In the horological community, there are many debates or conversations involving the topic "Which brand is the best?". Two brands that often get tied up in these conversations are Rolex and Tudor. The reason being is Rolex is the bigger brother of Tudor which leads Tudor to have some aesthetic similarities to Rolex timepieces. Tudor is also the more affordable brand in comparison to Rolex which often leads to the question "Why not just get a Tudor? It's basically a Rolex." Today, we will be comparing two Pepsi bezel GMT watches, The Rolex GMT Master II Pepsi and the Tudor Black Bay GMT Pepsi. We will be looking at the aesthetics of both watches, their price point and what you're getting for the money. So sit back, grab your morning coffee, get cozy, and let's dive in.
The Materials and Features:
Rolex GMT: The GMT Master II Pepsi features a 40mm stainless steel case, sapphire crystal over the dial, bi-directional rotating bezel, stainless steel bezel insert, applied indices, screw down crown, 100m (330ft) of water resistance and multiple timezone functionality.
Rolex GMT Master II 126710BLRO
Tudor Black Bay GMT: The Tudor Black Bay GMT features a 41mm stainless steel case, sapphire crystal over the dial, bi-directional rotating bezel, stainless steel bezel insert, screw down crown, 200m (660ft) of water resistance and multiple timezone functionality.
Tudor Black Bay GMT 79830RB-0001
Between both the GMT Master and the Black Bay, there are quite a few similarities, however, the Black Bay does has a 41mm case, as well as 200m of water resistance. 40-41mm is the sweet spot for case sizes for a vast majority of collectors, but the extra 100m of water resistance is definitely more appealing with the Black Bay GMT.
Rolex GMT: The GMT Master features the Rolex Caliber 3285 In-House Movement. This is a 31 jewel, self-winding automatic movement that is the replacement for the original Caliber 3186. The new 3285 movement in comparison to the 3186 has a larger overall diameter which allows for a larger barrel inside the movement allowing for a 70 hour power reserve. The Caliber 3285 has had fundamentally strong gains in terms of precision, power reserve longevity, resistance to sudden shock and overall convenience.
Rolex Caliber 3285 Movement
Tudor Black Bay GMT: The Black Bay GMT features the Tudor Caliber MT5652 In-House Movement. This is a 25 jewel, self-winding automatic movement that features a 70 hour power reserve (which is a massive step up from its 38 hour power reserve brothers the MT5601 and MT5602). It is equipped with a bidirectional rotor system and variable inertia balance, micro-adjustment by screw. This caliber also features a non-magnetic silicon balance spring.
Tudor Caliber MT5652 Movement
The aesthetics between the GMT Master and the Black Bay do have some similarities, but also have their own iconic look. The Rolex GMT Master II is much more rugged and has more aggression to its aesthetic, while the Black Bay GMT has a very thin and elegant aesthetic that looks a lot more round and gives off a simplistic elegance that the bigger and heftier Rolex GMT does not have. The Rolex GMT however does come in a slightly smaller case size at 40mm while the Black Bay GMT is 41mm. As I mentioned earlier, 40-41mm case size is the sweet spot for most collectors, so the 1mm difference may not matter to most. The jubilee bracelet on the GMT Master II creates this level of high quality craftsmanship and brings a certain charm and elegance to a watch that is quite aggressive and bulky looking, while the Black Bay GMT uses a standard link stainless steel bracelet which gives this feeling of structural stability and toughness to the watch.
There is a massive price difference between the Rolex GMT Master II Pepsi and the Tudor Black Bay GMT Pepsi. Each timepiece has their own level of craftsmanship and design, but both have similar materials and functionality. The Rolex GMT Master II retails for $25,000 CAD while the Tudor Black Bay GMT costs 1/5th of the Rolex at $5,000 CAD.
These timepieces have their own feel and aesthetic and are both extremely beautiful. The functionality and material choice for both timepieces are extremely close and you will be more than happy with either one. It is completely up to you which one you buy, because either way, you will walk away with a fantastic timepiece. For a vast majority of collectors, it is great to know that such a high quality piece like the Tudor Black Bay GMT exists, because the price tag for the GMT Master II is very unrealistic for some. Whether you choose the Rolex or the Tudor, you will not be disappointed. Thank you for reading.