Is The Classic Rolex GMT-Master II Ref 16710 A Good Buy?
The Rolex GMT-Master II Ref 16710 is an interesting watch. It was launched in 1989 and has been in production for almost 20 years. By all accounts, it is a strong seller for Rolex. This means that there are quite a few in circulation today. Or, in other words, it is not what collectors would call “rare”. Likewise, there is nothing special about this watch replica. Other than the fact that this will be the last time we see a Coke bezel in production. However, it holds its own on the secondary market. So, is it a good watch or not?
No doubt you are already familiar with the backstory of the GMT-Master. In the 1950s, intercontinental travel by commercial airlines started to become a thing. Pan Am needed a watch that could display multiple time zones for its pilots. Rolex responded to this request with a simple and elegant solution. The dial of this stylish tool watch has a fourth hand pointing to a 24-hour scale on a rotating bezel. The aforementioned bezel is divided in half by a two-tone color scheme; blue and red. The daytime and nighttime hours are visually separated.
It is a practical and clever design from which fake Rolex rarely deviates. Except for the introduction of different color schemes. For example, on the ever-popular Batman. Or the lesser-known but equally cool Coke. In fact, the Coke bezel – half red, half black – was unveiled in 1983 at the same time as the GMT-Master II collection.
The first model in this new line was the infamous Ref 16760. Also known as the “Fat Lady”. This was a less friendly name for the thicker case of the model. This was to accommodate the new movement inside. The movement 3085, introduced a quick-setting jumping hour function. This allows the home time and local time to be set independently. This was a feature that the GMT-Master had been lacking.
But this wasn’t the only update to appear on Ref 16760. It is also arguably the first Rolex GMT watch to feature a sapphire crystal. The date window has a cyclops on it. It was also the first GMT to use white gold around the tritium luminous hour markers. Today, we take these two features of the GMT-Master II collection for granted.
As was the case with the older Rolex models, the first production run of the GMT-Master II was short-lived. It had a production life of only five years. Its low production run has made it quite sought after by collectors today. And historical significance. (as the first GMT-Master II and the first appearance of the Coke bezel). As another interesting aside, the Ref 16760 is available in only one version. Stainless steel case. The Coca-Cola bezel. And the Oyster strap. Take it or leave it.
The following year, 1989, the Ref 16710 appeared. But unlike the Ref 16760, it came with a variety of options. Three steel models with a choice of the popular Pepsi bezel, and a Coke or all-black variant. There is also the GMT-Master II Ref 16713 in two-tone gold and steel. Better known to collectors as Root Beer. There is also the full gold GMT-Master II Ref 16718.