The Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II is one of the most coveted timepieces around, for good reason. With its GMT complication and a 24-hour rotating bezel, the timepiece allows one to keep track of three separate time zones. The watch is also notable for its bi-colour bezels, which have been given various nicknames by afficionados. The Batman. The Coke. The Pepsi. The Rootbeer. These were all the doing of Rolex.
Various brands have offered their interpretations of the most famous among them – The Pepsi. Here are some highlights.
While Tudor did begin as Rolex’s younger brother, the brand has grown into its own. Bringing a rich heritage at a reasonable price point, the Black Bay series of dive watches takes plenty of design cues from historic Tudor dive watches. The Black Bay GMT takes a swing at the lauded GMT-Master II but with unique features like an anodised aluminium bezel insert, snowflake hands and a date aperture sans ‘cyclops’ lens. Its local jumping hour movement allows the wearer to quickly make adjustments to the local time zone without disrupting the rest of the displays.
TAG Heuer’s take on the Pepsi bezel deviates slightly from the collection’s typical dive watch design language. A larger case size of 43mm and luminescent trapezoidal indices create far greater legibility, while the angular bi-directional rotating bezel allows for a better grip. Having a polished aluminium bezel insert also results in more vibrant colours. The final piece of the puzzle comes in the form of a textured dial that gives the watch more visual interest.
Yema, a French tool watch company that is steeped in history, introduced its first dive watch that’s waterproof to 300 metres (“Superman”) in 1963. It recently announced the Superman Heritage GMT in three colours, with one of them being (you guessed it) the Pepsi. While the red and blue getup is all too familiar, the Superman sports a slimmer bezel and a unique bezel locking mechanism at three o’clock.
Squale’s fame within the industry lies in its manufacturing capabilities, having supplied watch cases to Blancpain and Doxa. This practice of parts sharing was common in the ’60s and ’70s, and helped ensure consistent quality. Squale’s foray into the Pepsi GMT territory is not one without several key differences. The bezel markings, indices and hands are coated in vintage-style lume for an added old-school charm. A Jubilee-esque bracelet mirrors the design choice of the recent 2019 “Batman” GMT Master-II and makes for a more supple bracelet. The lack of a ‘cyclops’ lens (a point of contention for some fans) also makes it a tempting alternative for those that prefer a cleaner-looking date aperture. With a Swiss-made ETA 2893-2 movement powering the timepiece, the 30 ATMOS is a true-blue GMT watch that also boasts an impressive 300-metre depth rating and a 42-hour power reserve.
This is a Pepsi GMT homage through and through, what with the watch’s general proportions, colour scheme, and even the inclusion of a ‘cyclops’ lens over the date window. For those looking to dip their toes into Pepsi-coloured waters, the Davosa’s value proposition is hard to beat.