Discover the captivating world of the Rolex Root Beer in this comprehensive guide. Delve into its rich history, explore previous models, and uncover the allure of the current Root Beer released in 2018.
Should you buy a Rolex Root Beer? We provide valuable insights to help you decide. Additionally, explore alternatives to the Root Beer for a wider range of choices.
Embark on this horological journey as we unravel the significance of the Root Beer and reveal everything you should know about this uniquely interesting timepiece.
About the Rolex Root Beer
The Rolex Root Beer is a beloved and iconic model with a fascinating history. The Root Beer name refers to specific Rolex GMT-Master models.
The first GMT-Master, reference 6542, was released in 1954 and featured a two-tone red and blue bezel inspired by the colors of Pan American Airways. Over time, Rolex experimented with different bezel colors, and the Rolex Root Beer emerged and gained a dedicated following among collectors.
The original Root Beer model featured a brown dial and a bezel crafted from both gold and brown elements, earning it the soda-inspired nickname. Although Rolex never officially adopted the Root Beer name, it has become widely recognized in the watch community.
The Root Beer GMT-Master also acquired other intriguing monikers over the years. Some enthusiasts refer to it as “Tiger Eye” because the dial’s rich brown hue resembles the captivating chatoyancy seen in tiger eye gemstones.
Another nickname associated with this model is “Clint Eastwood” due to the GMT Master 1675/3 being the renowned actor’s preferred Rolex watch. Clint Eastwood frequently wore the Root Beer in his movies, further cementing its iconic status.
Although production of the original Root Beer GMT-Master ceased in 2006, its desirability and collectibility have only grown stronger. The demand for this model has resulted in appreciating prices in the pre-owned market, reflecting its enduring appeal among watch enthusiasts and collectors. In 2018, Rolex reintroduced the Root Beer bezel in their GMT-Master II collection with the ref. 126711CHNR.
This modern iteration pays homage to the legacy of the Root Beer, incorporating contemporary enhancements while staying true to the model’s iconic design. The reintroduction of the Root Beer bezel further solidifies its status as a coveted and sought-after timepiece, captivating the hearts of watch enthusiasts worldwide.
A Primer on Rolex Watches’ Nicknames
Rolex watches have earned such a prestigious status in the luxury world that they have garnered a fascinating array of nicknames. These playful monikers have been created by the passionate collector community and have become widely recognized, even among those who aren’t watch enthusiasts.
The practice of giving Rolex watches nicknames has become a trend in itself, creating a circular effect where the desire for these timepieces leads to the invention of catchy aliases, which in turn increases the brand’s visibility and demand.
While Rolex has not officially sanctioned these nicknames, they have become part of the watch culture and add an element of enjoyment to the brand.
Here is a breakdown of some of the most commonly used Rolex nicknames:
- Batman: Rolex GMT-Master II reference 116710BLNR (2013) and upgraded to 126710BLNR in 2019.
- Batgirl: Rolex GMT-Master II reference 126710BLNR with Jubilee bracelet (2019).
- Coke: GMT-Master II with a red and black aluminum bezel insert (references 16760 and 16710).
- Green Lantern/Sprite/Destro: Left-handed GMT-Master II with a green and black bezel insert (2022).
- Hulk: Green Submariner reference 116610LV with green Cerachrom bezel and dial.
- Kermit: Submariner Date reference 16610LV with a green bezel insert (2003).
- Paul Newman: Hand-wound Daytona with an “exotic” dial featuring blocky indices and funky Arabic numerals.
- Pepsi: GMT-Master or GMT-Master II with a blue and red bezel (from 6542 in the 1950s to modern 126710BLRO).
- Smurf: White gold Submariner with a blue bezel insert and either a blue or black dial (references 116619LB and 126619LB).
- Starbucks: Submariner with a Super case, green Cerachrom bezel, and black dial (ref. 122610LV, 2020).
- Steve McQueen: Explorer II reference 1655, despite no evidence of the actor wearing one.
These nicknames have been coined by the collector community and have become widely recognized, adding an element of fun and distinctiveness to the Rolex watches.
