09 Aug Rolex GMT-Master II Review – The best daily wear watch
Rolex GMT-Master II Review – The best daily wear watch
The modern Rolex GMT-Master II was introduced in 2005 in the form of the all-gold GMT-Master II Ref. 116718LN. It was to be an anniversary model, and so came with a green dial in Rolex’s signature hue. This new Rolex GMT-Master II’s diameter was unchanged at 40mm, but it possessed what is now sometimes known as the “Super Case” and “Maxi Dial” – Rolex-speak for larger case and dial with fatter markers, respectively – and so it looks and wears larger than its 40mm size would suggest. And for the first time, it came with a ceramic bezel that Rolex claims to be virtually scratch and fade-proof. Other changes include a larger Trip-lock crown, a new bracelet with polished center links and Easylink extension, green 24-hour hand, and a new movement, the calibre 3186. The new 3186 movement has no new functions over the older calibre 3185, but it is equipped with Rolex’s new Parachrom hairspring and the operation of the jumping hour hand is now smoother and more precise.
While no one could argue about the technical refinements of the new Rolex GMT-Master II watches, one thing that was conspicuously missing from these new watches was the bi-color bezels that made the older Rolex GMT-Master watches so recognizable. In case you were wondering, the older models had aluminum bezel inserts, which could be quite easily printed. But ceramic is a much harder material to work with, and for a long time, Rolex has said that it was impossible to make a bi-color bezel in ceramic.
Judging from the fact that Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 116710BLNR pieces are flying off the shelves – and that the resale value is extremely close to retail prices, even by Rolex standards – it seems that we are not the only ones who think so. In fact, many dealers, at least in my part of the world, are actually charging a premium for this piece. And it was only after much looking around and inquiring that I managed to find a dealer who was happy to sell it at retail price.