The Rolex GMT-Master and GMT-Master II are two of the most popular and well-known GMT watches in the world. The first GMT-Master was commissioned by Pan Am, and the blue and red "Pepsi" bezel can trace its origins back to the release of the first model in 1954. Over the years, Rolex took several steps to modernize the timepiece, which were, in keeping with the brand's tradition, always subtle.
The Rolex GMT-Master II ref. 16710, produced from 1989 through 2007, comes from a similar background. This reference is the follow-up model to the "Fat Lady" GMT-Master II 16760, which features a "Coke" bezel in black and red. The 16710 is the first GMT-Master II to be available in three different bezel color combinations: Pepsi, Coke, or black.
All 16710s manufactured during the 18-year production period share a 40-mm case made of 904L stainless steel, also known as Oystersteel. All models are also fitted with a sapphire crystal and have a depth rating of 100 m (10 bar, 328 ft). The GMT-Master II 16710 comes on the three-piece link Oyster bracelet, which awards the timepiece its sporty character.
Of course, there are minor differences between the models to consider before making a purchase. For example, watches produced up until around 1997 use a tritium-based material for the lume, while later versions have LumiNova or Super-LumiNova. Another change came in the year 2000, when Rolex switched to solid end links (SEL) for the bracelet; an upgrade from the more finicky hollow end links used up to that point. A few years later in 2003, the drilled lugs were removed from the reference, which had previously allowed for hassle-free bracelet changes.
The GMT-Master II 16710 is powered by the in-house caliber 3185, a chronometer-certified movement. Models produced after 2007 use the slightly modified caliber 3186.
Reasons to Buy a Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16710
- One of the most popular GMT watches ever
- Available with three different bezel colors
- Water-resistant to 100 m (10 bar, 328 ft)
- Rolex in-house caliber 3185 or 3186
- Comes on an Oyster or Jubilee bracelet
- Highly likely to appreciate in value