Rolex GMT Master II: Unboxing Review [116710BLNR]

Review of the Rolex GMT Master II [116710BLNR] aka ‘The Batman’ Dial closeup

Unboxing the Rolex ‘Batman’

Rolex GMT Master II: Unboxing Review [116710BLNR]

Throughout wristwatch history, Rolex has forever been at the forefront of innovation. They are known as the first major manufacturer of a completely water-resistant diver watch thanks to a series of  landmark publicity stunts to promote their brand. They put another mark into the history books with the Datejust that automatically adjusted the date by itself – an unheard of accomplishment at the time. And they are also attributed with the first watch to show two-time zones with the GMT master.

DSC_1351
The dial of the blue and black ‘Batman’ Rolex GMT Master II [11670BLNR]
The watch that I will be doing an unboxing review today is as the title suggests – the new ‘Rolex GMT Master II 116710BLNR‘ aka ‘The Batman’

The Rolex GMT Master II 116710BLNR  can be brought from our shop from here.

This newer edition of the GMT Master II improves on the last alliteration in 3 key areas:

  1. It’s bigger size to appeal to current watch tastes.
  2. The bracelet feels more robust and the clasp has been completely redesigned to be stronger and adds a 5mm Easylink extension.
  3. The revolutionary two-tone ceramic bezel is highly scratch resistant and will not fade with time.

So What Is New?

The GMT Master II has evolved over the years by a gradual refinement of the horological art. Improving an already great watch – into an even better one!

DSC_1395
The Rolex ‘Batman’ GMT Master II [116710BLNR] on the left and the ‘Coke’ GMT Master II on the right. Both are sat on a green Rolex box.
Above is pictured a GMT Master II sold a staggering 27 years ago. I’m not saying it doesn’t look used, but it has certainly endured the time well and I look forward to seeing if the new GMT Master II copes just as well to daily abuse.

Originally the GMT master II was a little different, I have here spent some time comparing the differences between the new Batman (Black + Blue) and the old Coke (Black + Red)  GMT’s.

  • A bezel made from ceramic rather than aluminium with platinum coated Arabic numerals in a slightly bolder font.
  • The bezel now stops at 24 clear hour positions – the old is indecisive and can stop in any position, whether it’s on a marker or not.
  • The watch looks noticeably bigger despite them both having a 40mm case diameter, due to larger lugs and increased case thickness.
  • Oversized crown and beefier crown guard that sticks out more.
  • The bracelet is now two-tone with polished central links rather than all brushed.
  • The clasp on the bracelet has been significantly improved. As before there were no safety clasps and just a lip to lever the clasp open, the new one uses a safety clasp and a mechanical lever that clicks closed with a solid tactile click.
  • The new bracelet links are more substantial with the old links being partly hollowed out.
  • The text at the base of the dial has changed from ‘SWISS-T<25‘ of the old model to just saying ‘SWISS MADE
  • On the stepped bezel, the new GMT Mater II has ROLEX written 5 times on both the right and left the side of the 12 o’clock marker where a Rolex crown sits, with its serial number present by the 6 o’clock marker – the old model has no such text.
  • The old GMT Master II has 4 springbar access points on the side of the watch to change the strap, but the new one has done away with this in favour of accessing the spring bars from the back of the watch.
  • On the new GMT Master II, the sapphire crystal is not extruded out of the dial as much as the previous model.
  • The new batman also weighs a fair bit more than the previous edition tipping the scales with an additional 25% of mass at 153g brand new.

Hands-on

Larger than life the 40mm case diameter looks bigger than it really is – my colleges were very surprised by this and needed to see the watch next to a ruler to settle the matter. The casing has this presence that somehow makes the watch seem larger than it really is. The lugs are longer and deeper, the Triplock crown (water-resistant to 100m) sticks out more, the casing is thicker – these all add up to a watch that seems bigger than its stats would suggest.

The bracelet also feels very secure and solid with little play when twisting it. Each link feels reassuringly well constructed, and I cannot think of a watch with a better-built bracelet. The polished centre links increase the smartness of the watch so that it looks a little more formal than a completely brushed finish. Although this is by no means a dress watch. The new clasp is beefier than before and has the welcomed addition of a 5mm Easylink extension that lets the wearer increase the length of the watch without tools.

The bezel is arguably the Batman’s [GMT Master II 116710BLNR] defining feature over the other current GMT Master II’s, with its breakthrough bicolour ceramic bezel in blue and black. Which is all the more impressive when Rolex had previously told everyone that a bi-colour bezel in Cerachrom ceramic would be impossible.

There have been a large number of changes to the bi-colour bezel since we last saw the aluminium versions. Where’s before the aluminium could be painted onto very easily, the Cerachrom presents its own series of problems. The bezel actually starts off as blue and undergoes a specialised chemical process to change the night hours to black. The hour graduations are engraved and coated with a thin coating of platinum to give it a legible glossy appearance and is finished off by some diamond polishing. The Cerachrom bezel is for all intense and purposes scratch-proof with it being so incredibly hard, corrosion-resistant, and will not fade with prolonged exposure to the sun’s damaging UV rays. The transition from the blue to the black parts of the bezel are crisp and cannot be distinguished by the naked eye. The blue part of the bezel is peculiar because the shade of blue you see will change dramatically with the intensity of the light source illuminating it.

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The Blue to Black border on the bi-colour bezel is crisp and cannot be distinguished by the naked eye.

The GMT Master II uses Rolex’s 3186 calibre automatic movement that is expectantly an in-house movement and COSC certified. It also includes an additional time zone and a date function. It beats at 28,800 v/h, contains 31 jewels and has an approximate power reserve of 50 hours.

Verdict

The ‘Batman GMT Master II’ [116710BLNR] is an especially solid watch to go for, that would be well suited to people who do lots of travelling by plane because of the GMT complication. It’s two-tone brushed and polished construction enables it to be worn for both casual and smarter occasions but there is no confusing this with a proper dress watch. The GMT Master II being a stainless steel sports Rolex – should also retain its value well if it comes to selling it.

If you would like to buy this Rolex GMT Master II 116710BLNR it can be brought from our shop here. Delivery time for this watch will usually be within 30 days.

Our other Rolex GMT Master II’s can be found on this page.

Watch Photo Gallery:

Watch Specs:

Brand

Rolex

Series

GMT Master II

Model Number

116710BLNR

Size

Mens

Case Material

Stainless Steel

Dial Color

Black

Bracelet/Strap

Stainless Steel Brushed

Clasp

Folding Clasp With Safety Latch

Movement

Automatic – Chronometer

Bezel

Bi-Directional Rotating

Screw-down Crown

Yes

Crystal

Scratch Resistant Sapphire

Case Back

Solid

Water Resistance

100m/330ft

Diameter

40mm

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