Rolex GMT Master 2 – What’s Changed?116710BLNR vs 126710BLNR

by Neha Sharma
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In 2019, the well renowned GMT Master II, reference 116710BLNR also known as ‘Batman’ was replaced by the new 126710BLNR model. 

The original 116710BLNR grabbed attention as soon as it was released at Baselworld in 2013. The high level of interest in this watch can largely be attributed to its bi-colour ceramic bezel. This model has been and still is a sought-after model that you may be wondering why Rolex have released a renewed model. 

Rolex have made some thoughtful changes to the older 116710 BLNR model to ensure that it is up to date technologically and aesthetically. 


The biggest and the most obvious difference is the bracelet. The oyster bracelet on Ref 116710 BLNR has broad and flat three-piece links with brushed outer links and polished centre links. It’s the most universal bracelet in the oyster collection and was actually introduced in 1930s. This oyster bracelet has a classy yet sporty appearance.

The renewed 126710BLNR model has a five-piece link jubilee bracelet which also has brushed outer links and polished centre links. It is visually striking due to the way it shines. It also stands out well when compared with the previous oyster bracelet.

Even though the bracelets look different, they’re both made from Oyster steel. Oyster steel is specifically developed by Rolex, it belongs to the 904L steel family which is commonly used in high-technology and in the aerospace and chemical industries. This type of steel is extremely resistant, has an exceptional finish once polished and it maintains its beauty even in the harshest environments. I think this durability is so important in luxury watches. When you’re paying so much money, you want it to last many many years.


The second change is in the Dial. The new model has the Rolex crown at the 6 o’clock mark between the words Swiss and Made. Other than this difference, the dials on both watches are identical. 


The third change is in the movement of 126710BLNR. It has the new 3285 caliber movement which has increased the power reserve from 48hours to 70 hours. This movement was released in 2018 and can be found in all GMT master 2 models.


The fourth change lies in the casing of the new model 126710. This particular change can only be seen when you have the new and the old models side by side. The lugs of the new model are slightly trimmed compared to the older model making the case look somewhat smaller.


Similar to the other Rolex GMT Master II watches, these models are prestigious, robust and high in demand. As such, their price reflects this exclusivity. As of 1st of January 2020, Rolex has increased the price of the 126710 model to $13,600.00 AUD. On the grey market, the price is currently fluctuating in the region of $20,000 – $23,000 AUD depending on the quality. With the announcement of new the model, Batman became an instant classic as it was no longer in production and its price increased to upwards of $20,000.00 AUD. Over the past year, the price has stayed around the $20,000.00 AUD mark. 

The Rolex GMT Master II Ref 126710BLNR is a stunning and elegant timepiece that will certainly continue the success of its predecessor. 

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