Rolex Batman: A Highly Sought-After GMT Watch
The GMT-Master II Batman is one of the most highly coveted Rolex watches. Its tendency to appreciate in value makes it a sound investment. Is has been available with the in-house caliber 3285 and a 70-hour power reserve since 2019.
A GMT-Master II Worth Investing In
If you're looking to invest in a legendary watch, you can't do much better than the Rolex GMT-Master II Batman. Prices for both Batman models are only going in one direction: up. Its nickname comes from its black and blue bezel, a color scheme often associated with Gotham City's most famous vigilante.
Rolex introduced the original Batman (ref. 116710BLNR) in 2014. Its power comes from the Rolex caliber 3186 with a 48-hour power reserve. Production of this model ceased in 2019, causing prices to go through the roof.
Rolex almost immediately followed the announcement of the 116710BLNR's retirement with the release of its successor, the ref. 126710BLNR. This timepiece is nearly identical to its predecessor except for two key details. First, its movement: The newer model uses the caliber 3285, which boasts Rolex's proprietary Chronergy escapement and a 70-house power reserve. The other major change was the switch from the Oyster bracelet to the five-piece link Jubilee bracelet. Both bracelets have an Oysterlock folding clasp and the Easylink comfort extension system that enables the wearer to lengthen the bracelet by 5 mm.
Reasons to Buy a GMT-Master II Batman
- Very popular; a fantastic investment
- Since 2019: in-house caliber 3285 with a 70-hour power reserve
- Black and blue Cerachrom bezel
- Deviates a maximum of 2 seconds per day
- With an Oyster or Jubilee Bracelet
Prices at a Glance: Rolex Batman
|Reference number||Price (approx.)||Feature(s)|
|116710LN||14,500 USD||Black ceramic bezel, Oyster bracelet|
|126710BLNR||17,000 USD||Black and blue ceramic bezel, Jubilee bracelet|
|116710BLNR||17,000 USD||Black and blue ceramic bezel, Oyster bracelet|
|126710BLRO||19,500 USD||Red and black ceramic bezel, Jubilee bracelet|
|116718LN||37,500 USD||Yellow gold case and Oyster bracelet, black ceramic bezel|
|126719BLRO||48,000 USD||White gold case, red and black ceramic bezel|
GMT-Master II Batman: Prices and Models
If you decide to buy the current model from an offline retailer, you can expect wait times of several months or even years due to high demand. You can skip the line by purchasing your timepiece on Chrono24; however, most watches will come at a significant premium. Authorized Rolex dealers no longer offer the previous edition. Instead, your best bet is to find a private seller or independent dealer.
The 116710BLNR is a very popular watch, making its price increase rapidly in recent years. Mint-condition pieces demand about 17,000 USD, while pre-owned examples cost only slightly less at 16,000 USD. As for its future performance, there are no signs that the original Batman will decrease in value anytime soon.
Indeed, its recent performance is highly promising. Back in 2018, the same Batman cost around 10,500 USD new. That's an increase of over 60% between 2018 and 2020. Since production of this model ceased in 2019, never-worn pieces are becoming even rarer, which is sure to drive prices even higher.
The 2019 ref. 126710BLNR has an official list price of 8,800 CHF (approx. 9,600 USD). While that may sound relatively affordable, demand is far outpacing supply. If you'd like to avoid the long waitlists associated with authorized Rolex dealers, you should consider purchasing your watch on Chrono24. You can get your hands on the latest Batman for about 17,000 USD new and 16,000 USD pre-owned on the online platform.
The Black and Blue Ceramic Bezel
The most notable detail of the Rolex Batman is its black and blue ceramic bezel. The bezel has a 24-hour scale, with the blue half representing the day and the black half, the night. This makes it easy to tell if it's day or night in the second time zone.
Many owners of GMT watches use the additional time zone to keep track of the time back home while traveling. The conventional three hands for the hours, minutes, and seconds display the current local time. Every Batman model has a blue 24-hour hand that fits in perfectly with the rest of the design. This hand is red on the Pepsi (126710BLRO) model and green on the ref. 116710LN with a black bezel.
The "GMT-Master II" inscription is white on the Rolex Batman and Pepsi. On the version with a black bezel, this inscription is the same green color as the 24-hour hand. Rolex does this to make sure that no one can exchange the bezel of a standard GMT-Master with a black and blue or blue and red one and sell it as a Batman or Pepsi for a higher price. Every GMT-Master II has a Cyclops lens above its date display.
