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Rolex GMT-Master II Vs Daytona Watches

Rolex GMT-Master II Vs Daytona Watches

GMT-Master II vs Daytona watches

Rolex is a fearless competition to other brands in the world of professional luxury watches. Do you need a watch for spelunking, mountain climbing or flying commercial planes? Rolex has a tool watch in the brand’s collection for you. There is a Rolex watch to cater to virtually every profession. 

From this list of professional luxury watches, the most striking and widely accepted are the Rolex GMT-Master II and the Rolex Daytona Cosmograph. The production of these two professional luxury watches continues for decades now. Plus, these watches get adjusted and enhanced from time to time. This is what makes them the most compelling models to collect.

It is important to compare these two Rolex professional luxury watches. That way, we can find out which one of these two timepieces will work best for you.

This article contains a thorough and extensive watch comparison. Thanks to these informative comparisons you have straight to the point assessments. That way, the reviews come in an easy-to-read manner. So, you can quickly decide which one of these two Rolex timepieces satisfies your different needs.

With the kinds of questions we get concerning many watches, this text will help immensely. There are several watch lovers looking at the Rolex Daytona Cosmograph and the GMT-Master II. They just want to know which of these watches will be a better buy.

An Overview

These two timepieces house a unique profession, different from each other. For the Rolex GMT-Master II, it offers different time zones to pilots and other avid tourists. While the Daytona Cosmograph delivers stopwatch benefits. There is also the tachymeter bezel that comes with the Daytona Cosmograph for automotive racing. 

What we provide in this comparison article is simply a closer look. We give a closer look to these two highly-desirable Rolex professional luxury watches. That will help us to see the underlying distinctions that make them different from each other.

The Rolex GMT-Master II: Professional Luxury Watches For Pilots And Travelers

As it was, the initial Rolex GMT-Master hit the watchmaking industry in the 1950s. Looking back now, that was the perfect time for the now-popular pilot’s timepiece to hit the industry. That was the time when commercial flights started to develop overseas. 

Rolex GMT-Master II 

Originally, the GMT-Master only delivered the capacity to read home and local time. But, in the 1980s, the Rolex GMT-Master II came on as a new and improved version. This new introduction brought with it an unaided, yet flexible 24-hour hand. With that, the watch was fit to track an extra third timezone using its bi-directional 24-hour bezel.

As the watch developed in the following many decades, several significant upgrades enhanced the Rolex GMT-Master II line. Some of such upgrades included:

  • The Cerachrom bezel
  • A triple-sealed Triplock screw-down crown
  • An entirely remodeled case and bracelet.

In addition, Rolex also introduced the Caliber 3186 movement around 2007. This new addition contained Rolex’s patented paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring. Also, there was an advanced jump-hour mechanism. With the mechanism, there was room for the smoother functioning of the unassisted flexible hour hands. 

Presently, the Caliber 3285 featured in this timepiece comprises the same details as its predecessor. However, it showcases a completely unique style and also features Rolex’s Chronergy escapement. The latter is what allows the watch to possess that longer 70-hour power reserve.

Varieties In One Timepiece

All through its remarkable production stint, the Rolex GMT-Master II keeps showcasing the beauty that comes with varieties. 

  • Metal Options

The watch featured different metal options:

  • The two-tone metal option
  • The all steel metal option 
  • The all-gold metal option

For the all-gold metal option, it included all three shades of the gold color. 

  • Varieties Of Bracelet Options

These professional watches also featured both the dressier five-link Jubilee bracelet and the three-link Oyster bracelet. Presently, the Rolex GMT-Master II line of watches is available with these two bracelet designs.

Nevertheless, keep in mind that presently the solid gold and two-tone versions come exclusively with Oyster bracelets. As for the stainless steel version of this timepiece, they only come with the Jubilee bracelet.

  • Varieties With The Rolex GMT-Master II

All through the evolution of this timepiece, the bezel on it also witnessed a number of distinct style and color varieties. Not long ago, the bezel got an upgrade to Cerachrom ceramic. And shortly after, the GMT-Master II line is available in three new varieties. 

  • The black and blue Batman version
  • The red and blue Pepsi version
  • The black and brown Root Beer bezel extra. 

However, in 2019, Rolex discontinued the all-black ceramic extra. Also, the brand discontinued all yellow gold and Yellow Rolesor versions. Hence, all that was left were the bi-color bezels. They come in as alternatives on the recent GMT-Master II line of professional luxury watches.

  • The Case, Crown And Dial

It will be good to note that the Rolex GMT-Master II retains its standard 40mm case size. For the screw-down crown that recently got an upgrade from the Twinlock variation to a Triplock crown. Still, the watch delivers the same 100-meter water-resistance rating as always. 

Furthermore, the present generation of the Rolex GMT-Master II again comes with a Maxi dial. This Maxi dial features Chromalight plots that helps it get that ultimate legibility even in low-light situations.

Rolex Daytona Cosmograph: Professional Luxury Watches For Racers

Rolex did not just begin the production of chronograph timepieces. This has been for a number of years. Yet, the first real Rolex Daytona Cosmograph did not get into the watch market until 1963. In 1963, it finally did with the launching of the ref. 6239. 

Rolex Daytona Cosmograph

It didn’t take long after its introduction in 1965 that the Daytona name found a space on the dial. That came in as a nod towards the brand’s rapport with the legendary 24 Hours of Daytona race. 

Presently, the Rolex Daytona Cosmograph is closely linked with the fast-paced world of motorsport. This is due to its history and its power to measure driving speeds. This timepiece also accurately calculates elapsed time.

