Rolex Updates its GMT-Master II Collection with a New Left-Handed Design
A left-side crown and “Sprite” bezel pair for something seriously unexpected
Written by Theo Baker
April 21, 2022
With the conclusion of Watches & Wonders earlier this month— the watch world’s largest and most significant industry event— the dust is beginning to clear, and out of the hundreds of releases, a few watchmakers and their novelties are standing out. Unsurprisingly, chief among them this year is Rolex, which shocked the expectations of fans and critics alike with the launch of their latest – a new left-hand designed GMT-Master II in the reference 126720VTNR.
The new travel watch follows the last major update to the GMT-Master II collection, then in 2018 with the addition of steel cased, red and blue “Pepsi” bezel equipped edition of the timepiece. Like that model and the larger, modern GMT-Master II collection, the new left-crown design is positioned as the Crown’s premier, travel-ready sports watch.
On the wrist, the GMT-Master II wears proportionally like those that have preceded it, complete with a 40mm stainless steel Oyster-style case, ceramic bezel insert with dueling black and green sides (and popularly known as “Sprite”), and plenty of wrist presence thanks to its sporty, 100m water resistant construction. For the relative familiarity, the watch is nonetheless distinguished by its left-side positioned screw-down crown and accompanying crown guards. These features allow the watch to be accurately called a “Destro” — that is, a watch made to be worn on the right, as compared to the traditional left wrist.
Underneath a sapphire crystal and on the dial, the Destro nature of the sports watch continues, with the cyclops magnified date window placed at the 9 o’clock position as compared to Rolex’s standard 3 o’clock spot for the feature. Besides that, the display is classic, modern GMT-Master II, the style best known by its applied indices, “Mercedes” style handset and accompanying, green-accented GMT-pointer used to count additional time zones, and the use of a printed Rolex logo as compared to an applied feature towards the 12 o’clock position. The white accents upon the black dial are highlighted using Rolex’s Chromalight throughout, adding to the watch’s bright legibility across various lighting conditions.
Inside the travel watch, the Rolex caliber 3285 provides steady, superlative, chronometer-grade timekeeping, with its reserve capable of holding up to 70 hours of power. The automatic mechanism allows for the watch’s various travel functionalities, inclusive of the independent, rapid setting of the hour hand and multi-time zone tracking when used in combination with the bi-directional outer bezel of the watch. Like all Rolex sports watches produced today, the caliber is protected via a solid steel case back, itself detailed like the rest of the case with a finely considered combination of both brushed and polished finishing.
The new Rolex GMT-Master II is available now, though like other steel Rolex sports models, is likely to be in high demand. That noted, retail pricing is marked at $10,050 when the watch is equipped on a triple-link Oyster bracelet, and $10,250 when paired with a five-link Jubilee bracelet.