Oyster or Jubilee Bracelet With Easylink Extension
Rolex began outfitting the Batman with a five-piece link Jubilee bracelet in 2019. The Datejust and stainless steel Pepsi also feature this bracelet. From 2013 to Baselworld 2019, the manufacturer produced the Batman with a three-piece link Oyster bracelet, as seen on models like the Submariner. However, unlike the Submariner, the Batman's middle links are polished and not satin-brushed, lending the timepiece a more refined look. Other GMT-Master II models also have polished middle links.
An Oysterlock clasp keeps the bracelet securely on the wrist. The bracelet also features the practical Easylink comfort extension system that allows you to lengthen the bracelet by 5 mm in the blink of an eye. The Jubilee bracelet also has this mechanism.
Which caliber powers the Rolex Batman?
Inside the Rolex Batman, you'll find either the in-house caliber 3186 or the more recent 3285. Like every Rolex caliber, both come with a certificate from the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC). According to the international norm, a mechanical chronometer may only deviate between -4 and +6 seconds a day. Rolex then retests each movement after its initial certification based on a stricter set of rules. Only watches with a maximum daily deviation of +/-2 seconds pass the test and earn the title "Superlative Chronometer."
The main difference between these two movements is their power reserves. While the 3186 has a respectable 48-hour power reserve, the 3285 is more up to date and can run unimpeded for 70 hours. This improvement is mainly the result of Rolex's proprietary Chronergy escapement, which is much more efficient than most Swiss anchor escapements. Both calibers have a blue Parachrom hairspring with a Breguet overcoil. Rolex crafts this hairspring from a paramagnetic zirconium-niobium alloy, which is much less sensitive to vibrations than conventional hairsprings.
Features of the Automatic Caliber 3285
- 70-hour power reserve
- Chronergy escapement
- Parachrom hairspring
- Date display
- GMT function
Are there alternatives to the Rolex Batman?
Like the Batman, the Rolex Pepsi from 2018 is a highly coveted luxury watch. Rolex also outfits this model with a Jubilee bracelet and the caliber 3285. In terms of technology and equipment, the Pepsi and the Batman have been identical since 2019. However, when it comes to price, the Pepsi is slightly ahead: Just after its release, prices for mint-condition pieces jumped to around 23,500 USD before settling down to 19,500 USD. You can purchase a pre-owned stainless steel Pepsi ref. 126710BLRO for just under 19,000 USD today. This timepiece has an official list price of 8,800 CHF (approx. 9,600 USD).
If you'd like to call a white gold Rolex Pepsi your own, be sure to set aside around 39,000 USD. This is about the same price you'd pay at an offline retailer. Pre-owned white gold Pepsis sell for around 36,500 USD. Unlike the stainless steel edition, the white gold model comes on an Oyster bracelet. Its dial is available in blue or meteorite. The latter version bears the ref. 126719BLRO and costs between 43,000 and 48,000 USD, depending on its condition.
Prices for the GMT-Master II 116710LN
The "standard" model with the reference number 116710LN and a black ceramic bezel had an original list price of 8,450 USD. However, its value has also risen significantly since its retirement. Mint-condition pieces that cost around 8,600 USD in April 2018 were demanding as much as 12,800 USD one year later. As of mid-2020, never-worn models were changing hands for over 14,500 USD, while pre-owned pieces cost roughly 12,000 USD. That's an increase of nearly 60% in only two years. Considering where its prices are heading, buying this watch now would be a smart place to invest your money.
The History of the Rolex GMT-Master
The Rolex Batman is a modern take on one of watchmaking history's most iconic watches. The first GMT-Master has the reference number 6542 and debuted back in the mid-1950s. Rolex originally developed this wristwatch for Pan American World Airways, better known as Pan Am.
The rise of intercontinental flights saw planes and passengers crossing multiple timezones in no time at all. Having the ability to keep track of multiple time zones at once quickly took on increased importance. This is why Pan Am commissioned Rolex to create a wristwatch that could do just that. The result was the GMT-Master 6542 with a rotatable 24-hour bezel and an additional 24-hour hand. Its red and blue bezel made it easier to tell day from night, with blue representing the night and red the day.
Do you know when the Rolex GMT-Master made its film debut? In "Goldfinger" (1964), Pussy Galore wears a model with reference number 6542. The watch isn't a James Bond watch like the Rolex Submariner 6538, but the Rolex Pepsi found its way onto the big screen nonetheless.