggio marries Marilyn Monroe, the Boeing 707 makes its debut, and Rolex partners with Pan Am to create the GMT Master, one of the most iconic watches in the industry to this day. The GMT Master featured a two-tone bezel bearing the signature colors of the airline, red and blue. The color combination also closely resembled the colors used by up-an-coming soda distributor, Pepsi. The watch came to be known affectionately as the Rolex Pepsi because people associated the colors more with the fizzy drink than the airline Rolex had partnered with. The watch became the official watch for pilots and crew within Pan Am as well as other airlines and frequent flyers. The GMT Master was in production from 1954 to 1999.
The Tudor Black Bay
The Tudor company was initially founded in 1926 by the Veuve de Philippe Huther company in Switzerland. In 1936, Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Rolex, took over the company with the purpose of manufacturing Rolex-quality watches for a fraction of the Rolex price. Queen Elizabeth II and Winston Churchill were among the famous names who adopted the Tudor watch brand, endorsements that helped spur the brand’s popularity into the 1950s. Following Rolex’s lead, the Tudor company also adopted the Rolex-style red and blue two-tone bezel well into the 1960s.
The Great Pepsi Debate
In March of 2018, Tudor announced at the Baselworld fair that they had finished their new Black Bay GMT model, complete with the red and blue Pepsi bezel. Not long after, Rolex also announced the new GMT Master II. The new Pepsi Rolex features a 40mm case with revamped, sleek lugs and Jubilee bracelet instead of the traditional Oyster. It also comes standard with the Caliber 3285 movement and a 70-hour power reserve. The Tudor Pepsi model is slightly larger at 41mm, but unlike the Rolex, it’s available with several different band options including leather, two-tone fabric, and bracelet. The new Master II has substituted the white gold Cerachrom bezel with stainless steel, a feature that many Rolex fans had been hoping for. However, as the Mercedes Benz of the watch world, the Rolex will naturally come with a higher price tag compared to the Tudor. Avid Tudor fans and enthusiasts on a budget will have peace of mind knowing that their watch is made with the Rolex-quality materials and craftsmanship. Whether you want to buy or sell a Rolex watch in Atlanta, GA, don’t be fooled by imitations. Consult the professionals at the Elan Diamond Group for all of your timepieces.