Rolex Root Beer Models
Rolex GMT-Master Ref. 1675/3
The Rolex GMT-Master Ref. 1675/3 holds a significant place in the history of the Root Beer models. It was introduced in the 1970s and became the first-ever Root Beer watch. This particular model was available in two bezel color variations, but it was the version with the brown-and-black bezel that earned it the nickname “Root Beer”.
The combination of the brown bezel with the stainless steel and exquisite yellow gold case and bracelet created a unique and captivating aesthetic. The original Root Beer model featured a brown dial adorned with luminescent hands and hour markers in various shapes.
The dial also included a magnified date window, adding practicality to the timepiece. Powering this watch was the caliber 1575, which enabled GMT functionality, allowing the wearer to track two timezones simultaneously.
The watch’s vintage charm, along with its discontinued status, has made it highly sought-after among collectors. The Rolex GMT-Master 1675/3 embodies the spirit of the Root Beer models with its distinctive design and timeless appeal.
In the late 1980s, Rolex introduced an upgraded version of the Root Beer model with the GMT-Master II reference 16713.
This timepiece marked the next chapter in the evolution of the Root Beer watches and showcased Rolex’s commitment to innovation. The 16713 retained the essence of its predecessor while incorporating notable enhancements to offer a more versatile and modern timepiece.
The GMT-Master II 16713 featured a 40mm stainless steel and gold case, complemented by a matching bracelet. The bi-directional bezel, a defining characteristic of the GMT-Master models, was updated with brown and gold aluminum inserts, giving it a distinct Root Beer appearance.
The brown dial, similar to the original 1675/3, featured luminescent hands and hour markers, ensuring optimal legibility in any lighting conditions. However, what set this model apart was its ability to display three timezones. Thanks to its adjustable 12-hour and 24-hour hands, wearers could easily track an additional timezone, adding a practical function to the watch.
Powered by the caliber 3185, the GMT-Master II 16713 delivered precise timekeeping and reliability. The sapphire crystal provided enhanced durability and scratch resistance, further solidifying its status as a reliable companion.
The watch was available with both Oyster and Jubilee bracelets, allowing wearers to choose their preferred style and comfort.
The GMT-Master II 16713 represented a significant milestone for the Root Beer models, incorporating modern advancements while paying homage to its roots.
This model appealed to individuals seeking a timepiece that effortlessly combined functionality with style. Today, the 16713 Root Beer model remains a sought-after watch, cherished by collectors and enthusiasts for its unique design and enduring appeal.
Rolex GMT Master II “Root Beer” ref. 126711CHNR
In 2018, Rolex delighted fans of the Root Beer watch with the introduction of the 126711CHNR, a new iteration that breathed new life into the iconic timepiece.
This release marked a triumphant return for the Root Beer, which had momentarily disappeared from the horological scene. The Master II Root Beer, often hailed as the second version of the Root Beer, brought a fresh set of features and upgrades, reigniting the passion of watch enthusiasts.
With its blend of timeless design and modern enhancements, this model aimed to captivate both loyal fans and new admirers, solidifying the Root Beer’s status as a true Rolex classic.
While maintaining the bi-colored scheme that distinguished the original Root Beer, there are notable differences in the materials used. Rolex opted for their proprietary 18K Everose gold for the case, a departure from the traditional yellow gold found in the vintage model.
This choice imbues the timepiece with a warm and elegant hue, elevating its overall aesthetic appeal. The Oyster case, with its 40mm diameter and 12.5mm thickness, exudes a sense of robustness and durability.
It is meticulously crafted to ensure precision and reliability, reflecting Rolex’s unwavering standards. The screw-down case back and winding crown, coupled with a water resistance rating of 100m, ensure that the timepiece can withstand the rigors of daily wear and aquatic adventures.
With its impeccable design and attention to detail, the case of the relaunched Rolex Root Beer exemplifies Rolex’s commitment to creating watches of exceptional quality.
Departing from the brown dial of the vintage Root Beer, this model features a striking black dial that serves as a captivating backdrop for intricate details. The hour markers and hands, adorned with 18K rose gold accents, create a stunning contrast against the dark dial, infusing the watch with a touch of opulence.
