As some of you may already know, Rolex introduced an updated steel GMT-Master II with a black and blue bezel at Baselworld 2019. These particular black and blue GMT-Master II are also known as the Rolex Batman thanks to their distinct colorway. With the launch of the new GMT-Master II ref. 126710 BLNR, Rolex has, of course, discontinued the older GMT-Master II ref. 116710 BLNR. But this begs the question, what exactly has changed with the new Rolex Batman vs old? Join us as we compare the brand new GMT-Master II ref. 126710 BLNR and its predecessor, the GMT-Master II ref. 116710 BLNR.
Rolex GMT-Master II ref. 116710 BLNR
Ever since its debut in 2013, the 904L steel Rolex GMT-Master II ref. 116710 BLNR became a fan favorite. This was part of the new generation of GMT-Master II pilot watches with heftier 40 mm Oyster “Super” cases fitted with fatter lugs, bolder “Maxi” dials, and bidirectional rotating bezels in Cerachrom ceramic. It was also the first steel GMT-Master II with a bi-colored ceramic bezel–up until that point, the only other option was the GMT-Master II ref. 116710 LN with a full black Cerachrom ceramic bezel (which Rolex has also discontinued). Rolex enthusiasts everywhere were putting their names down on long waitlists to pick up this ultra-cool GMT-Master II model.
The GMT-Master II ref. 116710 BLNR comes fitted with a 904L steel Oyster bracelet with polished center links. This particular Oyster bracelet, reference 78200, comes fitted with the Easylink extension system to permit the wearer to extend the bracelet by 5 mm when necessary.
Powering the Rolex Batman ref 116710 is Caliber 3186. Thanks to this automatic movement–which has a 50-hour power reserve–the GMT-Master II can indicate up to three time zones via the additional 24-hour hand on the dial and the 24-hour rotating bezel.
Rolex GMT-Master II ref. 126710 BLNR.
New for this year is the Rolex GMT-Master II ref. 126710 BLNR and with its release, the new Rolex Batman brought about some notable updates. But first, we have to outline what stayed the same. The GMT-Master II ref. 126710 BLNR is still a stainless steel 40 mm watch with a black and blue rotating bezel in Cerachrom ceramic. Its black dial still includes a date window at 3 o’clock, a blue arrow-tipped 24-hour hand, luminous Mercedes-style hands, and 11 lume-filled hour markers.
On the other hand, the new Rolex Batman does not come fitted with an Oyster bracelet. Identical to last year’s new stainless steel GMT-Master II “Pepsi,” the new GMT-Master II ref. 126710 BLNR is equipped with a stainless steel Jubilee bracelet–Jubilee ref. 69200 in fact. With its five-piece semi-circular link structure, the Jubilee bracelet is a much dressier option that the sporty Oyster bracelet with flat three-piece links. The center links are polished while the outer links are satin-finished. The GMT-Master II’s Jubilee bracelet also comes with the Easylink extension system and secures onto the wrist via an Oysterlock folding safety clasp.
Another big change with new Rolex Batman vs old Rolex Batman is the movement inside the case. GMT-Master II ref. 126710 BLNR runs on the new-generation Caliber 3285 with an increased power reserve of 70 hours. The Cal. 3285 also comes with Rolex’s patented Chronergy escapement for better resistance to shocks and magnetism. What’s more, since 2015, all Rolex watch guarantee a precision rate of -2/+2 seconds per day, which is twice the standard of an officially-certified chronometer.
New Rolex Batman vs Old. Which is Better?
Design-wise, you will have to decide if you prefer the GMT-Master Batman with an Oyster bracelet or with a Jubilee bracelet. Both have merits in their own right but they do each give a very different look to the watch. If you prefer the sportier style of the Oyster bracelet, then the older GMT-Master II ref. 116710 BLNR is your better option. On the other hand, if you like the dressier Jubilee bracelet look, then the new GMT-Master II ref. 126710 BLNR is the way to go.
Mechanically speaking, the new GMT-Master II ref. 126710 BLNR naturally has a better automatic movement with improved power reserve, precision, and magnetic resistance. So if you’re inclined to go with improved technology, then the new Rolex Batman may be up your alley. However, it’s worth noting that the movement driving the older Rolex Batman is as robust and durable as you’d expect from Rolex-made movements.
Last, but certainly not least, how patient are you? It’s no secret that waitlists for new Rolex sports watches are years-long. So getting your hands on a new GMT-Master II ref. 126710 BLNR may take a very long time. Conversely, you can pick up the now-discontinued GMT-Master II ref. 116710 BLNR right now from our inventory!