Rolex GMT-Master II 116710
- Main Article: Rolex GMT-Master
Rolex dramatically expanded the GMT-Master II range with the Ref. 16710, produced since 1989, but this new Ref. 116710 was even more upscale. This model introduced the Cerachrom bezel insert, Triplock crown, a new upgraded Oysterlock bracelet, a new movement with a Parachrom Bleu hairspring, and a larger case. The look is entirely new thanks to the ceramic bezel, upgraded dial, and "ROLEX" rehaut. The Ref. 116710 was Rolex's primary GMT model until it was replaced in 2018 by the Ref. 126710.
Like its predecessor, the new Cal. 3186 features an independently adjustable 24-hour hand that also adjusts the date function. The major difference is in the setting of the 12-hour hand, which is now smoother and more precise than before. Another major advancement is the use of a Parachrom Bleu hairspring, the first model to use this new material and be produced entirely in-house by Rolex.
The all-new GMT-Master II was previewed at Baselworld in 2005 to mark the 40th anniversary of the GMT-Master model. This initial offering was Ref. 116718LN in solid yellow gold with a black bezel and green dial or black dial and green GMT hand. After this introduction, customers began speculating about the introduction of a new range of similar watches in other colors and materials.
The full launch of the new GMT-Master II came at Baselworld in 2007. There, the steel Ref. 116710LN and steel and gold Ref. 116713LN were finally released. The only two-tone bezel was the jeweled Ref. 116758SARU with sapphires and rubies creating the "Pepsi" look.
In 2013, Rolex introduced the first two-tone Cerachrom bezel. The new Ref. 116710BLNR featured a blue and black bezel, initially nicknamed "Bruiser" by Rolex but now usually called "Batman". Also new was blue Chromalight luminous paint on the hands and dial markers. Available in stainless steel with an Oyster bracelet, this reference was welcomed by fans for its fresh design.
It was not until 2014 that the iconic "Pepsi" bezel returned to the GMT-Master lineup after a 7-year absence. The new Ref. 116719BLRO was available only in white gold, however, and retailed for nearly $40,000.