Why is the Rolex GMT-Master II So Popular? The Pre-Owned Market Sees Strong Demand for the Iconic 'Pepsi' Model

The second-hand sales of the Rolex GMT-Master II, particularly the beloved 'Pepsi' variant, have remained robust despite recent market fluctuations. Over the past two years, the pre-owned Rolex market has experienced significant changes. Fueled by factors like low interest rates, a booming stock market, and the rise of cryptocurrency wealth, the resale market for Swiss luxury watches reached its peak in March 2022 before entering a prolonged decline.

As the market begins to stabilize, some high-flying models, including various iterations of the Rolex Daytona, have seen their values drop significantly. However, the Rolex GMT-Master II, especially the 'Pepsi' model (Ref. 126710BLRO), has bucked this trend and continues to perform strongly.

The Enduring Appeal of the Rolex GMT-Master II 'Pepsi'

The Rolex GMT-Master II 'Pepsi,' with its distinctive red and blue bezel, has a storied history and a dedicated following. Originally designed as a pilot's watch, the Rolex GMT was introduced in 1955 with a unique hand to track 24-hour time. The original two-color bezel featured red for daylight hours and blue for night. Over the years, other color combinations were introduced, but the 'Pepsi' insert remains a favorite.

According to industry insiders, the 'Pepsi' model often commands a premium over other variants. This preference highlights the 'Pepsi' model's strong desirability among collectors and enthusiasts.

Resilient Market Performance

According to multiple tracking services, the price of the Rolex GMT-Master II 'Pepsi' has increased more than any other Rolex model over the past 12 months. It currently tops the Bloomberg-Subdial Index of the 50 most traded Swiss watches. Unlike many top-performing watches, this 'Pepsi' GMT is still in production, theoretically available at retail. However, finding a dealer willing to sell it at retail price is a challenge.

In the pre-owned market, the 'Pepsi' GMT is selling for around US$21,000, nearly double its retail price of US$10,700. Sellers are more aggressive with this model, aware of its higher value. While Rolex inventory typically turns over in about two weeks, the 'Pepsi' GMTs sell within two days.

Limited Supply and High Demand

The constrained supply of the 'Pepsi' GMT further drives its desirability. For every 'Pepsi' that comes into the queue, there are typically six or seven of the blue and black variants. This limited availability compared to other color variants makes the 'Pepsi' model even more sought after.


The Rolex GMT-Master II 'Pepsi' continues to captivate the pre-owned luxury watch market with its iconic design and strong performance. As the market stabilizes, this model's enduring popularity and limited supply ensure it remains a prized possession for watch enthusiasts and collectors alike. For those looking to invest in a pre-owned Rolex, the 'Pepsi' GMT-Master II stands out as a resilient and desirable choice.