The Rolex GMT Master 2 126710BLNR Batman watch hands-on
Why is this Rolex GMT Master II called Batman?
A few months before Baselworld 2019's official opening, most watch forums and a few digital magazines (mainstream media looking for increasing their organic traffic) envisioned that the Rolex GMT Master 2 116710 BLNR, else said the Rolex Batman (since the two-tone bezel's colors remind the Batman's suit), was close to being anytime soon discontinued. That story proved to be untrue: as soon as the fair opened, Rolex uncovered a refreshed variant of the GMT Master 2 crafted in Oystersteel whose bezel showcases the same colors as the legendary DC Comics' hero's costume.
Rolex has this year doubled its offering of GMT Master 2 watches in stainless steel and Jubilee bracelet by expanding a collection that includes the eagerly wanted Rolex GMT Master II "Pepsi" 126710 BLRO already, and has concurrently stopped the production of the black bezel Cerachrom insert equipped variant, the Rolex GMT Master II 116710LN. To cut a long story short, each Rolex GMT Master 2 in Oystersteel now sports just the Jubilee bracelet. Period.
The outcome has been the following: those who owned, or still do, a Rolex GMT Master 2 116710 BLNR with Oyster bracelet saw their timepiece's price quickly grow over the 10,000 euro threshold. Whoever owned or still owns, instead, a Rolex GMT Master 2 116710LN realized their timepiece's quotation had skyrocketed all of a sudden, given that it is no longer in production.
The introduction of the new Rolex GMT Master 2 126710 BLNR (this is the product code full naming) has extended the two-tone GMT Master 2 Oystersteel proposal, thus confirming a product strategy the brand kicked off at Baselworld 2018.
In summary, the 2019 GMT Master 2 collection includes two-tone bezel stainless steel watches, the Pepsi and the Batman; the so-called "Root-Beer" GMT Master 2, crafted either in Rolesor or full gold, as that's the case with the Rolex GMT Master 2 126715 CHNR, you will shortly read about on here, and two GMT Master 2 Pepsi in white gold. Additionally, all the 2019 Rolex GMT Masters 2 share a common feature: they're all driven by the Rolex caliber 3285, the state-of-the-art Rolex Perpetual mechanical movement with GMT function, featuring a Chronergy escapement and no less than seventy hours of maximum power reserve.
Finally! Might somebody say, although we have experienced that most Rolex buyers are far from digging into a watch's technical specifications, isn't it? This approach confirms once again a Rolex customer is first and foremost a fan of the brand or just someone looking for a good investment. Indeed, a few people have noticed that, for example, the Rolex Yacht-Master 40mm 116621 Steel and Gold Everose is now adopting a new caliber since the Rolex caliber 3235 has replaced the outgoing Rolex 3135. These details are relevant, in my opinion, when you are offered old and new versions at the same retail price.
The new Rolex GMT Master 2 126710 BLNR is on par with the Pepsi when it comes to the Jubilee bracelet that has replaced the Oyster bracelet, proving Rolex equips now its Rolex GMT Master 2 in Oystersteel just with this kind of bracelet, whereas the Oyster bracelet is exclusive to full-gold or Rolesor variants, as highlighted above. Also, it is worth remarking that is not anyhow possible to replace the Jubilee bracelet (whose reference as a stand-alone part is 69200 reference) with a standard Oyster one.
Could it be possible to change the Oystersteel Jubilee bracelet with an Oysterflex strap instead, on both a Rolex GMT Master 2 Pepsi or a Batman? If we shift our attention downward to case and lug design, and compare a Rolex GMT Master 2 126710 BLNR to any Rolex Daytona in Gold with ceramic bezel, for example, we might quickly get their styles are slightly different. However, I honestly hope Rolex offers an option in rubber to those customers who are obliged to opt instead for an Everest or Rubber-B product, shortly. What do you guys think?
If you were asked to choose between these two, would you go for a Rolex GMT Master II "Pepsi" 126710 BLRO or a Rolex GMT Master 2 126710 BLNR? It is a matter of taste, how much are you willing to pay and how long to wait. I confess I am not a die-hard fan of the Jubilee bracelet mated to a Rolex sports watch and I believe there will be plenty of "Jubilee vs. no Jubilee" arguments breaking out. However, the choice should be based on product availability, considering the Rolex GMT Master 2 in Oystersteel are not as common as a Rolex Datejust 41 or a Rolex Yacht-Master 40mm 116621, which I think to be great alternatives to a GMT Master 2 and come, moreover, both in Rolesor. The Rolex GMT Master 2 is with no doubt the GMT Master 2 par excellence, the last in a row of a legacy that began with reference Rolex 6542.
I would personally opt for the black and blue Cerachrom bezel equipped variant; I believe that the finish, along the separation line between day and night, is far better than on the Pepsi's and the overall look of the watch is generally more refined and premium. When the Pepsi first appeared, the colored insert mix of colors was not as exquisite in the same area, and reddish hues were affecting the blue half and the other way round, the result being a somewhat purplish effect around the separation line.
If you are interested in adding a Batman to your collection, however, prepare yourself to add your name to quite a long waiting list (pricing is 8,600 Euro), as far as your authorized retailer is still willing to take yours too, this year. Otherwise, you might consider buying, at the same price point, a Rolex Daytona in Rolesor, before Rolex opts for stopping the current version's production and introduces a new one. Something that we expect to happen pretty soon. Don't you think this might be a valid option too?
(Photo credit: Peter Tung for Horbiter®)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®