So, imagine our surprise then, when in Baselworld 2013 Rolex unveiled a new steel Rolex GMT-Master II with a blue and black ceramic bezel – the Ref. 116710BLNR (BLNR for bleu/noir). It was easily one of the stars at last year’s show, and we noted in our hands-on last year just how well-made the new ceramic bezel is, and how good-looking the watch is in the flesh.
Judging from the fact that Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 116710BLNR pieces are flying off the shelves – and that the resale value is extremely close to retail prices, even by Rolex standards – it seems that we are not the only ones who think so. In fact, many dealers, at least in my part of the world, are actually charging a premium for this piece. And it was only after much looking around and inquiring that I managed to find a dealer who was happy to sell it at retail price.
For this review, I’m not going to tell you about the features and technical details of this watch, I think the capabilities of the calibre 3186 have been well covered in our earlier review of the steel and gold Ref. 116713. Besides, the Rolex GMT-Master II is such a popular watch that it should be no stranger to most people. But I will say that the case is solidly constructed and well polished, and the bracelet and clasp are also of the highest quality. Additionally, the Easylink extension, which allows the bracelet to be discreetly extended by 5mm, is a lifesaver on warm days. Not everyone is going to be a fan of the polished center-links, but I like it as it distinguishes the GMT-Master II from the Submariner and makes it look a little dressier.