Many of the design elements that we find stylish on a watch today first came about as a necessary feature. Function becomes form, if you will. Think rotating dive bezels (for tracking immersion times), large hands and hour markers (for better legibility), and oversized crowns (for a better grip with gloves). Another great example is the so-called Pepsi bezel, originally introduced by Rolex on the 1955 GMT-Master pilot’s watch and adopted by countless brands since.
A Pepsi bezel is generally defined as one with blue and red sections, punctuated with white markings. It’s nicknamed after the famed soda because it resembles the old-school Pepsi logo. While there’s no doubt that the color combination is certainly striking, the Rolex Pepsi bezel was designed that way not only for looks but for practicality too. The upper blue portion of the bezel is home to nighttime hours while the bottom red part holds the daylight hours — which made it easier for pilots to differentiate between night/day hours of the second time zone displayed on the bezel.
If you’re a fan of the blue and red bezel, then check out these top seven best Pepsi watches that we’ve rounded up for your viewing pleasure.
1. Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi
Price starts at $10,550
When discussing a Pepsi bezel watch, it only makes sense to start with the first. The Rolex GMT-Master was designed in the 1950s for Pan American Airways pilots to keep track of reference time (which was Greenwich Mean Time or GMT back then) and local time, simultaneously. GMT was read off the 24-hour marked bezel via a 24-hour hand on the dial while local time was displayed with a traditional 12-hour hand.
The very first GMT-Master vintage Pepsi watch sported that now-iconic blue and red bezel and this colorway has remained an iconic choice for Rolex’s pilot watch. The most current version is the GMT-Master II ref. 126710BLRO with a 40mm steel case (water resistant to 100 meters) topped with a Cerachrom ceramic Pepsi bezel. The watch is offered with a choice of a sporty three-link Oyster bracelet or a dressier five-link Jubilee bracelet.
2. Tudor Black Bay GMT
Price starts at $3,850
Rolex’s sibling company Tudor, which boasts a large selection of high-quality yet relatively affordable Swiss-made watches, also offers a Pepsi bezel watch.
The Tudor Black Bay GMT “Pepsi” ref. 79830RB debuted in 2018 and it’s been a hit ever since. The watch includes a 200-meter water-resistant steel case that measures 41mm, a blue and red bezel insert made from aluminum, and an in-house automatic movement. The black dial houses the brand’s signature “Snowflake” style hands and lume-filled hour markers. Tudor offers the BB GMT with a matching steel bracelet, a brown leather strap, or a black fabric strap.
3. TAG Heuer Aquaracer GMT
Price starts at $3,400
The Aquaracer GMT takes TAG Heuer’s long-running dive watch and combines it with a handy GMT display and a blue and red aluminum bezel. In addition to the striking color combo, TAG Heuer’s Pepsi bezel also stands out for its 12-sided case shape.
The watch’s 43mm steel case (12.8mm thick), which is water resistant to 300 meters, is paired with a matching steel bracelet with a push-button folding clasp. Matching the largeness of the case are the oversized details on the black horizontally striped dial, and powering the Aquaracer GMT ref. WAY201F is the Caliber 7 automatic movement.
4. Monta Skyquest Opalin
Price starts at $2,190
First the bad news; the Monta Skyquest Opalin is a limited edition (50 pieces only) and it’s sold out. However, this isn’t Monta’s first Pepsi bezel watch, and who knows, there may be more in the future – there certainly are plenty of fans waiting for one.
The automatic Monta Skyquest Opalin has a 40mm steel case that’s 11.9mm thick and water resistant to 304 meters. The blue and red aluminum bezel is furnished with gilt numerals and the matte opalin silver dial is a great backdrop for the gold-colored indexes and hands. Monta is known for its ultra-comfortable bracelets with fully articulating links and beveled edges.
5. Zodiac Sea Wolf GMT “Crystal” Topper Edition
Price starts at $1,795
Based on the original silver-dialed Zodiac Aerospace GMT from the 1970s, this relatively recent Zodiac Sea Wolf GMT “Crystal” ref. ZO9408 is also a limited edition (182 pieces) watch and made exclusively for Topper Jewelers.
The bi-color blue and red Pepsi bezel of this automatic Zodiac Sea Wolf GMT features a mineral crystal top-ring, which emphasizes the vintage nature of the watch. The steel case comes in at 40mm in diameter and 13mm thick and true to the Sea Wolf dive watch heritage, it’s water resistant to 200 meters. The silver sunburst dial contrasts with the primary colors of the bezel and it also has a bi-colored “roulette style” red and blue date wheel.
6. Seiko Prospex SRPE99
Price starts at $590
While many will point to the classic Seiko SKX 009 as the ultimate Seiko Pepsi bezel watch, we’re choosing to highlight a more recent model — the Seiko Prospex PADI “Turtle” SRPE99 (formerly known as the SRPA21). The 45mm steel cushion case is equipped with a blue and red dive bezel, and while the colors aren’t evenly distributed (the red marks 20-0 minutes to give fair warning to the diver) it’s still a Pepsi-like bezel in our books.
This Seiko Pepsi diver is water resistant to 200 meters, includes a day-date window on the stunning blue sunburst dial, and of course, a winding crown at 4 o’clock. Completing this affordable Pepsi bezel watch is a steel three-link bracelet with a diver’s extension.
7. Q Timex GMT 38mm
Price starts at $219
Finally, this list wouldn’t be complete without a cheap Pepsi bezel watch by Timex — particularly the Q Timex GMT 38mm. This cheerful watch proudly celebrates the quartz revolution that the 1970s brought about, from its era-correct silhouette to its low-maintenance battery-operated engine.
As its name suggests, this Timex has a 38mm (steel) case, a handy GMT complication, and a quartz movement. It also has a blue and red 24-hour bidirectional bezel, a domed acrylic crystal, and an integrated steel link bracelet. Yes, the watch is currently out of stock, but you can sign up to be notified when it’s available.
That wraps up our list of the seven best Pepsi bezel watches, ranging from $219 to $10,550. Are you a fan of the blue and red bi-color bezel and do you have a Pepsi in your collection? Is there a Pepsi bezel watch you’d add to our list?
As always, we love to hear from you so drop us a comment below!