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Rolex’s Ultra Cool Pilot Watch: the GMT-Master II 116710LN

April 25, 2016

BY Paul Altieri


The first stainless steel ceramic GMT-Master II model

As the Rolex community is still buzzing about the brand’s first stainless steel Daytona with the Cerachrom bezel that was recently unveiled at Baselworld, we thought it would be fun to take another look at the first stainless steel GMT-Master II model — launched almost a decade ago and still part of the current catalog — that came equipped with a popular ceramic bezel.

GMT-Master II 116710

Rolex GMT-Master II 116710LN, the first stainless steel GMT-Master II model.

GMT-Master II 116710

The aviation inspired GMT-Master II collection was significantly revamped by Rolex in 2005 and two years later the first stainless steel version, the GMT-Master II 116710LN, joined the lineup. The most striking difference of (what was then) the new GMT-Master II watches was the replacing of the aluminum bezel with a ceramic one. Baptized as Cerachrom by Rolex, the choice of ceramic meant that the bezel was now scratchproof and fade resistant. The black bezel, engraved with 24-hour markings, works in conjunction with the green 24-hour hand to indicate the wearer’s home time. Also, the bezel can rotate in both directions to indicate yet another time zone and that, alongside the traditional center hour and minute hands, allows the wearer to keep track of the time in three different locations simultaneously —a true jet setter’s timepiece.

Rolex GMT-Master II 116710LN

The Rolex GMT-Master II 116710LN has a black bezel, engraved with 24-hour markings.


Another major difference found on the ref. 116710LN in contrast to older stainless steel versions of the Rolex pilot watch is the redesign of the Oyster case found on all the current GMT-Master II models. The steel case still measures 40mm, yet the wider lugs, bigger crown, and larger crown guards, give the watch an overall larger look and fit. Matching its fatter body is the 116710LN’s “Maxi” black dial that sports larger hour markers and broader hands. The overall style of the modern GMT-Master II watches, including the stainless steel 116710LN, is more robust and is Rolex’s answer to today’s watch trends that favor oversized aesthetics.

Rolex GMT-Master II 116710LN.

Rolex GMT-Master II ref. 116710LN has an Oyster bracelet with polished center links.


Further design tweaks to the contemporary stainless steel GMT-Master II include a better Oyster bracelet with polished center links and a redesigned sturdier clasp, in addition to the Triplock crown replacing the previous Twinlock crown. Internally, the GMT-Master II 116710LN is driven by the Rolex Caliber 3186 automatic mechanical movement with a power reserve of 48 hours. The caliber’s blue Parachrom hairspring lends greater resilience to knocks, shocks, and temperature swings, ensuring the watch’s ability to remain reliable and precise even under strenuous conditions.

The GMT-Master II 116710LN may be pushing 10 years old yet it looks as fresh today as it did when it first took off and that’s a testament to the staying power of a stainless steel Rolex tool watch. Whether you’re a pilot or not, strapping on the Rolex 116710LN will have you flying high indeed.


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