Close-Up: Rolex GMT-Master II “Batman” (With Video)


Black for  the night sky, blue for day — these colors just make sense, but if you expected to find them on the bezel of one of the world’s most famous GMT watches, the Rolex GMT-Master II, you would have been disappointed, until recently. We take a look at the Rolex watch that has been nicknamed “Batman.”

New bezel colors don’t usually generate a buzz heard ‘round the world, but this is Rolex. The bezel is the story here, so we’ll continue down that road. It’s fashioned from Cerachrom – Rolex’s version of ceramic, and though the bezel is two colors, it is a single piece. You might think “Of course it’s one piece; they just paint it two colors,” but that’s not how Rolex does things. Vintage collectors may love weathered, faded bezels, but today’s versions are built to last, so nothing is painted. The bezel is formed as a single piece, and in this instance, the whole thing starts out blue. Black is added to half of the bezel early in the production process when the ceramic is still permeable. Once the bezel hardens, the 24 hour graduations are engraved into the surface, then coated with a thin layer of platinum. Finally, a diamond polish produces a high gloss. According to Rolex, the final product is virtually scratchproof, highly corrosion-resistant, and its color is unaffected by ultraviolet rays, so it won’t fade.

Rolex GMT-Master II - front
Rolex GMT-Master II - tilt

Rolex enthusiasts love to give their watches nicknames like “Kermit,” “Pan Am,” and “Fat Lady,” to name just a few. The new GMT started picking up bezel-inspired handles almost immediately: “Poweraid,” “Bruiser” and “Phantom” among them. But “Batman” seems to be the one that’s sticking. To complement the bezel, the watch sports a color-coordinated blue 24-hour hand and blue Chromalight luminous material on the hands and hour markers. Otherwise, most of the features carry over from the original 116710 GMT-Master II model. (The new model is Reference 116710BLNR.) The case retains its classic 40-mm diameter, and it is fashioned from corrosion-resistant 904L stainless steel. A Triplock crown ensures 100- meter water resistance. The model 78300 Oyster bracelet is also 904L steel with polished center links and an Easylink clasp offering a 5-mm comfort extension. The sapphire crystal offers double nonreflective coatings and a trademark Cyclops magnifier over the date. The white-gold hands turn above a black lacquer dial. Below the dial, the COSC-certified Caliber 3186 movement features a Parachrom hairspring with Breguet overcoil. Price: $8,950.

Rolex GMT-Master II - side

Click here to watch Rolex’s video animation of the new GMT-Master II.  To download our in-depth watch test of the Rolex GMT-Master II “Batman,” click here.

This article was originally published on August 29, 2013, and has been updated.

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10 Responses to “Close-Up: Rolex GMT-Master II “Batman” (With Video)”

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  1. richard chua

    I agree with Louis. Can Rolex explain or else do a recall to fix it.

    Reply
  2. Bert Kanne

    I can’t believe that Rolex would go to so much trouble to build this most recognized sub mariner style watch with only a 100 meter water resistance rating! How could anyone pay such an enormous amount of disposable cash and claim it’s worth it? Please explain!

    Reply
  3. Just a thought. With Rolex products being extremely focused on precision and obsess over detail, I find it way off base that they don’t take the effort to see to it that the crown doesn’t precisely line up when screwed down. Certainly something to think about.

    Reply
    • Astute observation. Like Rolex, a good portion of their customers are also like them, very focus on little details (not counting those who buy just for the name but appreciate nothing else).

      While I find my Explorer 2 42mm Orange Hand to be meticulous down to little details, it is indeed jarring the first time I noticed the logo on the crown does not align properly.

      What makes it all the more shocking is that it’s the only visible flaw in the otherwise pristine rest of the package. It’s like seeing a black smear on a masterpiece painting.

      Reply
  4. iwan tarmat

    just receive my blue black GMT MASTER 2 today…..the best gmt watch in the world

    Reply
  5. Hormazdiyaar

    A great watch – sturdy reliable and handsome. Just one disadvantage. The bezel rotates in hourly clicks. This way you cannot set the half hour time difference.
    There was also a nickname PepsiCola for an earlier Rolex GMT model

    Reply
    • MrTissot

      The fact you state that the bezel rotates only in hourly clicks is very interesting! OMG!! What reason could Rolex have for this?? I’m saving so hard for this ‘Holy Grail’ timepiece even though I have not seen it in the flesh yet. If my Rolex Submariner 114060 is anything to go bye, then I don’t even need to see it !! SOLD.

      Truly amazing and a must have. I can’t wait any longer :)

      Reply
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