No one could blame you for wanting a Rolex GMT Master II: It's the watch that defined a horological genre (the GMT), its look is utterly distinctive and, of course, it's got the unassailable caché of the the Rolex name. But even if you can get it at its base price in steel (which would be lucky), it'll cost you $9,700. If it's the very specific look you want, however, with its sporty but handsome feel and and bicolor bezel, Rolex isn't your only choice.
If you're looking to spend less, or simply can't bear languishing on a waiting list, what are the options? There are plenty of brands offering GMT watches with a bezel in "Pepsi" (red and blue), "Batman" (black and blue), "Coke" (red and black) and more color combinations and interpretations of this winning concept. Here are three examples that wear the look well:
The proudly quartz and playfully conceived Timex Q doesn't have a GMT complication, but it's only $179! It's a nice rendition of a retro-styled watch, and you can even use the 12-hour bezel as a rudimentary way of tracking another time zone if you want. Of course, it's also got that bicolor bezel that just pops, and a throwback bracelet style that's nifty as hell.
Water Resistance: 50m
It might not be perfectly "Pepsi," but a blue and orange bezel along with other distinctive details give the Baltic Aquascaphe GMT its own character. (Note: it also comes in two other colors, one of which is pretty close to the 2022 left-handed 126720VTNR.) The familiar sporty charm of a classic GMT in the tradition of Rolex's classic, however, is clearly present. If you want the style with a solid Swiss automatic movement and all the luxury specs at around a grand, go for this Aquascaphe from this French brand.
Movement: Soprod C125 GMT automatic
Water Resistance: 100m
For well under half the price of the GMT Master II, Rolex's own sister brand offers its interpretation with an absolutely killer value. It's fitted with a COSC-certified, in-house automatic movement, and its absolutely top-notch fit and finish are worthy of the Rolex family. It comes on an excellent steel bracelet at around $4k, but is even more affordable and still very handsome on a strap.
Movement: Tudor MT5652 automatic
Water Resistance: 200m