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Earlier this year, Rolex discontinued the Rolex GMT-Master II Ref 116710LN. Along with several other GMT-Master II models. More on that in a moment. Shortly thereafter, prices on the secondary market began to climb. Not surprising really. This is a steel sports Rolex after all. And a popular one at that. Now that it is no longer available new, the secondary market is the only option for would be owners. But is the black Rolex GMT-Master II worth the money?

A (Very) Brief History Of The Ref 116710LN

You may not know it to look at it but to some, the Ref 116710LN is a significant watch. To understand why, we need to look at its origins. In 2005, Rolex unveiled the yellow gold GMT-Master II Ref 116718LN. The occasion was the 50th anniversary of the GMT-Master collection. Rolex took this opportunity to also debut the brand’s patented new ceramic bezel insert. Impervious to scratches and fading, this was a significant move by the brand. There was a catch though. It was a single colour.

Traditionally, the aluminium bezel inserts on GMT-Master watches have always been bi-colour. This goes back to the first Ref 1675’s from the late 1950’s. The reason for this is simple. The 24-hour scale on the bi-directional bezel allows you to track two time-zones at the same time. To make it easy to read at a glance, the insert was divided into two halves. One red, to correspond with daylight hours, the other blue for night-time. The design is nothing short of iconic. Hence the reason the Pepsi GMT-Master II is still so popular today.

At the time though, Rolex said it wasn’t possible to make a bi-colour Cerachrom bezel. And this would remain the case until the arrival of the Batman GMT-Master II in 2013. That’s not to say there was no precedent for an all-black bezel, though. In 1970, Rolex did introduce a black aluminium bezel insert on the GMT-Master. Although less popular than the bi-color models, it remained in production until the end of the 90’s.

As it turns out, it didn’t matter that much anyway. The new-look GMT-Master II models were a hit. Everyone wanted the new ceramic bezel insert. So, when the steel Ref 116710LN arrived in 2007 it received a warm welcome from collectors. It was more accessible than the solid gold and two-tone versions that preceded it. And the steel case was more in keeping with the tool watch aesthetic. Plus, it didn’t hurt that it paid subtle homage to the lesser known black bezel GMT-Master.

The Rolex GMT-Master II Ref 116710LN


IN THE SHOP: check out this Rolex GMT-Master II Ref 116710LN available now.


As the first steel GMT-Master II to feature a Cerachrom bezel, the Ref 116710LN was always going to be in demand. But the shiny new bezel is not the only thing that made this watch attractive. Rolex also borrowed several technical advances from other models.

The secure Triplock crown came from the Submariner. This crown uses three sealed zones to ensure watertight security akin to a submarine’s hatch. Rolex chose not to increase the watch’s 100m water resistance rating though. Probably because it’s a pilot’s watch and not a dive watch. Also taken from the Submariner was the Maxi dial design. It’s distinguished by thicker hour and minute hands and larger round markers. Not everyone likes the Maxi dial as it is a bit more in your face. It does seem to improve legibility though.

The original black bezel GMT-Master had a red 24-hour hand. For the Ref 116710LN, Rolex changed this to green. The name “GMT-Master II” also appears in green text on the dial. Subtle changes sure but ones that helped this model become highly recognisable.



The next big change was the Oyster bracelet, which was revamped for the Ref 116710LN. It introduced another Rolex innovation collectors had been asking for. The Easylink 5mm comfort Extension link. This allowed the wearer to make small adjustments to the length of the bracelet. At the time, it was commonly called the “Daytona” clasp. The more advanced Glidelock clasp has since taken its place.

The other thing to set this Oyster bracelet apart was its polished centre links. This would become a hallmark of future steel GMT-Master II’s. Up until this year that is, when Rolex replaced the Oyster bracelet with the Jubilee. But we’ll get to that.


IN THE SHOP: check out this Rolex GMT-Master II Ref 116710LN available now.


Inside the 40mm steel case was the same manufacture calibre 3186. The only difference was this self-winding movement was equipped with a new hairspring. Rolex’s own in-house “Parachrom” hairspring, to be exact. This time, taken from the Rolex Milgauss. It enabled the movement to be anti-magnetic and more resistant to shocks. Standard stuff today but a major development at the time.

When new, the Ref 116710LN retailed for a tad over USD 9,000. Now that it’s discontinued, that price has gone up.

Is It Worth The Money?

This year, Rolex consolidated the GMT-Master II collection. A total of four references were discontinued, including the Ref 116710LN. Not only that, the steel models are now only available on Jubilee bracelets. And all models are only available with bi-colour ceramic bezels. In many ways, these changes make sense. The collection needed some refinement and that is exactly what Rolex has done.


IN THE SHOP: check out this Rolex GMT-Master II Ref 116710LN available now.


A fallout of this of course is increased demand for the discontinued models. Some of it from collectors who want to own these watches. Some of it is driven by speculators looking to make a quick buck. Whatever the case, to buy a Ref 116710LN on the secondary market now, you will pay upwards of USD 11,500 depending on condition, etc.

That’s for a watch that doesn’t include a next generation movement from Rolex. Yet, there’s a certain sense of nostalgia around this model. It was the first steel GMT-Master II to feature a Cerachrom bezel. And it is the last of the single colour GMT-Master II’s.

