Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Origin of the "pepsi" bezel?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    12

    Default Origin of the "pepsi" bezel?

    Does anyone know who first used the red / blue "pepsi" color scheme on a watch and what the original purpose(s) was/were?

    Many dive watches have the first fifteen or twenty minutes of elapsed time on the bezel marked differently from the last forty-five or forty. The best explanation I've heard is that this interval corresponds to the length of time a single tank of air will last at some standard depth when diving. Some people on SCWF say it has something to do with timing decompression stops.

    That all sounds plausible for diving (though 'plausible' doesn't necessarily mean 'correct') but the Rolex GMT and the O&W Early Bird both have red/blue color schemes too, though clearly not marked for the same purpose. The Wikipedia entry for the Rolex GMT 2 says the bezel is for keeping track of a third timezone on the same watch by setting the primary hands to local time, the 24-hour GMT hand to whatever second time zone you're tracking (I would assume usually Zulu time), and then offsetting the bezel from the GMT hand to effectively provide a "virtual" additional GMT hand. But if the bezel is already marked for a 24-hour day, the red/blue to indicate day/night seems redundant. And why not white for day and black for night? Maybe it's just an additional visual cue so you can tell at a glance it's, say, midafternoon wherever your third timezone is.

    Or maybe the red/blue is just a stylistic touch that some manufacturer (or Pan Am) slapped on there?

    I can make a logical case for these explanations and maybe others but it's all just speculation. Does anyone have definitive answers or a suggested source for same?

  2. #2
    MWR Owner Bob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Helter Skeller
    Posts
    1,027

    Default

    The 15 or 20 minutes on a dive bezel are for deco-stops. The bezel on my Submariner for example is incremented every 5 minutes, except the first 15 minutes, which is incremented every minute. That's how deco stops are calculated, in minute increments.

  3. #3
    Member bryon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    GMT -8
    Posts
    146

    Default RN Rolex Sub Bezel

    Interesting though, on that note, that the RN-issued Rolex Sub had a special bezel insert with minute incs all around the bezel! Guess they were expecting some long-assed deco stops!
    - - -

  4. #4

    Default

    You have brought up a subject that is worth much investigation. It seems that there is not a reliable source on the internet that reveals the history of the "Pepsi" bezel or a split color bezel. One thing is for sure. The rotating bezel is a Rolex innovation.

    Early 1950s sub.


    Therefore, it is more than likely that Rolex was the first company to manufacture a split color rotating bezel.

    Whats interesting is that the split color bezel does not seem to be a practical way of separating the morning from the afternoon. Why? Because when used in your own time zone, the color on the bezel changes when the GMT hand reaches 6 AM. and then changes again when it reaches 18 (6 PM.) So, in order to use the rotating bezel to reflect morning from afternoon, you would have to adjust the bezel in such a way that would incorrectly display the time.

    However, the "Pepsi" bezel does support another function of the GMT Master. The compass.

    The GMT can be used in the Northern hemisphere as a compass. Simply lay the watch flat and point the hour hand directly at the sun. When this is done, the GMT hand points North. Many compass use different colors to separate the hemispheres. For example..



    As you can see, red is used to represent the Northern hemisphere and white represents the Southern.

    So lets say that the hour hand is pointing towards the sun and the time is 10:00 AM. The GMT hand will be pointing North at 5:00. If you rotate the bezel so that the 12:00 marker is aligned with the GMT hand, the hemispheres are separated by the colors on the bezel giving the line for E and W.

  5. #5
    Member Reintitan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    733

    Default The blue/red bezel insert originated on the ref.6542 GMT-Master

    In the early 50s, Pan-Am asked Rolex to create a watch for them so that their pilots could track two timezones simultaneously. The result was the first iteration of the GMT-Master.

    In addition to having the evening hours (between 18 and 6/6pm to 6am) in the blue arc and the day hours (between 6 and 18/6am to 6pm) in the red arc of the insert--blue and red (and white) were the corporate colors of Pan-Am.

  6. #6
    Member simonk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Paris, France
    Posts
    919

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Reintitan View Post
    In the early 50s, Pan-Am asked Rolex to create a watch for them so that their pilots could track two timezones simultaneously. The result was the first iteration of the GMT-Master.

    In addition to having the evening hours (between 18 and 6/6pm to 6am) in the blue arc and the day hours (between 6 and 18/6am to 6pm) in the red arc of the insert--blue and red (and white) were the corporate colors of Pan-Am.



    I don't remember Pan Am being anything other than blue and white. I cannot remember red anywhere in there colour scheme.

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by simonk View Post


    I don't remember Pan Am being anything other than blue and white. I cannot remember red anywhere in there colour scheme.
    Good point. Google images shows blue and white only....no red.

    http://images.google.com/images?q=pa...n&start=0&sa=N
    Last edited by ianp; 04-14-2008 at 23:16. Reason: fix tags

  8. #8
    Member Reintitan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    733

    Default In the very early history of the company all 3 colors were used >>>

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

  9. #9
    Member L.A.kevin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles (Eagle Rock)
    Posts
    864

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrillseeker View Post
    One thing is for sure. The rotating bezel is a Rolex innovation.
    Are you sure you are sure? I believe that Philip Weems actually invented the rotating bezel:
    http://www.weems-plath.com/contributions_05.html

    Kevin

  10. #10

    Default

    Wow. Good stuff Kevin. Looks like the rotating bezel goes all the way back to 1881 though.....

    http://www.freepatentsonline.com/7134784.html

    Click here and scroll down. Check the US patent references.

    Im working on getting some better information to help resolve the original debate.

  11. #11
    Member George W. Olney's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    820

    Default

    I'll agree with that. Weems bezels predate the Rolex by at least fifteen years. And, to resurrect an old argument, a good case can be made for the BP FF with rotating dive bezel being presented to the public first. On the other hand, the Pepsi bezel may have been a Rolex innovation when they designed the GMT in cooperation with Pan Am. It's certainly easier to read than the Weems bezel on the Airman.

    George
    Resident Experienced Curmudgeon

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Reintitan View Post
    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
    I always thought it was night/day for the second time zone, but the colors above a close to the origina bezel.
    There is a fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    England
    Posts
    57

    Default

    but wasnt the weems bezel for correcting known watch error

    for pinpoint navigation...........not for diving or elapsed time

  14. #14
    Member simonk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Paris, France
    Posts
    919

    Default

    And what about the second world war watches with a rotating bezel - Czech Longines with a ponter and Luftwaffe Hanhart with a red spot?

  15. #15
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    1

    Default

    I have no idea of the true origin of the color scheme but I can tell you one little trick I use my Pepsi bezel for. Red is one of the first colors to change appearance as you descend. During a slow accent if for some reason my depth gauge were to fail I know that when the bright red color on my Pepsi bezel has returned I’m at approximately 20 feet.

  16. #16

    Default

    You just necroposted a thread that's over 10 years old. Very tacky, that.
    Cordially,
    ~Burgs


    I've been up early my whole life, and all that ever did was increase the amount of time during the day that something could go wrong... - Inspector O

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-18-2007, 13:28

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •