Arguably the most unexpected Rolex release from 2022 was the new stainless steel model that joined the Rolex GMT-Master II collection. Officially known as the reference 126720VTNR, the new GMT-Master II watch features a split-color green and black bezel (a first for the collection) along with a matching green 24-hour hand. However, the most unexpected thing about the new stainless steel GMT-Master II ref. 126720VTNR is that it features its winding crown located on the left-hand side of the case and its date display positioned at 9 o’clock.
Other than its colors and left-handed configuration, the new Rolex GMT-Master II 126720VTNR is largely the same watch as its current-production siblings. However, these key updates ultimately result in a watch that both looks and feels significantly different from any other GMT-Master II model that Rolex has ever put forward.
Rolex GMT-Master II 126720VTNR
GMT-Master II Reference 126720VTNR Key Features:
- Reference Number: 126720VTNR
- Year of Introduction: 2022
- Case Size: 40mm
- Materials: Oystersteel (904L Stainless Steel)
- Functions: Time w/ Running Seconds, Date Display, GMT Functionality
- Bezel: Bidirectional, Black and Green Cerachrom Insert w/ 24 Hour Scale
- Dial: Black w/ Luminous Hour Markers
- Luminous Material: Chromalight
- Crystal: Sapphire (Flat w/ Cyclops Lens)
- Movement: Rolex Caliber 3285
- Water Resistance: 100 Meters / 330 Feet
- Strap/Bracelet: Oyster or Jubilee Bracelet
- Retail Price: $11,050 (Oyster Bracelet); $11,250 (Jubilee Bracelet)
A New Green GMT-Master II
While the Rolex GMT-Master II ref. 126720VTNR is certainly an unexpected new addition to the lineup, it is not actually the first green GMT-Master II. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the GMT-Master collection, Rolex unveiled the reference 116718LN, which was crafted from solid 18k yellow gold and offered with a bright green dial and a black ceramic bezel. Two years later in 2007, Rolex unveiled the reference 116710LN, which was crafted from stainless steel and featured an all-black bezel paired with a black dial that was accented with the “GMT-Master II” name in green letters and a matching green 24 hour hand.
Both models have been discontinued for the last few years, and in the time since they have left Rolex’s catalog, there has not been a single hint of green anywhere on the GMT-Master II collection until the release of the reference 126720VTNR. While the previous stainless steel model only featured small splashes of green, the new GMT-Master II 126720VTNR turns things up a notch by swapping out the green name on its dial for a green and black split-color bezel made from Rolex’s proprietary Cerachrom ceramic material. While the original 50th anniversary edition in solid yellow gold was available with a bright green dial, the new reference 126720VTNR offers the most green that has ever been featured on a stainless steel watch from the Rolex GMT-Master II collection.
Left-Handed Crown Design
Probably the single most unexpected aspect about the new Rolex GMT-Master II 126720VTNR is that it features its winding crown located on the left-hand side of its case. Often referred to as a “Destro” configuration, this inverted setup is primarily intended for left-handed people, although it can also be favored by right-handed individuals who wish to keep their winding crowns out of the way to prevent them from digging into the back of their hands.
Throughout history, there are numerous instances of Rolex producing left-handed watches. However, in the vast majority of these instances, the left-handed Rolex watches were custom ordered pieces, rather than standard-production models intended to be sold within the brand’s regular catalog. With that in mind, the Rolex GMT-Master II ref. 126720VTNR is not a limited edition or a commissioned piece, but rather a standard addition to the brand’s lineup that is publicly available for purchase through Rolex’s regular retailer network.
Rolex Caliber 3285 Movement
Despite its left-handed winding crown configuration and having its date window positioned at 9 o’clock rather than at its usual home at the 3 o’clock location, the Rolex GMT-Master II 126720VTNR is powered by the same in-house Caliber 3285 movement that can be found inside other models from the current GMT-Master II collection, along with the most recent version of the 42mm Explorer II. Small modifications were inevitably required in order to achieve the left-handed crown and date setup; however, the changes are minimal enough to the point where not even Rolex felt that it was necessary to issue the movement a new caliber number.
Based upon Rolex’s Chronergy Escapement, which benefits from significantly improved efficiency compared to the previous generation of movements, the Cal. 3285 offers users a 70-hour power reserve and certified Superlative Chronometer timekeeping of -2/+2 seconds per day, after casing. Additionally, the Caliber 3285 features all of Rolex’s latest and greatest technologies, such as its blue Parachrom hairspring for maximum chronometric precision and Paraflex shock absorbers for greater resistance to bumps and impacts.
Oyster or Jubilee Bracelets
Just like the other two stainless steel models from the current Rolex GMT-Master II collection, the new reference 126720VTNR is offered with the option of either the Oyster or Jubilee bracelet. Regardless of bracelet style, both options are fitted with Rolex’s Oysterlock safety clasp, which features an additional latch to prevent accidental opening. The clasp itself features Rolex’s Easylink extension system, which permits 5mm of expansion or contraction of the bracelet, completely on the fly and without the use of any tools.
Left handed people only make up approximately 10% of the overall population, so it is a bit puzzling that Rolex chose to create a new and desirable colorway for one of its most popular models, yet intentionally not offer that new colorway as an option on anything other than its single left-handed model. With that in mind, waiting lists for the new Rolex GMT-Master II ref. 126720VTNR are already extremely long at every single retailer around the globe, meaning that there are clearly plenty of right-handed watch enthusiasts out there who are also interested in adding the new green bezel GMT-Master II to their personal collections.