When Rolex released its updated Root Beer bezel in 2018, it really reinvigorated collectors’ admiration for this unique timepiece. For starters, we hadn’t seen a Root Beer GMT in over a decade, and while it was never the most popular GMT model among collectors, it was appreciated for its unique aesthetic and the mark it left on the collection. So when replica Rolex reintroduced the Root Beer Bezel in 2018, many were shocked to see its return.
Of course, the new Rolex GMT-Master II Root Beer ref. 126711CHNR has been brought into the 21st century with some much-needed updates. The two-tone configuration of gold has been replaced with stainless steel and Everose gold for a warmer and more modern look. In addition, the two-way ceramic bezel is now black and brown with recessed Everoe gold numerals, rather than half brown and half gold, and made of anodized aluminum like all previous iterations.
With this in mind, the biggest and most notable upgrade to the bezel is the use of Rolex’s proprietary ceramic material, which the brand calls Cerachrom. Looking at some of the earlier root beer bezels made from aluminum, one can see that many of them have suffered from scratches and fading over the years. By using this new, incredibly durable, and fade-resistant ceramic material for the bezel, a fake Rolex watch was able to ensure that these warm colors would last more or less indefinitely. The two-tone Root Beer bezel made of ceramic is also noteworthy because it is extremely difficult to manufacture. Rolex could have just gone with an all-brown Cerachrom bezel, so the effort to return to a two-tone bezel, but in more modern colors and materials, is certainly noteworthy.
The dial has also received a much-needed upgrade. Instead of a brown sunburst as before, the dial is glossy black with Everose gold markers applied and filled with luminescent blue Chromalight luminosity. Of course, Mercedes’s hands are still there, but these are now also made of Everose gold and treated with Chromalight. While some people like the inherently retro feel of the warm brown dial on the old Root Beer GMT, the glossy black dial on the new 126711CHNR reference certainly provides the watch with a more modern overall look.
It’s a watch to behold, as brown is still an unlikely color to be found on a watch. However, the way it combines with the lacquered black dial and warm 18k Everose gold makes it feel effortlessly sleek and modern. Of course, years from now, it’s possible to look back at this Ref. 126711CHNR and marvel at it. The 126711CHNR has the same vintage aesthetic that we’ve come to associate with the Ref. 1675/3. However, it represents the classic Root Beer GMT-Master in true modern style, and it is another example of how Rolex continues to push forward and innovate without forgetting the past.