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Over time, the watchmaking world welcomed numerous versions of GMT watches. Of the many that hit the market in the last few years, two GMT watches stand out. They are the Tudor Heritage Black Bay GMT and the Rolex GMT-Master watches. 

Based on the value these two timepieces present, the reaction they received is nothing but staggering. However, this huge acceptance is not unexpected. Aside from the value offered by these two, other factors make them stand out. 

Therefore, in this article, get exposed to all the shades of functional and aesthetic values on show. How do the Tudor GMT and the Rolex GMT-Master sustain their popularity? What shades of value do they offer? How do they both measure up against each other? 

Keep reading to find out all of these details in this extensive review. 

Into The History Of The Rolex GMT-Master

We begin with the popular Rolex GMT-Master Pepsi wristwatch. What exactly is behind the existing rage for the GMT-Master timepiece? 

To get a proper view of the intricacies of this product, we will begin with the history of this timepiece. 

History Of The Rolex GMT-Master 

The journey of the Rolex GMT-Master began in the 1950s. This watch hit the world of luxury watches together with the brand’s other celebrated tool watches. Other wristwatches that came along include watches like the Explorer, and the Submariner.

Particularly, this era is prominent as the era when intercontinental travel via commercial airline was the rage. Based on this trend, there came the need to tell the time correctly regardless of where you are. It became important that you can tell the time accurately in different parts of the world. 

More so, Pan-Am Airways, the biggest international air transporter in the United States wanted a way out. Hence, the air transporter desired a watch from Rolex. This watch should tell the time correctly in at least two time zones. In addition, this tool watch would be for Pan-Am airline crew when they are on transatlantic flights.

Rolex Solution: A Balance Of Function And Simplicity 

Meanwhile, Rolex would go on to prove its prominence with the solution the brand provided. The watchmaker came up with a tool watch that balanced elegance with an equal touch of simplicity. 

Rolex added a fourth hand to the dial. There was a hand that indicated a 24-hour scale. This 24-hour scale sits pretty on a rotating bezel. 

However, the most distinctive visual detail came in the form of the watch’s two-tone color scheme. As the name implies, the color scheme featured two colors. They are color blue and red. The two tones are to tell apart the daytime from the nighttime hours. 

In line with its purpose, the Rolex GMT-Master became a tool for the Pan-Am crews. The crew used this tool watch on long-haul trips. In no time, this timepiece became the official timepiece of many other air transporters.

Furthermore, the Rolex GMT-Master developed the layout for the new GMT timepiece. Presently, the GMT-Master is a favorite among commercial pilots. Also, it is a fashionable item for jet-setters. In all, this wristwatch carries function in a rather adaptable way. 

The Rolex GMT-Master is a distinctive timepiece suit for any location and any outfit. 

New Iterations Of The Rolex GMT-Master

Presently, there are various iterations of the Rolex GMT-Master wristwatch. One of these new iterations is the Batman version. Additionally, there is the now canceled all-black model of the watch. 

However, the traditional ‘Pepsi’ bezel will continue to occupy a favorite spot in the heart of watch enthusiasts. This explains why most watch fans faulted the move by Rolex in 2014.

Rolex made a move in 2014 that didn’t go down well with the fans of this wristwatch. This luxury watchmaking brand chose to deliver the Pepsi GMT-Master II solely in 18k white gold metal material. 

First off, this made the timepiece less available. More so, it made it less fascinating in a way. Basically, most of us know that a regular ‘tool’ watch comes in a steel case.

But, Roles made a nice comeback in 2018. That year, the brand reintroduced the Pepsi model in what will be a massive comeback. In no time, the Ref 126710BLRO Pepsi became the Holy grail timepiece for watch collectors.

Into The Rolex GMT-Master 

  • The Case And The Bracelet

The Rolex GMT-Master comes with a 40mm Rolex Oyster case. This case is made from the Oystersteel material. Also, the lugs and sides of the case display a subtle redesign. Thanks to the redesign, it now fits with the five-link Jubilee bracelet flawlessly. 

  • The Bezel

Historically, this timepiece is the first steel timepiece to feature the legendary bezel insert in both red and blue ceramic. For most people in the watch world, this is a crucial drawcard. 

Furthermore, the 24-hour scale features in the bidirectional rotatable bezel. With that input, the watch now showcased a seamless simultaneous display of a second time zone. Also, this function is thanks to the red GMT arrow. 

  • The Dial

Meanwhile, the hour indicators featured on the black dial come in 18ct gold material. Plus, with Rolex’s Chromalight display, the watch offers long-lasting blue luminescence. By extension, you can effortlessly read the time even in poor light conditions.

  • The Movement 

The interior of this wristwatch features the caliber 3285. This is not only a new-generation movement. Also, it is an in-house built and produced movement. This is a revolutionary offering from Rolex. 

The movement comes furnished with a Parachrom hairspring. The addition of the Parachrom hairspring delivers better shock resistance. This input again increases the tool watch’s resistance to temperature variations. 

Again, this movement features the brand’s novel Chronergy escapement. Thanks to the escapement, you are sure to enjoy a power reserve that lasts about 70 hours.

Similar to all Rolex Perpetual movements, the Caliber 3285 bears the COSC chronometer certification. This is to show that the movement passed through further testing by the brand even after casing. 

Moreover, this assures you of a final accuracy of -2/+2 secs every day. This earns the watch the title of Superlative Chronometer.

Into The History Of The Tudor Black Bay GMT 

Black Bay Tudor GMT-Master

Like the Rolex GMT-Master, the Tudor Black Bay GMT is another sought-after timepiece. More so, the accessibility of this timepiece does not have a similar limitation like the Rolex GMT-Master. If you’d prefer to rock and take pleasure in your watch right now, this is an ideal option. 

