Rolex GMT Master II Batman: Old vs New

Comparing the 126710BLNR and 116710BLNR

At this year’s Baselworld, Rolex unveiled the updated version of the very popular Rolex GMT-Master II Batman: the 126710 BLNR.

The new blue-and-black GMT-Master II takes the same recipe as the latest Rolex Pepsi, equipping the fan favorite with a new bracelet, and a new movement. Let’s take a closer look at these updates, so you can decide on which Batman to buy.

 

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE
ROLEX GMT-MASTER II ‘BATMAN’

The Rolex GMT-Master II Batman (ref 116710 BLNR) was introduced in 2013. This watch was highly anticipated by the watch community, as it was unlike any GMT-Master that came before it.

It was packed with the updates that Rolex applied to its new generation of sports watches: a Maxi Case, whose overall size is bulkier than usual, in order to meet the demand for larger watches; a bracelet with the Easylink system that allows for up to 5mm adjustments without the need for tools; and the Triplock winding crown.

 

Batman
The original Rolex GMT-Master II Batman ref 116710 BLNR, introduced in 2013.

The most notable feature of the Batman, however, was its bezel. Rolex has updated their sports models with the Cerachrom bezel – their patented ceramic material that is impervious to scratching and fading.

First introduced in 2005, Rolex initially said that the Cerachrom can’t be produced in two colors, due to the complicated process of producing the ceramic bezel in a single piece. Rolex outdid themselves with the Batman, which turned out to be the first timepiece with bi-colored ceramic bezel.

 


 

OLD BATMAN vs NEW BATMAN:
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

With the launch of the new 126710 BLNR, Rolex has of course discontinued the first iteration of the Batman, the 116710 BLNR. Fans of the original Batman shouldn’t fret however, as it’s still available in the pre-owned market.

 

Batman
The Rolex GMT Master II Batman – reference 116710 BLNR (left) vs 126710 BLNR (right)
So what are the differences between the old and new Batman? It all boils down to the bracelet and movement.

 

BRACELET

This is the more obvious difference between the two. The 116710 BLNR comes fitted with a stainless steel Oyster bracelet. The Oyster comes with flat, three-piece links, whose center links are wider than the outer links. It’s considered the sportiest of all Rolex bracelets, and is used on all their Professional watches, before this update.

 

Batman
STAINLESS STEEL BRACELET. The 116710 BLNR is fitted with an Oyster bracelet, while 126710 BLNR comes with a Jubilee bracelet.

The new 126710 BLNR now comes with a stainless steel Jubilee bracelet, which gives the Batman a dressier look. The Jubilee is composed of five, semi-circular links, whose center links are polished, while the outer links are satin-finished.

This bracelet also comes with Rolex’s Easylink extension system, which allows the wearer to expand the bracelet for up to 5mm, without the use of tools. The final update to the bracelet is the Oysterlock folding safety clasp, whose cover and safety clasp work together to prevent accidental opening.

 

MOVEMENT AND TECHNOLOGY

The 116710 BLNR runs on the Caliber 3186 movement, entirely developed by Rolex. This movement allows the wearer to keep track of three timezones. This movement is equipped with a Parachrom hairspring, which offers greater resistance to shocks and temperature changes.

 

Batman
MOVEMENT. The 116710 BLNR runs on Caliber 3186, while the new 126710 BLNR is powered by Caliber 3285.

The 126710 BLNR comes with the new generation Caliber 3285. It uses Rolex’s patented Chronergy escapement for better resistance to shocks and magnetism; and also comes with a power reserve of 70 hours (versus 50 hours for the Caliber 3186). This means it will continue to run for almost three days without being worn or wound.

Since 2015, all Rolex watches have come with a precision rate of -2 / +2 seconds per day, so one can expect that too, of the new Rolex GMT-Master II Batman.

 


 

WHICH ONE SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?

When it comes to design, nothing else changed about the Batman except for its bracelet, so it all boils down to the look you desire. The Oyster gives it a sporty look, while the Jubilee gives it a dressier look.

If you’re inclined towards technological advancements though, then it’s worth considering the new Rolex Batman, whose new movement comes with improved power reserve and magnetic resistance. The old Rolex Batman, however, is still as robust as they come.

Whichever model you choose, the Rolex GMT-Master II Batman will remain a watch collector’s favorite for decades, as evidenced by its years long waitlist. If you’ve decided on the model you want, both are available on SwissWatchExpo.com – but we do have to warn you, these watches sell fast!

 

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