The Pepsi bezel is an undeniably classic look in the watch world. Ever since it was used on the Rolex GMT back in the early 60's, many watchmakers replicated the styling with their own unique touches.
Thanks to this mass adoption of the design, you can now find Pepsi bezels at many different price tags. This article will give you the best Pepsi bezel watches in 5 different price ranges.
Orient Mako II
Even if it is the cheapest of the bunch, the Orient Mako II Pepsi is easily as good as many other watches on this list. Ever since its first iteration, the Mako has been one of the most popular line from Orient, and there's a reason for that.
I will go above the general features of the timepiece, but if you are interested in an in-depth article, I encourage you to read my Full Orient Mako II Review.
The highlight of the Mako II is certainly Orient's in-house F6922 movement. This robust caliber gives you two options when it comes to winding: hacking or hand-winding. This type of polyvalent movement is often found in much pricier timepieces.
The F6922 functions using 22 jewels, and beats at 21,600 bph. Orient uses an anti-shock system, so the movement shouldn't stop running after minor falls. As for the power reserve, the watch will work for about 40 hours when fully wound.
The case diameter, without considering the crown, is measuring at 41.5mm. The case thickness is 13mm. As the size of the Mako 2 is pretty standard, it should fit most men.
You might think the mineral crystal on top of the dial is disappointing, but scratches shouldn't be a problem if you take good care of it.
By virtue of the screw-down crown, the Orient Mako II is a proper diving watch. It is tested for 200m water resistance, which is above average for this price range.
Of course, the Mako II is available with a beautiful Pepsi bezel. The bezel, in and of itself, is a great part of this particular timepiece. It has been upgraded from the first series Mako, by offering a sturdy 120-click mechanism that feels good every click.
Another upgrade from the original Mako is the removal of the second crown. Since the new movement is more advanced than the previous 46943 caliber, it doesn't have the need for two separate crowns.
The Mako II has a nice day-date display, that is aligned with the 3 hour mark. The 6, 9 and 12 hour marks are denoted in a bold white numeral, while the rest are white trapezoids.
Orient could improve the watch by inserting a see-through case back, but they decided to stick with an engraved stainless steel back to keep the costs down.
Best bang for the buck Pepsi bezel watch on the market
Rattly bracelet, no see-through case back
The Skx009 is probably the most popular Pepsi bezel watch of recent history. This is because it is a meticulously crafted timepiece that can be bought for a very reasonable price.
Both the Skx009 and the Skx007, its more conservative brother, are powered by the classic 7S26 movement. This in-house automatic caliber is known for its durability and quality.
The 21 jewels movement has a 21,600 bph frequency and it winds itself through your body's motion using a bidirectional oscillating weight. Once fully wound, the power reserve lasts about 40 hours.
The case measures 42mm without taking into account the large offset crown. The lug-to-lug length is 45mm, while the lug width measures 22mm. The case is quite thick at 13mm, but this is expected from mechanical watches.
One of the downsides of the Skx009 is the use of a Hardlex crystal (Seiko's trademarked mineral crystal). Not having a sapphire crystal can be upsetting when paying this amount of money for a timepiece.
Fortunately, everything else on the Skx009 is very good, including the 200m water-resistance and the Lumibrite treated hands and markers.
On this celebrated model, the bezel is red between the 12 to 4 hour hands, while the rest of the bezel features a deep blue color.
This unidirectional rotating bezel is marked up to 60 minutes, and it has a 120 click mechanism. Although, most people consider it a 60 click bezel, since half of them aren't ''true'' clicks.
The big screw-down crown sticking out at the 4 hour marker is a polarizing design choice. Some absolutely love it, while some will stay away for this very reason.
The deep blue dial is filled with big round hour markers, a day-date display, and an orange ''diver's 200m'' indication. On the other side of the case, you get an engraving of the ''Great wave off Kanawaga'' on the stainless steel plate.
Gorgeous from every angle, robust movement
7S26 movement isn't that precise, no sapphire crystal
Citizen Aqualand BN2038-01L
The Citizen Promaster Aqualand is a timepiece that goes all out in the diving theme. From the band to the dial, this watch screams diver, and I love it.
Even though it is in the 500-1000$ range, you can occasionally get the BN2038-01L for under 500$ if you have a good deal.
The first thing to mention about the Aqualand is its relatively big size. With its 46mm case diameter, it certainly has an imposing presence on your wrist. We really recommend you steer clear of this model if you have 6.5'' and less wrists.
The diver look is backed by the 200m water resistance, which is convenient, but could be improved on. In this price range, you would expect to see 300m+ resistance. Still, what makes me love this watch is the looks more than the capabilities.
