The rumor machine was working full throttle before the Baselworld show started. Rumors included a new Rolex GMT-Master II with either a Coke (black and red) or Pepsi (red and blue) bezel. Eye brows were frowned when the curtain was lifted up and showed the stainless steel Rolex GMT-Master II reference 116710BLNR with a black and blue bezel.
We waited a few days before posting news on this new GMT-Master II (except on our instagram account) as this was a combination we didn’t expect as well and needed to give it a place first. After we tried it in the flesh during our appointment with Rolex in Baselworld, we’ve come to the conclusion that it is actually a nice addition to the existing line-up of GMT-Master II watches.
If you want a full historical overview on the GMT-Master collection of Rolex, please visit our GMT-Master article that we wrote over a year ago, showing you all the models since the very first start of this collection in 1954.
With regards to functionality, nothing much changed since the black bezel version of the stainless steel Rolex GMT-Master II (116710LN). The caliber 3186 movement remained the same, with the functionality of an extra time zone via an hour hand that can be set separately from the normal hour and minute hands.
The blue and black bezel and the blue GMT hour indicator are responsible for this new look of the GMT-Master II. Just like the black version GMT-Master II, the bezel is made out of CERACHROM. A patented process by Rolex that allows ceramic materials with different colors to become one piece. As opposed of the old pre-2007 models with aluminum inserts these new CERACHROM bezels won’t scratch or discolor due to ultraviolet rays. We have to say that the discolored red and blue bezels were actually kind of cool, but Rolex wouldn’t be Rolex if things need to stay as they were meant to be. Just like we explained it for the new Rolex Daytona last week, the graduations and numerals on the bezel are coated with a thin layer of platinum using PVD treatment.
What has become the reference for all GMT watches ever since it was first introduced in the 1950s, increased a bit in price during the last few years. It is of course quite a different watch since the 116710 (previous generation GMT-Master II) with its larger lugs, ceramic parts, trip-lock crown and movement with Parachrom hairspring. Also the Oyster bracelet with Easylink system to adjust its size has been a very welcome update.
Rolex will put this new blue and black GMT-Master II ref.116710BLNR in their catalogs for 8500 Swiss Francs or 6050 Euro (both prices excludes VAT).
Dennis van Staa (left) and Robert-Jan Broer (right) in the Rolex booth in Baselworld
Ever since he was a young child, Robert-Jan was drawn to watches, even though it were digital Casio and quartz Swatch models at the time. In the mid-1990s, his interest increased when he started to read about mechanical watches in... read more