This Rolex GMT-Master II (ref. 116710BLNR) was reviewed on 10 different criteria. The review is for this specific watch, other models may perform differently. Evaluation is based on my wrist size, personal opinions, experiences, and preferences. Having owned a 116710LN from 2009 to 2014, this Rolex was no stranger to me.
Overall Design | 14 out of 15
Known by many as the "Batman", this Rolex GMT-Master II with the black/blue bezel is not only attractive and modern, but it also manages to retain its classic and iconic look. This is one of Rolex's undeniable strengths, designing a watch that will remain a classic for decades to come. Most of Rolex's current lineup has not changed much (design wise) since they were introduced decades ago. They have simply improved their watches with new technology (e.g. ceramic bezel, flip lock bracelet) and have also modernized them slightly to keep up with the times (e.g. beefed up cases, maxi dials). Simply put, a Rolex never goes out of style... most of them.
Case | 9 out of 10
Like the 116710LN (all black ceramic), this version also comes with the new beefier case. The sides are polished while the rest of the case has a brushed finish. I am glad that Rolex beefed up the case and lugs since they kept the original 40mm size (though 42mm would have not been bad either). It makes the watch feel a bit larger although the diameter did not change. The back of the watch is completely closed with a brush finished case back. I have always found it strange that Rolex usually leaves their case backs without any engravings (with the exception of a few models)... an engraving here would have added to the overall visually appeal of the watch. And what about that two-color bezel? Simply gorgeous... some may not like the big numerals on the bezel, but I actually love them. It gives the GMT a much bolder look, specially if you compare it to the Submariner. Luckily, the bezel lined up perfectly on this particular watch... unfortunately, I have personally dealt with misaligned bezels before (on a Submariner and on another GMT) and it is just not acceptable to me. Both times Beverly Hills Rolex Service Center took care of it within a day.
Dial | 9 out of 10
Unlike the 116710LN, the beautiful green "GMT-Master II" lettering has been replaced with white. Additionally, the color on the GMT hand has also been changed to blue in order to match the blue bezel. I guess someone in Rolex thought that having the "GMT-Master II" letters in blue would have been too much (same things with the new white gold Pepsi) or maybe just too difficult to read against the black dial... Besides that, the dial is executed perfectly. The dial on the GMT is cleaner than the Submariner's dial, it has only 3 lines of text on the bottom versus the 4 lines on the Submariner. I also love the maxi hour indices, makes telling time easy, day or night.
Strap | 10 out of 10
Rolex's bracelets and buckles are one of the best in the industry. Not only are they extremely comfortable (curved links), but they are also highly adjustable (see comfort section below), allowing the user to achieve the perfect fit. The center links on the bracelet are polished, some people love it, others hate it... personally I love it. I think it gives it that extra refined and upscale look while matching the shiny ceramic bezel and the polished sides of the case beautifully. Resizing the bracelet is also incredibly easy, all you need is the right size screw driver... oh how I wish that all brands would adopt to the single screw!
Movement | 8 out of 10
Manufacture caliber 3186, automatic, 31 jewels, and 48-hour power reserve. A robust movement that keeps excellent time... but as usual, it is hidden.
Legibility | 5 out of 5
The large round hour indices of the maxi dial offer great legibility during the day and night (Chromalight used on this model gives it the blue lume). All the different hands also have exceptional lume and since they each have a different design, telling them apart in the dark is easy. I actually like Rolex's magnification on the date... works like a charm.
Operation | 5 out of 5
The bezel, crown, and bracelet all worked perfectly and were easy to operate. No complaints here.
Features | 8 out of 10
Rotating scratch-resistant two-color ceramic bezel, GMT hand, date display with magnification, Triplock triple screw-down crown, and water resistance to 100M... all features that are actually useful. My only complaint is the lack of a quick date set... having to turn the hour hand by increments of one hour for 24 clicks to advance once on the date wheel is quite a workout.
Comfort | 10 out of 10
One of the things that I love most about any Rolex... how comfortable their bracelets are! Most are equipped with at least one of the following: half link, micro-adjustment, and/or extension (Easylink or Glidelock). Achieving the perfect fit is actually possible with a Rolex. Nothing is more annoying than having a bracelet fit you either too tight or too loose and not be able to do anything about it.
Value | 13 out of 15
At $8,950, the premium for the two-color bezel is a meager $500 over the black bezel version. At basically $9K, the cost of a GMT-Master II is substantial (and quite frankly it is pretty scary how close it is to breaking the $10K mark), but considering all the useful features that comes with the watch, how stunning it looks, its strong resale value, and the fact that 50 plus years down the road it will still be a classic... this GMT is a winner in my books.
TOTAL SCORE: 91 out of 100
Modernizing a classic done right... arguably one of the nicest stainless steel sport Rolexes currently available.
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