This careful attention to detail extends to the text “GMT Master II,” elegantly printed in gold just above the 6 o’clock position. This additional detail sets the Root Beer apart from other GMT Master II models, which typically feature white markers and hands.
The combination of the gold accents with the bezel is truly jaw-dropping, giving the watch a warm and retro feel. Despite its toned-down appearance, the 126711 can still stand out and make heads turn.
Rolex ensures exceptional legibility with its Chromalight display, a proprietary feature that emits long-lasting blue luminescence. This allows the wearer to easily read the time, even in low-light conditions.
The dial becomes a focal point of admiration for watch connoisseurs, combining style, functionality, and impeccable craftsmanship.
Like other GMT models, this watch features a bi-directional bezel with a distinctive black and brown Cerachrom insert. Rolex’s use of ceramic material for the bezel is a groundbreaking achievement, known for its exceptional scratch-resistant properties.
This particular color combination in their patented ceramic material had never been produced before, making it an exclusive feature of the Master II Root Beer. The upper half of the bezel is black, while the lower half is brown, creating a visually captivating and dynamic effect.
The bezel’s molded Arabic numerals and graduations are coated with pink gold via PVD, adding a touch of elegance and functionality. As light plays upon the bezel, the black and brown tones come alive, providing a mesmerizing and ever-changing appearance.
The bi-color Cerachrom bezel exemplifies Rolex’s mastery of materials and design, adding a touch of sophistication to this exceptional timepiece.
At the heart of the 126711 beats the caliber 3285, a marvel of watchmaking technology developed exclusively by Rolex. This self-winding movement is a testament to Rolex’s unwavering pursuit of precision, reliability, and innovation.
The caliber 3285 incorporates several advanced features that enhance the watch’s performance. Equipped with Paraflex shock absorbers and a Parachrom hairspring, the movement boasts exceptional resistance to shocks and magnetism, ensuring reliable timekeeping in any situation.
The inclusion of the Chronergy escapement in this GMT Master II further enhances its precision and efficiency, with a 15% improvement in energy efficiency compared to previous movements.
These innovations result in an impressive power reserve of 70 hours, a significant improvement over its predecessors. The movement is COSC-certified, meeting the stringent standards set by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute.
With its unparalleled precision and reliability, the caliber 3285 enhances the overall appeal and functionality of the Master II Root Beer, solidifying its status as a superior timekeeping instrument.
Departing from the Jubilee bracelet found in previous Root Beer models, this timepiece features an Oyster bracelet that exudes a sporty and robust character.
The two-tone design combines satin-finished stainless steel outer links with 18K Everose gold center links, creating a harmonious blend of materials.
The bracelet’s craftsmanship ensures a perfect fit on the wrist, while the Easylink 5mm comfort extension link system allows for easy adjustment, providing unparalleled comfort and versatility.
The Oysterlock folding clasp adds an extra layer of security, ensuring the watch stays firmly in place during everyday activities.
With its exceptional design and engineering, the bracelet of the 2018 Root Beer embodies Rolex’s commitment to both form and function.
Pros and Cons
· Accurate Timekeeping: The 126711 is powered by the COSC-certified caliber 3285, ensuring precise timekeeping with a precision rating of -2/+2 seconds per day.
· GMT Functionality: The GMT function allows for tracking multiple timezones, making it convenient for frequent travelers.
· Exceptional Legibility: The Chromalight display and gold accents on the dial ensure clear and easy time reading, even in low-light conditions.
· Superior Movement: The caliber 3285 boasts advanced features like Paraflex shock absorbers, Parachrom hairspring, Chronergy escapement, and a 70-hour power reserve, ensuring reliability and precision.
· Limited Availability: The popularity of the Root Beer model and its status as a “hot watch” make it challenging to acquire, often resulting in long waiting lists or inflated prices in the pre-owned market.
· Deviation from the vintage aesthetic: The modern design of the Rolex Root Beer, including the metal bracelet, dial color, and bezel shade, may not appeal to purists seeking a faithful recreation of the original vintage model. However, for those looking for a modern and trendy interpretation, this watch offers a unique charm.
