|Ref. No.||16710 BLNR|
|Case diameter||40 mm|
|Dial numerals||Roman numerals|
This is the Oyster Perpetual Date GMT-Master II Batman Ref. 116710BLNR a watch that rocked the watch community during its launch at Basel and of which long waiting lists are the norm, it’s crazy how well-made the new ceramic bezel is, and how good-looking the watch is in the flesh, no amount of photos or descriptions can do it justice.
Its predecessor the GMT-Master is a model loved the world over for its colourful history and practical use. Its two-time zone option facilitated by its bezel and extra hand made it a popular choice for pilots and seasoned jet setters of whom Enzo Ferrari was part of.
In 2005 Rolex introduced the GMT-Master 2 in the form of a gold anniversary model with Rolexes trademark green hue dial. They decided to keep the original diameter of 40mm but opted for some small changes that made the watch visually bigger by adding fatter markers, respectively and so it looks and wears larger than its 40mm size would suggest. And for the first time, it came with a ceramic bezel that Rolex claims to be virtually scratch and fade-proof. Other changes include a larger Trip-lock crown, a new bracelet with polished centre links and Easylink extension, green 24-hour hand, and a new movement, the calibre 3186.
The new 3186 movement has no new functions over the older calibre 3185, but it is equipped with Rolex’s new Parachrom hairspring and the operation of the jumping hour hand is now smoother and more precise.
The case is solidly constructed and well-polished, and the bracelet and clasp are also of the highest quality. Additionally, the Easylink extension, which allows the bracelet to be discreetly extended by 5mm, is a lifesaver on warm days. Not everyone is going to be a fan of the polished centre-links, but I like it as it distinguishes the GMT-Master II from the Submariner and makes it look a little dressier.
This new iteration of the GMT Master 2 features a unique black dial on which time is shown using luminescent sword-shaped hour, minute and second hands, a catchy blue 2nd time zone hand, and stylish dot and index hour markers. Now, the bi-colour ceramic bezel is quite a technical feat and actually starts off as blue, with the black mixed in later using a patented Rolex process. It is known that the second tone is achieved by masking one half of the bezel and exposing the unmasked half to a special chemical treatment. The transition between the two colours is flawless and extremely sharp, with no perceptible bleeding or fuzziness. The engraved numerals are then finished off with thin coating of platinum to give a glossy, three-dimensional look that is both striking and legible.
Admittedly, the combo of blue and black is an unusual choice for Rolex, and has never been done prior this Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 116710BLNR. Colour is of course a highly subjective topic, but blue does make some sense blue for the daytime hours and black for the night-time hours. So if blue is not your colour, I guess you can stop reading here and just opt for the Ref. 116710LN.