A month on the wrist with the Rolex “Pepsi”, the watch that has completely derailed my collecting strategy…

A month on the wrist with the Rolex “Pepsi”, the watch that has completely derailed my collecting strategy…

Matt Pickering

That is if I ever really had one. When it was released in 2018, the Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi Ref. 126710 BLRO quickly cemented itself at the top of my wish list, grail list, things-I’d-kill-for-to-own list (you get the picture). It remained firmly in the realm of dreams until recently when I decided to bite the bullet and pick up one second-hand. Yes, I paid market premium and all. Cue the laughter of the lucky collectors who were able to pick one up at retail – congrats to you if you fall into this category. The only way I could make it work without living on the street was by completely detonating my entire collection and going all in on the latest iteration of Pepsi. Was it worth it? Well let’s find out.

Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi

Once I put it on I felt…

Relieved more than anything. Relieved that I hadn’t just jettisoned some watches I really loved for something so hyped up. I was torn internally whether to go for it. Andrew warned me off it, telling me it was more blueberry than Pepsi. As someone who has wrist-rolled his way through pretty much every important watch out there his opinion carries a lot weight. Nick Kenyon was sitting on the other shoulder urging me on. Like the truly depraved watch fan I am, I ignored our good founder’s advice and threw down.

Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi

As soon I’d managed to adjust the bracelet I was blown away by how comfortable the Jubilee was on the wrist. If you’ve read or seen a review on this watch everyone raves about how the bracelet drapes around your wrist and you know what, they’re all right! I’m a massive fan of the Oyster bracelet and if I’m honest still prefer it from an aesthetics perspective, but nothing matches the jubilee in terms of comfort.

Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi

It also sits perfectly on my 17cm (6 ¾ inch) wrist. I like watches with a lug to lug width of sub 50mm and this one just squeezes in at 49.5mm if you include the end links. I like the way the bracelet sits flush against my wrist without any sizable gaps as it tapers gently down to the clasp.

Looks wise…

I was instantly in love with the colour. I couldn’t find anything online to categorically say that Rolex has changed the composition of the bezel, but if you compare it to our Hands-On shots it definitely looks different to me. Besides the bezel colour my biggest concern on committing was the Jubilee bracelet and if it was going to be versatile enough to be worn day in day out.

The Pepsi we shot in Baselworld in 2018 and the Pepsi in Matt’s collection from 2020. While the lighting is different, the colours are have clearly changed.

What stood out to me…

Was how much I didn’t miss my other watches. I’m now down to three “good” watches in my collection. If you’ve read anything else I’ve written on the site you know my proclivity for flipping but I really think this one has settled the itch. If I ever took it off for more than a day, I’m sure the 70 hours of power reserve would also be a huge bonus.

Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi

I’d wear this with…

Anything really. Thankfully I don’t feel overdressed rocking it with board shorts at the beach or out of place throwing it on with a suit and tie. In fact I’d be comfortable wearing it with any outfit short of black tie and with 2021 still being on Zoom rather than in the room I’m good there too. As I said, I’d literally sold around 60% of my collection to make this possible, so the watch was going to be worn!

Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi

If I could change anything…

I want to say the bracelet as I really like the look of the 16710’s with the fully brushed Oyster bracelets (no polished centre links please)! But I really fell in love with the Jubilee after a good amount of time with the watch. I’m not precious with my watches and I definitely don’t need to be overly cautious with this. If anything the Jubilee bracelet does a better job of hiding scuffs and scratches so I’m good with this on the wrist from the surf to playtime with my three-year-old and all the wooden trains he can hurl at it.

To end on a controversial note, I even think it’s still undervalued even at its current premium. It’s practically bullet proof and could easily be the only watch you ever need. It’s curbed my wayward eye (at least until April)…

Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi

Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 126710 BLRO price and availability: 

The Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi Ref. 126710 BLRO has an RRP of $13,600AUD and is in current production from authorised Rolex dealers worldwide. If you’re looking to add one to your collection and don’t want to endure the waiting list consider checking out the range currently on offer at eBay here.

Made in partnership with eBay. However, the opinions expressed in this article are our own in accordance with ourEditorial Policy.