Generally, the Tudor Black Bay GMT is referred to as the youthful or poorer man’s Rolex. However, over time, this pedigree is fast declining. Moreover, Tudor GMT still aims at a younger audience. Although, its prominence now extends to buyers that can easily afford a Rolex watch. 

Clearly, the Tudor Black Bay wristwatch line is the most distinguished Tudor delivers. However, the Black Bay collection is not quite to Tudor what the Royal Oak is to Audemars Piguet. Yet, it appears that it is only a matter of time before the reality becomes that.

Words on the street tell that Tudor’s fan base continues to rise thanks to the new Black Bay GMT watches. Watch fans appreciate the quality products the brand provides at very affordable prices. 

The Design Of The Black Bay GMT Wristwatch

Tudor as a watchmaking brand digs into its archives to get inspiration for the design of this timepiece. Consequently, the varieties on display in the Black Bay lineup pass that outstanding and unique 50’s to 60’s aura. 

Note: There might be a little bit of an exception with the Black Bay Chrono wristwatch.

  • The Origin Of The Black Bay’s Design

There is not a lot to say about the history of the design of the Black Bay GMT watches. Truly, these watches existed about the same time when Rolex launched the actual GMT-Master. Hence, the new Tudor Black Bay GMT is simply as the name suggests; new!

The Black Bay GMT watch takes ideas from classic Tudor timepieces. The kind of watches made in the 1950s and 1960s. 

Hence, you have elements of its design that includes: 

  • Railway style chapter ring
  • Oversized crown
  • Snowflake hands

Rolex GMT is better than Black TUDOR GMT

Into The Tudor Black Bay GMT 

  • The Bezel

The Black Bay GMT watch comes with the addition of a bi-directional rotatable bezel. This wristwatch carries a calibration of about 24 hours. This is a feature it shares with the GMT-Master.

The bezel of this wristwatch comes in two colors as well. These two colors are blue and burgundy. The burgundy section of the bezel tells the twelve daylight hours. While the blue part of the bezel tells the nighttime hours. 

The bezel features an anodized aluminum insert. And, most watch collectors prefer this addition as it lasts all through the lifetime of the wristwatch.

  • The Dial

The Tudor Black Bay GMT comes with a black dial. This presents an excellent contrast for the lume-filled arrows it features. Therefore, reading the time comes with no stress even when the light condition is poor.

  • The Case And The Bracelet

This wristwatch comes in a 41mm steel case. This came features contrasting polishes as well as satin finishes. This level of versatility is something it shares with the Rolex GMT-Master wristwatch.

Meanwhile, a special part of the design is the riveted steel bracelet. This bracelet also comes with a satin and polished finish. 

In a way, this presents a tool watch image together with a blend of the dress watch impression.

Again, there is the alternative of a “Terra di Siena” brown leather strap. The strap comes readied with a safety catch and a folding clasp. This strap looks perfect with the GMT bezel. 

Finally, there is a black fabric strap that comes together with a burgundy band.

  • The Movement

On an inside look at this timepiece, you find a new movement. This movement is the automatic caliber MT5652. The movement is an in-house production of Tudor specially for this Black Bay GMT watch, 

The movement comes with an additional hour hand that revolves once every 24 hours. Additionally, there is a date complication that displays the date right on the dial section at the 3 o’clock position 

The caliber beats at 28,800 vph. The movement delivers a similar 70-hour power reserve. Similarly, this is another movement certified by the COSC as a chronometer.

Finally, the brand maintains the dive watch DNA featured in the Black Bay collection. Due to this, the Black Bay GMT wristwatch comes with a waterproof rating of 200m.

Technical Details Of The Rolex GMT-Master Wristwatch

  • Case: 40 mm Oystersteel monobloc middle case with a screw-down case back plus, a winding crown 
  • Bezel: Rotatable bidirectional 24-hour bezel with a dual-color Cerachrom display in ceramic, graduation, and engraved numerals 
  • Waterproof Rating: 100 meters / 330 feet.
  • Dial: Black dial featuring center seconds, minute, and hour hands. A 24-hour display coupled with a second time zone and independent rapid-setting of the hour hand. Also, an immediate date setting, a stop-seconds feature for accurate time setting, and Chromalight display with long-lasting luminescence on hour arrows
  • Movement: Caliber 3285 featuring a bidirectional self-winding via Perpetual rotor, paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring, Chronergy escapement with optimized energy efficiency,  70-hour power reserve, and a Superlative Chronometer certification

Technical Details Of The Tudor Black Bay GMT Wristwatch

  • Case: 41mm steel case with satin and polished finishes. Steel screw-down winding crown coupled with the TUDOR rose in relief
  • Bezel: Rotatable bidirectional 48 notches bezel made from steel with 24-hour graduated anodized aluminum insert in blue and matt burgundy and blue
  • Waterproof Rating: 200m.
  • Dial: Black dial featuring center seconds, minutes, and hour hands with a 24-hour display and date.
  • Movement: Automatic caliber MT5652 featuring satin-brushed openwork rotor and sand-blasted components. Bidirectional rotor system,  70-hour power reserve, and a Chronometer certification.

Conclusion: Which Watch Has A Better Value?

There is no clear answer to this question as you must first consider various factors. Meanwhile, all your considerations still depend on your personal preference.

However, when you must choose between these two timepieces, we have a tip for you. Find a means to relate them side by side. Consider each factor from the view of the Rolex GMT-Master wristwatch. Then, the view of the Tudor Black Bay GMT watch. 

This is not going to be an entirely easy task. But, it is worth the effort when you do it this way. 


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