The Rolex Replica faithful are a tricky crowd to keep happy. It seems that every innovation brought out by the brand, of which there are plenty, keeps fans satisfied for a little while before the clamoring starts up again for the next big thing. The GMT-Master is a case in point. When the original version was released in 1953, it became the first watch to simultaneously display two time zones and was aimed very much at airline pilots—more precisely Pan Am, who collaborated on the design to help their long haul flyers deal with jet lag.
The two-tone bezel, half blue and half red, was an elegant way for wearers to determine between night and day at a glance and also gave the replica watch its signature look. An immediate success, the watch went through only relatively superficial upgrades over its lifespan until the ‘Fat Lady’ appeared in 1983, the unofficial nickname for the first of the new era of GMT-Master II’s. Sporting larger crown guards and a thicker case, it also debuted a new color scheme, this time a black and red surround that quickly became known as the ‘Coke’ bezel.
So far, so good. However, the anodized aluminum Rolex had been using for their bezels after the original Bakelite proved too brittle, while exceptionally strong, was still subject to scratching and fading over time. The solution was for the company to create their own replacement ceramic material, Cerachrom. Practically indestructible, Cerachrom is also unaffected by sunlight or the rigors of exposure to chlorinated or sea water.
While there are sections of Rolex replica watches fans and specifically GMT-Master collectors, who intentionally seek out the more weathered-looking models, other enthusiasts feel that if the unorthodox colors were the reason you chose the watch in the first place, you’d want them to stay as close to their original luster for as long as possible. (See? They’re tricky!)
The problem with the new ultra-tough Cerachrom was, it was a much more difficult material to work with and, according to Rolex themselves, impossible to add a bi-color scheme to. When the first of this new breed was unveiled in 2005, the much-loved ‘Coke’ and ‘Pepsi’ models, and the golden brown of the ‘Root Beer’, had been replaced with a uniformly black bezel.
This anniversary edition, all gold with a dial in Fake Rolex’s trademark green, was beautifully elegant, but some felt this ‘Lunette Noire’ GMT (ref. 116718LN) was missing the very thing that made the piece so instantly recognizable in the first place. A two-tone bezel was very much conspicuous by its absence.