In 2018, Rolex dropped the bomb by launching the steel-version Pepsi, sold exclusively on the five-link Jubilee bracelet in an effort to differentiate the steel variant from the much more expensive all-white-gold watch for which customers had been shelling out considerable sums for a number of years. Many would agree that the outrage has been mitigated, but it is true that, even on the Jubilee, the steel Pepsi is a very tempting and extremely appealing proposition for many in the brand’s current lineup.
2019 saw that steel Rolex GMT Pepsi untouched, while the 40mm-wide, 18k white-gold version got an expectedly well received meteorite dial option that is, naturally, not configurable for any other version, just the 18k white gold GMT-Master II 126719BLRO reference. I think it’s fairly easy to see where this might be coming from: Since the steel Jubilee Pepsi’s debut, the 18k white gold Pepsi has presumably dipped in demand — probably to an extent that was noticeable to Rolex itself. In response to this, Rolex might have been seeking a solution that would help set this precious version that much more distinctively apart from the (un-)common man’s steel.
Perhaps there is, it seems, nothing else to be added to the meteorite dial option on the Rolex GMT-Master II 126719BLRO Pepsi, other than the fact that it joins an objectively narrow circle of exclusive Rolex watches to have ever been factory-fitted with a dial of extraterrestrial origin, and that it remains one of only a handful of components that Rolex is proud to use, yet has absolutely nothing to say about. Fitted with the latest generation Manufacture Rolex Calibre 3285, introduced in 2018, the 126719BLRO offers over 70 hours of power reserve and the pretty darn impressive -2/+2 second daily-accuracy tolerance that all currently produced Rolex watches are in-house tested against.
Of notable news, as brought to my attention by my friend and our Senior Editor, Bilal, is the return of the blue dial GMT-Master II Pepsi in 18ct white gold – on the Oyster bracelet, of course. This blue dial Pepsi, in this very configuration, was originally introduced at BaselWorld 2018.