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Watch of the Week: Rolex GMT-Master II

HighLifeChannel January 5, 2021

In 1953, Pan Am executives asked Rolex-founder Hans Wilsdorf if he could develop a watch that could show two timezones at once. Always focused on innovation, Wilsdorf accepted the challenge and soon after penned down the first ideas of what would become the GMT-Master. Like nearly all the watches in the Professional-line of Rolex, was also the GMT-Master immediately embraced by the public. Demand was strong, and the GMT-Master would become one of the pillars of the Rolex collection. In 1982, Rolex debuted the GMT-Master II. The main difference between this model and the GMT-Master I was that you could pull out the crown and set the hand for the second-timezone individually.

One of the most desirable and popular configurations for GMT-Master II is the ‘Batman’ reference 126710BLNR,  launched in 2019. It combines a black and blue Cerachrom bezel with a black dial but also gets a lot of character for its Jubilee-bracelet. While the GMT-Master has been available on such a bracelet before, it is most associated with the Datejust models. With a 40mm diameter, the GMT-Master II is perfectly proportioned. The Oyster case and Triplock screw-down crown give the watch a water resistance of 100 meters, making it the perfect sports watch to travel with.

Rolex GMT-Master Batman

Its robust movement also contributes to this. The GMT-Master II is powered by caliber 3285. As a true ‘Perpetual,’ this automatic movement features bidirectional winding, giving the watch a power reserve of a generous 70-hours. The movement is also equipped with the Chronergy escapement patented by Rolex. Made from nickel-phosphorus, it is highly resistant to the interference of magnetic fields and combines high energy efficiency with outstanding dependability. All combined, it makes for a very desirable watch. As a result, this Rolex is rarely in stock at any of their dealers, of which many have a lengthy waitlist full of enthusiasts hoping to obtain one.


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