When talking about Rolex, there are certain watches that just come to mind first, such as the ever-so popular Hulk Submariner or the highly coveted Pepsi GMT-Master. The superior craftsmanship Rolex upholds has allowed it to create numerous iconic timepieces over the years. As such, it would probably be difficult for beginners to remember all the different models, simply because there are so many.
With that said, today, we will be focusing all our attention on one particular watch, dubbed the Rolex Batman.
Why is it called the Rolex Batman?
The Rolex Batman is a watch from the highly regarded GMT-Master II collection, and it is characterized by its black and blue bezel. You might be wondering why the Rolex Batman is named as such when all the other GMT-Master watches are named after sodas, such as the Rolex Pepsi and the Rolex Root Beer.
Well, the answer is quite simple. Rather than resembling a beverage logo, the color scheme of this particular GMT-Master II model is often linked to the DC superhero, Batman. If you refer to the old drawings of Batman, his outfit is a combination of a black suit and a blue cape, hence the name of the Rolex Batman. Aside from that, the Rolex Batman also has other nicknames, all of which are still related to Batman, like The Bruiser and The Dark Knight.
More About The Rolex Batman
Unlike the other watches in the GMT-Master II collection, the Rolex Batman does not have a GMT-Master (1954-1999) counterpart. The first Rolex Batman model, also known as the Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 116710BLNR, was only released at Baselworld 2013, making it a relatively new addition to the line. Despite that, it was well-received by many, especially since it brought something new to the table.
At first glance, one might think that the Rolex Batman is simply another Rolex watch with a bi-colored bezel, but there is more to it than meets the eye. It is a well-known fact among patrons that the Ref. 116710BLNR is Rolex’s first-ever model with a two-tone, fully ceramic bezel. This is actually one of the main reasons why this particular version of the Rolex Batman is highly coveted to this today.
Moreover, in the past few decades since the brand launched the original GMT-Master, the colorways it has used have always been relatively vibrant and contrasting from each other. The reason for this is so that the distinction between AM and PM is clear on the GMT bezel, since readability is one of its most important aspects. However, the Ref. 116710BLNR serves as a more subtle option with subdued hues.
Indeed, the Rolex Batman is like a breath of fresh air compared to the other GMT-Master watches, because its colors come with much more versatility. This variant caters to a wider group of people since it can easily go with any style and match any preference. While the Rolex Pepsi and Coke models remain extremely popular, the Rolex Batman has been steadily climbing up the ranks as well.
Now that we have a better understanding of the Rolex Batman, let us take a quick look at the different iterations it has gone through over the last few years.
Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 116710BLNR
The Rolex Batman GMT-Master II Ref. 116710BLNR is presented in a 40mm Oystersteel case paired with a bracelet of the same material. It features a bi-directional, ceramic bezel in black and blue, with 24-hour markers all over it. Meanwhile, its jet-black dial consists of a magnified date window and Chromalight hands and hour markers for superior readability.
When it comes to the technical details, this Rolex Batman piece is equipped with the brand’s in-house, self-winding calibre 3186, which boasts an impressive power reserve of 50 hours. It also has a 100-meter water resistance rating, making it incredibly durable and reliable. Lastly, it should be noted that the Ref. 116710BLNR was discontinued in 2019 in preparation for a newer version of the Rolex Batman.
Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. M126710BLNR-0002
Here we have the GMT-Master II Ref. M126710BLNR-0002 which, to the untrained eye, does not seem much different. Just like its predecessor, this model is presented in a 40mm Oystersteel case paired with a bracelet of the same material. However, instead of the usual three-link band, it comes with a five-link Jubilee bracelet and a folding Oysterlock clasp. When it comes to the watch face, this variant of the Rolex Batman is practically identical to the original. It boasts the signature two-tone GMT bezel, a deep black dial, luminescent hands and hour markers, and magnified date display.
On the other hand, the technicalities are where the differences between the two models are more evident. The Ref. M126710BLNR-0002 is equipped with Rolex’s in-house, self-winding calibre 3285, which has a whopping 70-hour power reserve and shock-absorbent properties. In addition, this model is actually dubbed the Batgirl, because the Jubilee bracelet gives it a more formal and professional look compared to the normal Batman. Regardless, it is still a well-loved and sought-after watch among patrons and collectors.
An In-Depth Look at the GMT-Master II Ref. M126710BLNR-0003
Now, we can finally focus our attention on the most recent iteration of the Rolex Batman, which is the GMT-Master II Ref. M126710BLNR-0003.
Just like many GMT-Master models, the Ref. M126710BLNR-0003 is presented in the iconic Oystersteel case and bracelet. For those who do not know, this material comes from the 904L steel family, which is a type of metal often used for items that require advanced technology. Given its corrosion-resistant properties, the use of this metal simply shows that the Rolex Batman was created to withstand any and every environment.
This Rolex Batman piece also features a bi-directional, rotating bezel with a graduated 24-hour function. It has a Cerachrom insert that comes in a black and blue color for easier distinction. Lastly, unlike the Batgirl, it has the standard three-link Oyster bracelet, with a secure folding Oysterlock safety clasp.
When it comes to the black dial, there really isn’t anything new or fancy with this model. It follows a straightforward, analog layout, with luminescent hands and hour markers that utilize Chromalight technology. It also has a date display at 3 o’clock which is magnified by a Cyclops lens. Lastly, everything is protected and held into place by a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and a winding crown with a Triplock waterproof system.
