Behind the Build #005 – Rolex Pepsi Seiko Mods and Other Soda Builds
Adding nicknames to high end watch models is a lot of fun for the fans of the brand. Many watches from Seiko and Rolex have their own nicknames which are inspired by the watch's color scheme, or general aesthetic.
Since the mid-1950s, the GMT-Master has been a staple in Rolex's collection. The Swiss luxury watchmaker has created many variants of this wristwatch. Rolex fans have given the editions clear-cut nicknames to assist with the distinction between them.
The blue and red “Rolex Pepsi” and the black and red “Rolex Coke” are two of the most popular bezel colours in the GMT lineup.
Two watches that would make any watch guy thirsty. (Source: Rolex Forums)
The original GMT-Master 16700 was born in 1955 as a customized watch for Pan American Airways pilots. It indicates different time zones and became very popular among Rolex fans.
But the most important feature of all would be the colorful range of bezels that have come, gone, and stayed over the years. The Rolex GMT-Master is famous for a variety of reasons, with the bezel color perhaps the most defining feature of this watch line.
With such classic designs, it is hard to resist modding a Seiko to look more like one of these iconic watches. Let's look at some of your options when it comes to Rolex GMT designs that can easily find their way into an amazing Seiko mod!
Rolex GMT-Masters Popularity: it all started with the Original Pepsi Watch
The first GMT-Master that was released in the mid 1950s featured the blue and red bezel (Pepsi), whereas the first GMT-Master II released in 1983 displayed a red and black bezel (Coke). Rolex still produces the “Pepsi” bezel, but not the “Coke” (for the time being).
A beautiful watch, even with all its scratches. Or maybe even more so because of them? (Source: @watchliberty on IG)
The Rolex Pepsi has long been a popular model for Rolex, but its popularity has soared over the last 20 years, along with many iconic Rolex sports watches.
While the iconic two-colored bezel serves as a functional distinction between day and night, it also gives the watch its own unique style.
What Is the Difference Between a GMT-Master and a GMT-Master II?
Before we get into the specifics of the Rolex 16700 vs. 16710 comparison, it's vital to understand the difference between the GMT-Master and the GMT-Master II.
The traditional 12-hour hand and the extended 24-hour hand are linked on the original GMT-Master versions. Keep in mind that the GMT-Master watch was created expressly for Pan Am pilots to track TWO time zones.
A beautiful specimen of a Rolex GMT-Master that was provided to Pan Am pilots. (Source: A Continuous Lean)
The Pan Am pilots would set the customary 12-hour hand (together with the minute and seconds hands) to standard time – known as Greenwich Mean Time (or GMT) until 1972, currently known as Coordinated Universal Time (or UTC).
The pilot would then simply turn the bezel to the proper GMT offset for local time when he arrived at a new destination. As a result, the 24-hour hand pointing to the bezel is used to read the local time, while the 12-hour hand is used to read the reference time.
Two time zones are displayed in a simple and attractive manner
The GMT-Master II allows you to set the 12-hour and 24-hour hands individually. The traditional hour, minute, and second hands display local time, but the 24-hour hand pointing to the 24-hour bezel (which can remain in the neutral position with the triangle at 12 o'clock) displays reference (home) time.
Another well-preserved Rolex Coke, being presented at an auction. (Source: A Continuous Lean)
When traveling, the traditional hour hand can move to the new local time in one-hour increments without upsetting the 24-hour hand. Additionally, turning the bezel displays a third time zone for a brief duration before returning it to its neutral position, or whatever the wearer prefers.
Despite the fact that Rolex had previously released the first GMT-Master II in the early 1980s, the GMT-Master was still manufactured alongside it for a while, as a less expensive option.
Rolex GMT Master 16700 - The Pepsi Watch
The original GMT Master's bezel color combination was red and blue. Due to its resemblance to the namesake soda brand, this bezel has been popularly known as the Rolex "Pepsi" bezel.
An image of a Pepsi in a can instantly induced. (Source: @my_sub_gmt on IG)
The Pepsi bezel has always been popular, and has come to define the entire GMT Master line. Unlike the Submariner, which has a solid color bezel, the Pepsi bezel makes it instantly recognizable as a Rolex GMT.
Due to the amount of time it spent on the market in one form or another, it has constantly been one of Rolex's most popular bezel color combinations and has inspired numerous other watches along the way.
You can modify your Seiko watch with a ‘Pepsi’ bezel insert and also other dials and hand sets if you want to create a closer homage to the iconic Rolex Pepsi GMT.
We stock numerous parts to help Seiko modders with any Seiko mod ideas that are sure to look smashing!
Just with a different font size, the mods instantly look different. (Source: @oliveralanwatchmods on IG)
If you want a classic blue and red aluminum Pepsi bezel insert, we have you covered. Pick this insert if you want the exact same look as the bezel insert of the Rolex Pepsi. You can also get the same design, but in ceramic for a more durable and premium feel.
If you want something a little different, check out our Omega SMP themed bezel insert. You can also get the best of both worlds in this Seiko Style Pepsi Insert that follows the blue and red color scheme of the GMT-Master but with Seiko’s recognizable markings pattern.