The Promaster Aqualand is the only watch that uses a quartz movement on this list. The J250 caliber is a modern quartz movement that uses Citizen's Eco-Drive technology. This means the watch is solar-powered, and won't ever need a battery.
It packs a bunch of cool technology such as automatic water depth measurement and power reserve indicator. You also get a rapid ascent alarm, which measures the water pressure to let you know if you are ascending too fast.
To stay in the diving spirit, the Aqualand BN2038-01L is only offered with a blue polyurethane strap. You can find a big Promaster imprint on it, as well as the Promaster's logo.
The silver-tone stainless steel case is packed with a lot of goodies. You get a signed screw-down crown at the 4 o'clock position, with two screw down pushers at the 8 and 10 o'clock marks.
The 60 click Pepsi bezel is marked by 60 minute marks to calculate diving time. Also, you get water depth measurements on the inner bezel.
Around the 9 o'clock area, there is the power reserve indicator, which tells you how much power you got left of the 10 month estimated reserve. On the other side of the dial, you get a square date display.
True diver styling, with proper hardware to back it up
Mineral crystal, too big for small wrists
Tag Heuer Aquaracer GMT
Starting with the size, the Aquaracer GMT sits at 43mm for the case diameter, as well as a 14mm thickness. The lug-to-lug length goes up to 50mm, while the band width is 21mm.
This model is equipped with the famous Calibre 7 movement. The Twin Time version of this caliber beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour, using 25 rubies. Also, the power reserve of this movement is approximately 42 hours.
As is expected from a timepiece in this price-range, the crown is screwed into the case, which allows for a 300m water resistance. You also get a nice sapphire crystal coated with anti-reflective treatment.
A disappointing feature is the bezel material on this watch. These days, when your fork out a couple of thousands for a watch, you expect to get a ceramic bezel. The Aquaracer GMT is instead equipped with a steel and aluminium bezel.
Both the case and the bracelet are made from fine-brushed and polished steel. The finish is great and the edges are really smooth. Additionally, the deployant clasp is signed by Tag Heuer in two different places.
The Pepsi bezel is split in a 50/50 configuration, reminding us of the classic Rolex GMT. You also get a black dial, like the original Rolex, which has a unidirectional bezel with a 60 click mechanism.
The rhodium plated hour marks are built to last for a long time without tarnishing, and they contrast in a magnificent manner with the dark dial. Besides, they are coated with a very powerful luminous phosphorescent.
Finally, the Aquaracer GMT's sapphire crystal is fitted with a magnifying glass over the date display, which gives off an old school vibe.
Next best thing to Rolex GMT for a fraction of the price
No ceramic bezel, 43mm might be unsuitable for 6'' wrists
Rolex GMT-Master II
The watch that arguably started it all is still produced after all these years, with a few tweaks and improvement. The most recent iteration is named the GMT-Master II.
For men with wrists over 6.25'', the GMT-Master II's 40mm case is just the perfect size. The 47,8mm lug-to-lug length is a bit longer than most 40mm cases, so it allows the GMT to be worn by men with larger wrists too.
Even though a lot of people think the GMT-Master II is a divers watch, it was originally marketed towards airline pilots. Consequently, the water resistance on this model is a very modest 100 meters.
This Rolex is equipped with a 3285 caliber, which is a replacement of the 3186 movement. This new caliber is incredibly efficient, and it packs a lot of modern technology. Notably, the Chronergy escapement helps it reach an impressive 70 hours power reserve.
Another improvement is the Parachrom hairspring which is more durable, both to shock and temperature variations. You can count on your GMT-Master II to keep the time as precisely as -2 to +2 seconds per day.
In its cheapest configuration, the Rolex GMT-Master II is equipped with a Oystersteel bracelet, and black bezel. If you fork out more money, you can get extras, including white and Everose gold bracelets.
The most expensive variant is unsurprisingly the most gorgeous. Indeed, it is fitted with the prized Pepsi bezel, while also having a delightful meteorite dial. As you can see on the picture above, the pale bracelet/dial combination balances out the bright bezel.
As is the case for the 2 previous watches, this one also have a lens over the date display. Additionally, it is equipped with an anti-reflective sapphire glass, that resists quite well to scratches.
The Cerachrom, Rolex's trademarked ceramic bezel, is graduated up to 24 hours, and its mechanism allows for a bidirectional rotation. The large arabic numerals are engraved directly into the bezel.
Incredible movement, precise and robust, exquisite styling
100m water resistance, hefty price tag