Moving on, in terms of technical details, the 2021 version of the Rolex Batman is equipped with a self-winding GMT calibre 3285. This movement is made up of high-quality components such as shock-absorbent hairsprings and a perpetual rotor. It boasts a power reserve of 70 hours and a substantial water resistance rating of 100 meters.
According to the Rolex website, this GMT-Master II Ref. M126710BLNR-0002 has a price tag of approximately $10,000 USD. While the price might be average for a luxury watch, it will be extremely difficult to get your hands on a Rolex Batman at its retail price as it is highly sought-after. Also, as the years go by, its value will most likely increase as well.
As previously mentioned, the Rolex Batman is one of the brand’s most highly coveted and recognised pieces. Whether you want a vintage model or the latest version, actually acquiring one can seem like a Herculean task given its popularity among the watch community. That being said, the reputation of the Rolex Batman still cannot match that of the Rolex Pepsi, which continues to be the most well-known piece from the GMT-Master collection.
Should you buy it?
Before worrying about where to buy the Rolex Batman, you should first think hard whether you actually want one or not. With that, here are some reasons why you should definitely consider adding this iconic model to your collection.
- Good Reputation. From the moment it was launched up to this today, most of the feedback on the Rolex Batman has always been good. It made such an impact when it was released because it served as something new. Through consistent innovation, Rolex was able to add an incredibly versatile timepiece to the already well-established GMT-Master line. Indeed, owning a watch with a good reputation like this can be appealing, especially to those who are serious about their collection.
- An Investment Piece. This really should not be a surprise given how highly coveted it is but, in case some people are not aware, the Rolex Batman can definitely be considered as an excellent investment piece. The value of this model has only gone up since it was first launched because of the sheer number of people who want it, making it incredibly rare. As I mentioned earlier, its current retail price is set at around $10,000 USD but it is almost impossible to actually purchase it at that cost. If you somehow acquire this watch, make sure to hold on to it because its resale value will surely increase through the years.
- Unparalleled Quality. Given the previous points, this aspect just seems like the cherry on top. Since people tend to focus on the prestige that comes with the Rolex Batman, they sometimes forget about how good of a watch it actually is. Among the GMT-Master models, this is the most versatile piece, which means it is also the most practical option for those who want something that can go with any style. In addition, the materials used to craft the Rolex Batman are nothing short of durable and reliable, and possess properties that can withstand even the harshest environments.
Alternative Models to the Rolex Batman
If you are finding it difficult to get your hands on the Rolex Batman, here are some top-notch alternatives you should definitely check out!
TAG Heuer Aquaracer Ref. WAY201T.BA0927
To start off our list, we have a watch from Tag Heuer’s iconic Aquaracer collection. While it has a very similar exterior to the Rolex Batman, there are still many notable differences that make it unique on its own. However, the most defining similarity would probably be the Aquaracer’s rotating, aluminum bezel which also comes in black and blue, just like the Rolex Batman.
The TAG Heuer Aquaracer Ref. WAY201T.BA0927 is presented in a 43mm stainless steel case paired with a bracelet of the same material. Its blue dial, which follows a horizontal teak pattern, consists of a magnified date window and luminescent hands and indices. Lastly, it is driven by the brand’s automatic calibre 7, which boasts a power reserve of 50 hours.
With a price tag of approximately $3,500 USD, this can be a more affordable and sporty alternative to the legendary Dark Knight watch.
Bell and Ross V2-93 GMT Blue
This next model from Bell and Ross does not look as much like the Rolex Batman, yet it has a similar overall vibe. The main difference is that this has a blue and grey bezel instead of the Dark Knight watch’s iconic black and blue.
The Bell & Ross V2-93 comes in a 41mm satin-polished steel case and a bracelet of the same material. The blue dial consists of luminescent hands and hour markers, Arabic numerals, and a date window at the lower right corner. Lastly, this watch is equipped with the self-winding calibre BR-CAL.303, which has a 40-hour power reserve and a 100-meter water resistance capacity.
Priced at around $3,500 USD as well, this serves as a unique alternative for those who want something slightly similar to the aforementioned Rolex Dark Knight piece.
Tudor Black Bay Ref. M79230B-0007
Last on our list, we have this Tudor Black Bay which, in my opinion, has the most similar vibe to the Rolex Batman despite the obvious aesthetic differences. Even though it has a leather strap, this Tudor model has a very sleek and versatile overall design.
This Tudor Black Bay Ref. M79230B-0007 is presented in a 41mm steel case paired with an aged leather strap and rotating bezel in dark blue. The black dial follows a straightforward analog layout with luminescent hands and hour markers. Lastly, it is powered by an automatic calibre MT5602, which has a bi-directional rotor system and an impressive power reserve of 70 hours.
Retailing at around $3,300 USD, this is perfect option for those who really want a watch with Batman vibes.
While the Rolex Pepsi is still the most popular model in the GMT-Master collection, the Rolex Batman is definitely a must-have for many collectors and enthusiasts out there. It is the ideal luxury watch for those who want a sporty yet incredibly versatile GMT piece. With such a pristine reputation and superior quality, it is no wonder why the Rolex Batman continues to be such a coveted watch today.
If this got you interested in Rolex watches, make sure to read our piece on the iconic Rolex Kermit.
Photo Credits: Official Watch Websites