Rolex GMT Master 16710 – The Coke Watch
The Rolex "Coke" bezel, named for its red and black color scheme, is the next most historically renowned bezel. When the Rolex GMT-Master II ref. 16760 was released, the ‘Coke’ bezel was not available until 1983, and this color combination was discontinued in 2007.
A 90's released Rolex GMT-Masters in excellent condition with complete accessories. A rare find! (Source: @hackettwatches on IG)
Its appeal among classic watch collectors fuels rumors every year around BaselWorld trade show, as fans hope for a return of the Coke bezel led watch to Rolex's catalog.
This bezel is also instantly recognizable when worn on the wrist. You can always modify your Seiko watch with Coke mod parts. namokiMODS has a full range of parts to make a great Seiko Coke mod a reality, and we can help you mod a few different Seiko models.
A Seiko Turtle fitted with a Coke bezel. (Source: @indeepjungle on IG)
Just like the Pepsi bezel insert – we also have a lot of Coke bezel insert options to fit your modding needs. We have the standard aluminum 24 hour Coke bezel insert, and also a ceramic version that is a perfect fit for any modern Seiko Coke mod.
For something a little more stylized, check out our Lumed Glass 12 hour Coke bezel insert. It has an awesome vintage look that would go well with one of our vintage Divemaster dials.
Rolex GMT Master II – The Sprite Watch
The story behind this particular nickname is related to an eight-year-old boy visiting his father at work. The ‘Sprite’ green and yellow colored bezel was never an official release by Rolex, it was a simple child’s sketch that gave the idea for a realistic mockup to watch blog Hodinkee’s staff.
Sometimes children come up with the best ideas. (Source: Hodinkee)
An 8-year old boy was touring his father’s studio at Hodinkee, and came up with a brilliant idea. If Rolex made Pepsi and Coke-themed watches, why no love for Sprite?
Why not have a watch for the lemon-lime soda lovers of the world?
Hodinkee’s designers ran with it and the outcome is undoubtedly cool. The little boy’s idea for a Sprite GMT is colorful, cheery, and different from its cola-based brothers, just like the soda that inspired it.
While we may never see a Sprite GMT Master emerge from the Rolex factory, at Namoki we do like the vision of a world where great sodas get some classic watch representation.
Seiko Sprite mod looking quite refreshing! (Source: @jp_wristshop on IG)
If you want to make your own Sprite SKX – we can help you out. Have a look at this Sprite aluminum bezel insert. It is a perfect way to create a fresh feeling SKX. If you want to take your SKX deeper into the look, you can try our enamel black Divemaster dial – and a set of polished Mercedes hands!
There are not a lot of mods featuring this bezel insert yet. Whether it is due to a lack of inspiration, or other soda-themed mods are just more popular, creating a Sprite mod is a sure way to stand out from the Seiko modding crowd!
Rolex GMT Master II – The Root Beer (Brown) Watch
The Root Beer GMT-Master watches feature a bezel that is brown, beige, and gold – just like a nice, cold root beer.
Just look at the caramel goodness of that watch... (Source: @horology_movement on IG)
The first Rolex Root Beer, with the reference number 1675/3, was introduced in the early 1970s. It wasn't just the color palette that distinguished it from its siblings; it was also the first two-tone watch in the series, dubbed "Rolesor" by Rolex
More recently Rolex debuted a new two-tone GMT-Master II with a brown bezel at Baselworld 2018, much to the pleasure of many fans. This timepiece includes a few notable upgrades but keeps the earthy vintage style with a brown and black bezel that symbolizes tough travel in remote regions.
It features a 40-mm stainless steel Oyster case with an 18-karat yellow gold crown and bezel. This precious metal is also used for the indices and hands. With gold inner links and stainless steel outer links, the Rolex Root Beer GMT is back.
If you want to give a monochromatic Seiko a classy Root Beer look, you can always see all the Seiko Root Beer mod parts we offer.
A root beer watch without an exclusive price tag. (Source: @tomstimepieces on IG)
We have both a classic dual time root beer lumed glass bezel insert, as well as the more modern ceramic root beer insert with gold numerals. If you are into the vintage look, check out our Vintage Tropic Divemaster dial, which would look amazing with either root beer bezel insert we offer. The color scheme just beautifully matches!
Make the Most out of a SKX Soda Mod!
At NamokiMODS we manufacture a wide variety of mod parts, from bezels, to bezel inserts, crystals, and bracelets for Seiko mod fans to get the most out of the Seiko watches they love.
Our objective is to make Seiko modding accessible to as many people as possible with parts that will last at least as long as OEM parts.
We will be releasing more Seiko mod components in the future, both those that the community has requested – like the upcoming Titanium SKX case – with a surprise for anyone that didn't get a chance to buy the first version.
Modified components that help people to express themselves to the world, and those that want to create a truly unique watch for their own – have a look through our extensive Seiko mod parts catalogue, and decide what kind of Seiko mod you want to do next!