Spotlight: Old VS New Rolex GMT-Master II
Rolex introduced its very first GMT-Master in 1954 and the latest in 2019. Although the manufacturer made many refinements and innovations to the GMT-Master, the watches yet are clearly associated with each other. And, perhaps it is one of the significant reasons that make the GMT-Master an iconic or better to say, a classic timepiece.
However, Rolex released three new GMT-Master II models at Baselworld 2019 –one is the black-and-blue GMT-Master II Batman and other, two versions of blue-red GMT-Master II Pepsi. In this blog, we will have a brief look at the three new versions introduced at Baselworld 2018 and compare them with their older versions.
New Jubilee vs Old Oyster GMT-Master II Batman
Rolex launched the GMT-Master II Batman 116710 BLNR in 2013. However, the watch aficionados or collectors highly anticipated the watch because it was not like any other previous GMT-Master versions. But:
While the brand released the new GMT-Master ref 126710 BLNR, it discontinued the production of the first Batman iteration – ref 116710 BLNR. So, what are the differences between the new and old GMT-Master Batman?
The significant differences lie in the movement and bracelet. When it comes to bracelet:
- The GMT-Master ref 116710 BLNR features an Oyster stainless steel bracelet. On the contrary, the new Batman ref 126710 BLNR comes fitted with Jubilee bracelet in stainless steel.
- While the Oyster bracelet sports three-piece flat links, the Jubilee is made of five semi-circular links. However, in the Oyster bracelet, the centre links are broader than the outer links; whereas, the centre links in the Jubilee bracelet are polished while the external links are satin-finished.
More significantly, the Jubilee bracelet in the new Batman reference features the patent Easylink extension system. This enables the user to extend the bracelet up to 5mm. However, Rolex finally updated the Jubilee bracelet fitting the Oysterlock folding safety clasp that functions together for preventing accidental opening.
In the case of the movement:
- While the Batman ref 116710 BLNR is powered by the Rolex’s Calibre 3186 movement, the reference 126710 BLNR runs on the new generation Calibre 3285.
- The Calibre 3186 movement features a Parachrom hairspring that renders higher resistance to temperature fluctuations and shocks.
- However, the Calibre 3285 is fitted with Rolex’s proprietary Chronergy escapement, offering higher resistance to magnetism and shocks.
- The Calibre 3285 movement provides a power reserve of 70hours; while the Calibre 3186 comes with 50hours of power reserve.
New vs Old GMT-Master II Pepsi
The current version of the iconic GMT-Master II Pepsi is available in solid white gold. In the past, the Rolex GMT-Master II with a blue-and-red-bezel (nicknamed as ‘Pepsi’) was available only with a black dial. At Baselworld 2018, however, Rolex introduced two new versions of the GMT-Master II Pepsi – one is with a dark blue dial and another, with a grey meteorite dial.
- The new Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi 116719BLRO is made up virtually of 18ct white gold. On the contrary, the old GMT-Master II ref 16710 (today discontinued) is crafted from the more robust and affordable 904L stainless steel.
- Both the references feature 40mm Oyster case, but the new 116719BLRO iteration looks bigger due to its bulkier build and wider lugs.
- While the older GMT-Master II ref 16710 comes with a Twinlock screw-down winding crown, the new Pepsi reference is equipped with a Triplock one.
- However, the new GMT-Master II ‘Pepsi’ flaunts a new Chromalight Display luminosity. Alternatively, Rolex made several changes to the luminescent material of the old GMT-Master ref 16710. It started with Tritium, and then Luminova followed finally by SuperLuminova.
Most of the Rolex GMT-Master II Ref 16710 timepieces were powered by the Calibre 3185. However, like the latest generation of the GMT-Master II, the new Pepsi Ref 116719BLRO runs on the Calibre 3186. Interestingly enough, both the new and old GMT-Master II ‘Pepsi’ watches provide a power reserve of nearly 48hours.
The new versions of the GMT-Master II indeed offer an extensive range of choice for people looking for a ‘Pepsi’ with a blue-and-red bezel or a ‘Batman’ with the black-and-blue bezel. However, while the most significant change for the former is the availability of two new dial colour options, for the latter is the Jubilee bracelet.