The Coke bezel that watches lovers talked about is originated from the first GMT-Master that was released by Rolex in 1954, and it is the Rolex GMT-Master 6542. The GMT-Master was developed at the request of Pan Am, which asked Rolex to develop a watch that could track multiple time zones simultaneously. This allows pilots across time zones to keep track of the time at home.

Rolex developed the GMT-Master 6542 at the request of Pan Am. The watch has a bezel which is made of Bakelite and is available in blue and red color. This is also the Coke bezel that watchers talk about. The bezel is made in two colors to allow pilots to easily distinguish between day and night at home.

Bakelite Bezel comes with luminous numbers that are made of radium. This is to allow pilots to read the time even in dimly lit conditions such as the cockpit.

During the popularity of Bakelite, various manufacturers actually noticed that Bakelite can be used to make watch bezels, and Rolex is one of the representatives. Because Bakelite Bezel proved to be brittle and prone to cracking. And everyone knows that because radium is radioactive, cracking will lead to radiation leakage. As a result, Rolex recalled all 605 Bakelite GMT-Masters that were exported to the United States because the Atomic Energy Commission found the watch had excessive levels of radioactive radiation. With this in mind, the GMT-Master 6542 Bakelite Bezel has a very short production cycle. In 1956, Rolex changed the material to aluminum.

Furthermore, the Rolex GMT-Master actually comes in two variants: one in stainless steel and the other in solid gold. The solid gold version is extremely rare, and the Bakelite Bezel was originally used as well. However, this bezel is not blue and red. To match the gold, the Bakelite Bezel is brown. Now only a few Rolex GMT-Master Bakelite Bezel watches occasionally appear in auctions.

Rolex later switched to an aluminum bezel, though it is more durable than the previous bakelite inserts, the aluminum bezel does not use radium luminous, which means that the legibility in the dark is not as good as the Bakelite Bezel. And the aluminum bezel also changed the appearance of the 6542, making more Rolex fans more interested in the original GMT-Master Bakelite Bezel watch.