Does that mean the Ref 116710LN is worth the money though? It’s a tough call. For many, the only GMT-Master II worth having is the steel Pepsi. But there’s crazy wait lists for that watch. And prices are still hovering around USD 17,000 on the secondary market. Likewise, the discontinued Batman is trading for around USD 14,000 – 15,000. (We have one available in the Shop now.) Both those models have a cult following though, more so than the full-black GMT-Master II.


IN THE SHOP: check out this Rolex GMT-Master II Ref 116710LN available now.


Still, it’s a great watch with some interesting, if a little obscure, heritage. The full black bezel is less ostentatious than the bi-colour options. And it’s still relatively obtainable. Plus, it’s not like you can go on a wait list for this watch and pay retail at your local AD. Now that production has stopped, supply will begin to decrease. Meaning prices will probably continue to go up, albeit slowly.

At the end of the day, if you like the Ref 116710LN, buy it. Not because you think it’s a good investment. Or because you think it will be a future collector’s item. Buy it because you like it and will enjoy wearing it. That’s it.


Technical Specifications: Rolex GMT-Master II Ref 116710LN

  • Case: Oyster – 40 mm – Oystersteel – monobloc middle case, screw-down case back and winding crown – Bidirectional rotatable 24-hour graduated bezel. Black Cerachrom insert in ceramic, engraved numerals and graduations – waterproof to 100 metres / 330 feet.
  • Dial: Matt black – 18ct gold hour markers – Chromalight display with longlasting blue luminescence on hour markers and hands.
  • Movement: Calibre 3186 – bidirectional self-winding via Perpetual rotor – Parachrom hairspring – 50-hour power reserve – Centre hour, minute and seconds hands – 24-hour display – Second time zone with independent rapid-setting of the hour hand – Instantaneous date – Stop-seconds for precise time setting – COSC-certified chronometer.
  • Price: Discontinued / ~USD 12,000 on secondary market.

This article by TheWatchLounge has been sponsored by our partner WatchBox.

Tom Mulraney
Tom Mulraney
Founder & Editor
Tom likes to write about luxury watches. So much so, that he created The Watch Lounge just so he would have an outlet for his passion. Together with his team, he is dedicated to bringing you original, entertaining (and maybe even a little educational) luxury watch and lifestyle content.

12 thoughts on “Is The Black GMT-Master II Worth The Money?”

  1. wayne silva says:

    I have been wearing a Rolex GMT since 1967. in fact i’m wearing the all black bezel right now.
    There was so much hype about the new Tudor GMT that i went out and bought one. soon as i turned the bezel, very cheap feeling. i didn’t want any of my friends to turn the bezel. I sent it
    back to New York. The watch came back to me with a note saying everything seems to be fine.
    a few days later the date stuck between digits then skipped a day. it went back to NY for a month.
    when the watch came back it was almost out chronometer standards. by now i was pretty
    much fed up with the watch. so i sold it to a very well known dealer on line. I bought another
    Rolex GMT from thtat dealer. i had to give it away in order to sell it. what a beating i took.
    when i was given my first GMT in 1967. it was a Swiss watch. now with the internet every
    body is a Rolex expert wanting to flip watches. it is very sad where this has gone.
    however, i’ll always own a Rolex. Why? not because of all the colorful bezels. to pay
    over $4,000 for a used Rolex because part of the bezel has some blue in it.

  2. Nick says:

    Wonderful insight from past to present. How do you see the GMT 11 18ct gold with black face. Gold and steel 116710 models.Are they now under valued?

  3. ken Balck says:

    Thank you for your informative article.

    I have a GMT Master II model 16713T steel and gold with oyster bracelet with all original books & papers. Its rarely been worn and show very little wear. What is your estimate of the watch’s worth.

  4. Dan Lightner says:

    Hi Tom,
    Last year as they were discontinuing the Rolex GMT-Master II Ref 116710LN I purchased this watch with a Black and Gold bezel and steel and gold and Oyster bracelet with Easylink 5mm comfort Extension link. It’s the only one I’ve seen like it. Is it any more collectible than others? Is it a rarity among the GMT 2’s. Thank you for your input.

    Dan L

  5. Good write up. I own it, I picked it over a Batman. IMO it is the best of both worlds, the look of a Submariner with GMT function. It’s a do anything go anywhere watch. The new Pepsi for me is too “look at me”.

  6. Jack T says:

    Nice article, just purchased this very watch today, new old stock from an AD I’ve done business with for years. Have always liked the model, yet waited until now to get one. Of the many watches over the years, finally acquired the model that caught my eye so very long ago, Looking forward to enjoying it.

  7. KMD says:

    Nice article thank you

    I was thinking as many models have names I like to call mine the “black panther” as it’s all black with some hints of white.

    Cheers

  8. Carlos Fandango says:

    Does this model have a “nick name”?

  9. jim higgins says:

    Thanks for a great article. I was curious as to your opinion on the collectability of the GMT Master II anniversary edition model 116718LN, yellow gold with black bezel and green dial?
    I know it was produced for many years, but I don’t hear much about the watch in forums or youtube reviews. I would appreciate your take on that model.

  10. Chris says:

    Will the jubilee bracelet on the 126710 fir on the 116710?

  11. Chia KH says:

    A very simple and clear write out for a peasant like me to understand.

  12. Kumar says:

    I reach out to a local AD and they had one in stock. They were asking $12,500, papers, no box, with a 2 year warranty

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