In conclusion, the Rolex GMT Master II Root Beer is a remarkable timepiece that pays homage to its iconic predecessor while introducing modern features and materials.
From the exquisite case and dial design to the innovative movement and bracelet, every aspect of this watch showcases Rolex’s commitment to craftsmanship and precision.
While it may have some limitations in terms of availability and deviation from the vintage aesthetic, the 2018 Root Beer remains a sought-after model that appeals to both watch enthusiasts and discerning collectors.
Should You Buy a Rolex Root Beer?
The Rolex Root Beer is a timepiece that appeals to a specific audience that appreciates its unique features and distinct design elements. For fans of the iconic Rolex Root Beer, the reference 126711CHNR offers a new breed of the classic watch, capturing the essence of the vintage model while incorporating modern upgrades and features.
It presents an opportunity to add a unique and sought-after timepiece to your collection. The popularity and limited availability of the Rolex Root Beer make it a highly desirable and sought-after timepiece. Its distinct design, rarity, and exclusivity contribute to its appeal for those who appreciate owning a watch that stands out and makes a statement.
While there are some considerations to keep in mind, such as the challenge of acquiring the watch and the deviations from the vintage model, the 2018 Rolex Root Beer remains a timepiece that combines the allure of heritage with modern advancements, making it a worthy investment for those who value quality, originality, and exclusivity.
Alternatives To The Rolex Root Beer
If you want the look of the Root Beer but can’t find one for a reasonable price, there are a few decent alternatives with similar looks at different price points:
Tudor Black Bay GMT S&G (ref. M79833MN-0001)
The Tudor Black Bay GMT S&G “Root Beer” is a compelling alternative to the Rolex Root Beer, drawing inspiration from vintage Tudor and Rolex models. With its two-tone design and vintage flair, the Black Bay GMT S&G offers a touch of nostalgia.
The Tudor Black Bay GMT S&G provides a more accessible price point compared to the Rolex Root Beer. Its vintage aesthetic with gold accents and a Root Beer-inspired bezel appeals to those seeking a classic look. However, some may argue that the Tudor lacks the prestige and finishing of Rolex. Ultimately, the choice depends on personal preference, budget, and the significance of brand heritage.
The Tudor Black Bay GMT S&G retains the same dimensions as the steel version, with a 41mm diameter and 14.6mm thickness. The case combines brushed and polished surfaces and features a screw-down crown and solid steel caseback. The watch offers a balance between presence and wearability.
The Black Bay GMT S&G features a domed matte black dial with applied hour markers and a vintage-inspired Snowflake handset. Super-LumiNova luminescence ensures legibility in low-light conditions. The dial design blends seamlessly with the two-tone aesthetics of the watch.
The standout feature is the 18K yellow gold bezel with a matte brown and black anodized aluminum insert, paying homage to the Root Beer models. The Tudor interpretation offers a retro look with a matte finish, distinguishing it from the glossy Rolex bezel. The bi-directional rotation and 24-hour scale facilitate tracking multiple time zones.
The Tudor Black Bay GMT S&G is powered by the reliable MT5652 movement. It features a silicon balance spring, operates at 28,800vph, and provides a 70-hour power reserve.
The GMT function allows for easy tracking of different time zones. Tudor offers a choice of a riveted steel and yellow gold bracelet, a fabric strap, or a leather strap for the Black Bay GMT S&G. The two-tone bracelet complements the watch’s aesthetics, while the fabric and leather options provide versatility.
Squale 20 ATMOS Root Beer Ceramic – 1545 – SEL Bracelet
The Squale 20 Atmos Root Beer Ceramic model offers a compelling alternative to the Rolex Root Beer with its upgraded case construction, unique brown ceramic bezel insert, and overall value for money. This timepiece combines quality craftsmanship, reliable movement, and an aesthetically pleasing design, making it a standout choice for watch enthusiasts.
