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One Easy Way to Become Batman

November 9, 2015

BY Paul Altieri


A look at the black and blue beauty the Rolex Batman

Currently, one of the most popular contemporary models from Rolex, the GMT-Master II 116710 BLNR has launched a little over two years ago at Baselworld 2013 and its demand hasn’t slowed down since.

Rolex Batman

The new Rolex GMT-Master II 116710BLNR with a bi-color Cherachrom bezel.

The Rolex Batman To The Rescue

When the original GMT-Master was unveiled to the public in 1955 it featured an attractive two-tone bezel in red and blue to distinguish between day and night hours. That pairing of contrasting colors would quickly become the GMT-Master’s most distinctive characteristic, and Rolex later launched models with different color combos.

In 2005, Rolex replaced the aluminum bezel inserts on the GMT-Master IIs with ceramic ones that were as close to scratch and fade proof as it could get, dubbing it the Cerachrom bezel. Requiring 40 hours per bezel, producing a single color Cerachrom bezel and engraving it with numbers and graduations is an arduous task since ceramic is such a hard metal. In fact, Rolex themselves had stated that it would be impossible to create a two-tone ceramic bezel insert.

The Rolex Batman stepped its game up.

Rolex GMT-Master II bezels are scratch proof and fade proof.

However, Rolex overcame this impossibility with the GMT-Master II 116710 BLNR and crafted the first dual-colored Cerachrom bezel in blue and black using a top secret patented method. According to Rolex, the ceramic insert begins as a blue one with the black color added at a later stage in the development process. What comes out of all this is a very attractive GMT-Master II 116710 BLNR watch.

Batman’s Stats

The GMT-Master II 116710 BLNR, also affectionately known by Rolex enthusiasts as the “Batman”, is a full 904L stainless steel model equipped with a 40mm Oyster case and stainless steel bracelet with polished inner links. On the black dial sits the luminescent-coated center hour, minute and seconds hand plus the GMT-hand in a matching blue hue with the triangular tip. The screw-down winding case is outfitted with the Triplock waterproofness system for a waterproof depth of 330 feet, while the face of the watch is protected by the scratchproof sapphire crystal for a timepiece tough enough to be worthy of its superhero nickname.

Rolex GMT-Master II ref. 116710 "Batman"

Rolex GMT-Master II ref. 116710 “Batman”

Powered by the Rolex Caliber 3186, a perpetual self-winding mechanical movement with GMT function, the local time on the GMT-Master II can be set by “jumping” from hour to hour, independent of the minute and seconds hand for enhanced precision timekeeping. The combination of the conventional hands, bidirectional rotatable 24-hour graduated bezel and 24-hour hand allows the wearer to keep track of three different time zones simultaneously. A very practical function for those who travel across the country or around the globe.

Originally conceptualized and produced for professional pilots during the jet age, the GMT-Master’s popularity among the wider public took off instantly and has been soaring ever since. And judging by how fast the ref. 116710 BLNR in particular is flying off the shelves, the appeal of the GMT-Master II “Batman” will not be ready to land anytime soon.



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