Changes And Upgrades Over The Years

A similarity to the Rolex GMT-Master II are the upgrades the Rolex Daytona Cosmograph saw. This timepiece had various upgrades to the line over the last decades. The most notable of these upgrades was the coming of the ref. 116520 in 2000. 

This reference came furnished with the Caliber 4130. Hence, the ref. 116520 became the first Cosmograph Daytona to function on a movement entirely created in-house by the brand. Prior to that time, the movement arrived from Zenith. Then, it got a significant adjustment from Rolex. This adjustments included:

    • A new escapement
    • A reduced oscillation rate of 28,800bph
    • The subtraction of the date element.
  • Changes To The Movement

The “El Primero ” caliber 4030 housed inside the ref. 16520 Daytona displaced the manual-winding 4-digit series that came before it. However, the in-house Cal. 4130 remains the powerhouse of the present era of Rolex Daytona Cosmograph watches.

Over time, this movement quietly experienced a number of slight modifications. An example is the addition of the Rolex blue Parachrom hairspring. There were also updates to a few of the movement’s gears.

  • Varieties Of The Bezel

Currently, the new Rolex Daytona line is available with either the “Cerachrom” ceramic bezel or the solid 18k gold. This is as the regular stainless steel bezel choice is now a discontinued option. 

More so, the gold bezels come in yellow, white, and Everose.

How about the Cerachrom bezel color choices? For this, we have the black stainless steel and gold version and the chestnut brown platinum models version.  

But, unlike the Rolex GMT-Master II, the Daytona will probably never feature a bi-color bezel choice. This is as the split-color style particularly comes in for use with a 24-hour scale. That set up is not a good fit for the tachymeter purpose of the Daytona’s bezel.

  • Metal Options

Like the Rolex GMT-Master II, the Daytona also comes in a vast variety of metal options. This includes:

  • The stainless steel
  • The two-tone steel
  • The yellow gold
  • The solid 18k gold in all three gold colors as well as in full 950 platinum.
  • The Case, Crown And Dial

Meanwhile, the Daytona again provides the exact 40mm case size. This timepiece also retains the same water-resistance rating of 100 meters. In addition, there are the Triplock crown and screw-down chronograph pushers. 

Both the dial and the hands featured on the current Daytona come decorated as well with blue Chromalight lume. This is similar to what is on other recent Rolex watches. More so, the model comes in two options. It is either:

  • A three-link Oyster bracelet or 
  • A rubber Oysterflex bracelet

Note that the dressier Jubilee version is not available presently as an alternative for this racing tool watch.

Common Features Of These Two Professional Luxury Watches

GMT-Master II vs Daytona watches Rolex professional luxury watches

  • Movements

The GMT-Master II and the Rolex Daytona Cosmograph employ an in-house Rolex movement. That helps both watches to an adequate power reserve. Although, the Rolex Daytona Cosmograph features a slightly higher reserve.

  • Bezels

These two professional luxury watches feature a “Cerachrom” bezel insert. This insert is a product of a very solid and hard ceramic that is scratch-resistant to a large extent. 

In addition, this Cerachrom is anti-corrosive and its color doesn’t fade. The color remains the same even when exposed to UV rays for a very long time.

  • These two timepieces feature the Easylink 5mm adjustment extension link.
  • Also, they both have the patented “Trip-lock” crown. This crown locks the crown down the Oyster case. That gives the case and the watch as a whole that water tight security.
  • The bracelet comes in matched with the patented Easylink 5mm extension link. This gives room for a sharp 5mm extension. It also allows a reduction to the bracelet size. This happens without the need for any tool.
  • These two timepieces deliver water resistance to as deep as 100m/330ft
  • Lastly, both Rolex watches possess an Oyster bracelet

Pros Of The Rolex GMT Master II

  • The Complication

The GMT complication makes room for you to know the time even in a second time zone

  • Cost

The cost of one of this starts at roughly half the cost of a Daytona

  • Bezel

This timepiece features a bezel that rotates both ways. 

  • Legibility

The GMT-Master II parades various luminous materials 

Cons Of The Rolex GMT Master II

  • Designs

There are not so many. Hence, there is a lesser array of options to choose from.

  • Material Options

There are limited options for precious metals. You only have 18k yellow gold, Platinum, and Rose Gold options

  • Complications

The watch lacks that chronograph function that the Daytona series feature.

  • Strap Options

This watch doesn’t come with the option of a leather strap

  • Diamond Versions

Unlike the Daytona Cosmograph series, there are no diamond versions

Pros Of The Rolex Daytona Cosmograph

  • Designs

Additional designs for you to select from.

  • Material Options

Extra precious metal alternatives like the 18k yellow gold, white gold, rose gold or the platinum option.

  • Function

Comes with a stopwatch function as a chronograph complication

  • Strap Options

You can either choose a bracelet or a leather strap option.

Cons Of The Rolex Daytona Cosmograph

  • Price

An entry level Rolex Daytona Cosmograph is two times the price of an entry level GMT-Master II

  • Absence Of The GMT

The watch doesn’t come with a GMT or a Dual time zone capacity

  • Legibility

There are less luminous fill in this timepiece. Hence, you have less night time legibility

  • Bezel

There are two color bi-directional rotating bezel choices like the GMT-Master II


Truly, the Rolex GMT-Master II and Rolex Daytona Cosmograph have several features in common. Some of these features are the Triplock screw-down crowns and 40mm case diameters. 

But, there are two features that graphically distinguish these two professional luxury watches II. These are the chronograph pushers featured on the side of the Rolex Daytona Cosmograph’s case. Then, the registers that appear on the Daytona’s dial. 

With these distinguishing features, the Daytona gets a more sophisticated design. As for the GMT-Master II, it possesses a rather straight-forward and conventional style.


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