When comparing the Squale 20 ATMOS to the Rolex Root Beer, there are several pros and cons to consider. The Squale 20 ATMOS Root Beer offers a more affordable price point while maintaining high-quality construction. However, it may lack the prestige and finishing of the Rolex counterpart. Ultimately, the decision between the two will depend on personal preference and budget.
The Squale 20 Atmos Root Beer Ceramic features a 40mm stainless steel case with improved case construction and a screw-down crown. The short curved-down lugs ensure a comfortable fit on any wrist size. The mixture of satin brush and polished finishes adds to the overall quality and appeal of the watch.
The highlight of the Squale 20 Atmos Root Beer Ceramic is its beautiful brown sunburst dial, which dances with different lighting conditions. The dial is complemented by round indices, gilt Mercedes hands, and a magnified date window with a Cyclops eye. The sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating enhances clarity and visibility.
The standout feature of this model is the brown ceramic bezel insert with gold gilt numbers. The bezel is meticulously engraved and heated to harden and purify the ceramic before being filled with gold gilt. The result is a virtually indestructible and scratch-resistant bezel that exudes a sense of luxury and durability.
Powered by either the ETA 2824 or Sellita SW200, the Squale 20 Atmos Root Beer Ceramic ensures reliable timekeeping with approximately 40 hours of power reserve. The movement operates at 28,800 BPH, offers hacking and hand-winding capabilities, and features 25 jewels for smooth and precise functionality.
The watch comes with a straight brushed stainless steel bracelet with solid end-links and screw-in links. The twin-lock clasp offers a secure closure, although it may be slightly difficult to unclip for those with short fingernails. The bracelet adds to the versatility of the timepiece, making it suitable for both formal and casual occasions.
Venezianico Nereide GMT (ref. 3521504C)
The Venezianico Nereide GMT black dial model offers a compelling alternative to the Rolex Root Beer with its combination of Italian chic, timeless elegance, and modern form.
This timepiece showcases the brand’s commitment to draw inspiration from traditional watchmaking values and mix them with innovative ideas, resulting in a unique and versatile watch.
When comparing the Venezianico Nereide GMT to the Rolex Root Beer, there are several pros and cons to consider.
The Venezianico model stands out with its Italian design, clean aesthetics, and slim shapes, offering a sense of timeless elegance. It also features a reliable Seiko NH34A automatic movement with a GMT function, allowing for precise timekeeping and the tracking of multiple time zones.
However, it may lack the prestige, quality, investment value, and recognition of the Rolex brand, and enthusiasts will prefer the brand with the crown, even if that means waiting a bit longer to be able to afford it.
The Venezianico Nereide GMT boasts a versatile 39mm case size, catering to demanding individuals who appreciate both travel functionality and reliable dive watch capabilities. With a water resistance of 20 ATM, this timepiece is designed to withstand severe stress and pressure changes. The carefully engraved caseback, depicting the globe and time zones, adds a touch of craftsmanship to the overall design.
The Nereide GMT features a black dial with polished, hand-applied indices coated with luminescent BGW9 Super-LumiNova pigment for excellent legibility in dark conditions. The hard sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating ensures durability and clarity, while the glossy finish of the dial and bezel adds a touch of elegance.
The watch showcases an eye-catching unidirectional black and light brown rotating sports bezel with BK7 optical glass inserts, known for its lightness and low-dispersion properties. The glossy finish of the bezel complements the overall aesthetics of the timepiece.
Powered by the Seiko NH34A automatic movement, the Venezianico Nereide GMT offers reliable timekeeping and a power reserve of 41 hours. The inclusion of the GMT function allows wearers to track a second timezone independently.
The Venezianico Nereide GMT features the Canova silver bracelet made of 316L stainless steel, known for its durability and elegance. The registered design of the bracelet includes 16 different parts with an integrated butterfly clasp, ensuring a secure and comfortable fit on the wrist.
The Rolex Root Beer holds a significant place in the world of luxury timepieces, with its rich history and enduring appeal. Whether you opt for the vintage models or the modern iteration, the Root Beer offers a unique combination of style and functionality.
Use this guide as a reference to make an informed decision that aligns with your individual style and aspirations and embark on a horological journey that resonates with your unique personality.