Watch Madness continues with four more models duking it out in the first round. For the next few weeks, we’ll be putting 64 watches head-to-head from our inventory. Just like March Madness, you can play along by filling out a bracket, and the stakes are just as high. The grand prize is a $1500 to spend on your next watch, right here with us. If you’re looking for a little friendly guidance on how to make your picks, keep reading. I’m here to help you out by sharing some details on four of the watches we’ve matched up.
Rolex GMT Coke vs. Vacheron Constantin Overseas
The Rolex GMT and Vacheron Constantin Overseas are two quintessential pilot’s watches. While the GMT launched over four decades prior to the Overseas, both models have significantly progressed over the years. The GMT was reborn just shy of 30 years after its initial debut in 1954. The 1983 GMT Master II presented more functional updates than aesthetic. However, one design update came in the form of new colorways, like the two-tone red and black “Coke” variation. Similarly, Vacheron Constantin reinvented the Overseas collection twenty years after its initial release in 1996. Though the GMT Coke and Overseas share a similar evolution and purpose, they’re two totally unique models.
Rolex’s GMT line has always had a distinctly sporty appeal, from the original GMT to the GMT Master II. The introduction of various color iterations, like the Coke, have given the model stylistic flair and secured its icon status. However, at the core of the GMT collection is functionality. With the GMT Master II, Rolex upped the ante with the addition of a quickset hour hand that’s independently adjustable. It allows the wearer to set the local time without stopping the second, minute, or fourth 24-hour GMT hand. In other words, the GMT Master II can display the time in not just two but three time zones simultaneously.
While Rolex has reputation for being producers of sport and tool watches, Vacheron Constantin is typically associated with dress watches. That all changed in 1996 with the introduction of the Overseas. The model launched the brand into the sport watch category. Vacheron Constantin has always emphasized the utility of the Overseas. The model is available with a variety of complications, like a chronograph function, dual-time zone indicator, perpetual calendar, and worldtimer. However, the Overseas collection remains true to the brands roots with an equal focus on aesthetic. This refinement and elegance is particularly apparent in the revamped 2016 version.
Rolex GMT Batman vs. Rolex Explorer
You know it’s going to be an interesting match-up when two Rolex models are up against each other. It’ll be a hard-fought battle, but one model will reign supreme. Will it be the GMT Batman or the Explorer? Like the Coke, the Batman is one of the affectionately nicknamed color variations of the GMT Master II. Opposing the Batman is the Explorer. The Explorer is another powerful tool watch from the Rolex catalog. Both models hail from the 1950s era of the brand, but all similarities aside, they each serve a unique purpose.
The Batman is a newer addition to the GMT line. Rolex first unveiled the colorway in 2014, and it quickly became one of the most popular variations of the model. The two-tone blue and black color scheme has garnered other monikers as well. Though Batman is the most widespread, fans have also dubbed the model Bruiser, Phantom, and Dark Knight. Aesthetics aside, the Batman, like the Coke, is one of the most technically advanced pilot’s watches on the market. The ability to read up to three time zones sets it apart. It’s an ideal watch for world travelers and pilots alike.
The Explorer solidified its place in horological history in 1953. That year, it became one of the first watches to reach Mount Everest’s peak. In the decades to follow, Rolex has continued to refine the Explorer collection. This eventually led to a major redesign in 1971 and the launch of the Explorer II. Through each iteration, the Explorer has continued to uphold the principles of the original. It’s built to withstand the most extreme conditions with an emphasis on high legibility, even in the dark. For adventurers and thrill-seekers – from climbers to cave explorers – this is the ultimate watch.
Choosing the Picks for Your Bracket
Sitting down to complete you Watch Madness bracket may feel overwhelming at first. There are so many great brands and watches out there, it can be hard to choose. With the GMT Coke and Overseas, it’s a battle of the pilot’s watches. On the other hand, between the GMT Batman and Explorer, it’s a choice between two of Rolex’s top models. Our advice: don’t overthink it, and go with your gut. There are pros and cons of each and every watch model. Sometimes, it just comes down to personal preference. May the watch gods be with you as you narrow your selections. Be sure to check back for other deep dives on the Watch Madness models.