April 10, 2022
by Bilal Khan
In what felt like a blast to the past, the watch industry found itself flocking to the window display of the Rolex booth on opening day of the biggest trade show in years. The big release from the crown this year was undoubtedly the left-handed GMT-Master II with a new green and black bezel. Met with a mixed yet generally positive response to the actual product, the underlying feeling of “another great watch nobody will be able to get” has taken hold so strongly that I worry the cynicism may eclipse the, you know, fun of this entire hobby. With a cool new green/black bezel and a truly unexpected layout, here’s a hands-on look at the new Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 126720 VTNR ‘Destro’ debuted at Watches & Wonders 2022.
Rolex made a couple (literally something like two or three pieces) lefty GMTs way back in the day, but other than little sibling Tudor’s Pelagos LHD, this is new territory. Watch nerds will refer to a watch worn on the right wrist by lefties as a “destro,” by the way, so if that phrasing is unfamiliar to you, I’m sure you’ll have seen the word dozens of times by the end of this week. Simply put, this is really just another GMT-Master II, albeit one with the crown on the left side of the case, which makes for an initially disorienting though otherwise handsome and classic watch.
The other big talking point is going to be that new green and black bezel, obviously. Rolex uses the same color of green on half of the ceramic bezel here as you see on the Submariner “Cermit” which is done in full green. I suppose the early nickname for this is the “Sprite,” which doesn’t really make much sense to me since there’s no black to be found anywhere on a can or bottle of Sprite. Green and yellow or green and blue would make for a hell of a GMT “Sprite,” though. I’m a little over the try-hard nicknames, anyway.
Other than the crown layout and bezel color scheme, we are looking at a standard GMT-Master II. A 40mm-wide steel case with 100m of water resistance, it is outfitted with the Calibre 3285, which was introduced back in 2018 and has a 70-hour power reserve.
There is one thing I keep coming back to that I just cannot make up my mind about. The reconfiguration of the movement here, unlike with the Tudor, means that the cyclops date window shifts to that side, as well. It just wouldn’t work or make sense on the right side of the case in any way. I know and recognize this fact but really can’t make up my mind on what I think of it. I suppose this is actually just a product for lefties (not me), and it doesn’t really matter what I think because the product wasn’t intended for me.
A somewhat quirky (for Rolex, at least) and definitely unexpected release, the GMT-Master II Ref. 126720 VTNR is certainly going to be the most talked about Rolex coming out of Watches & Wonders 2022. I won’t speculate on availability/waitlist times or egregiously greedy flipping prices, but I suspect they will not be any more favorable than the standard GMT-Master II watches out there. It will be available on either Oyster or Jubliee bracelet, priced at $10,050 and $10,250, respectively. You can learn more at rolex.com.