Rolex GMT-Master II Batman: Potential Investment
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. It has been available with the in-house caliber 3285 and a 70-hour power reserve since 2019.
The Famous Black and Blue GMT-Master II
If you're looking for a legendary watch with investment potential, you can't do much better than the Rolex GMT-Master II Batman. The watch's 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, and kept it in production until 2019. Once the final whistle was blown, prices for the Rolex Batman went through the roof.
Rolex almost immediately followed the announcement of the 116710BLNR's retirement with the release of its successor, the GMT-Master II ref. 126710BLNR. This Batman model is nearly identical to its predecessor except for two key details. First, the newer model uses a modified caliber with a 70-hour power reserve. Second, instead of the Oyster bracelet, the standard configuration of this reference now features the five-piece link Jubilee bracelet. Nevertheless, Rolex takes the popularity of the Oyster bracelet into consideration, and it is also available on request.
When it comes to investment potential, both references have experienced considerable turbulence in recent years. While prices rose sharply between 2021 and 2022, they've been on a downward trend since then. That means that, as of mid-2023, these models have become a relatively affordable entry point again. Nevertheless, performance is likely to be positive in the long term, despite the drop in prices. How the price curve will develop in the future remains to be seen.
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
- Comes with an Oyster or a Jubilee bracelet
Prices at a Glance: Rolex Batman
|Rolex Batman reference number||Price (approx.)||Feature(s), caliber|
|126710BLNR||19,300 USD||Blue and black ceramic bezel, Jubilee bracelet, 3285|
|116710BLNR||18,000 USD||Black and blue ceramic bezel, Oyster bracelet, 3186|
GMT-Master II Batman: Prices and Models
The 116710BLNR is a very popular watch, and prices for it have steadily increased in recent years. As recently as 2018, the Batman ref. 116710BLNR cost around 9,000 USD on the open market. By May 2022, this model changed hands for roughly 22,000 USD. A year later, in May 2023, the watch cost a "mere" 18,000 USD.
Rolex lists the 2019 ref. 126710BLNR on a Jubilee bracelet for 10,500 USD. As of May 2023, the watch demands an investment of approximately 19,300 USD on Chrono24 in mint condition. If you had bought the watch a year earlier, it would have set you back quite a bit more, around 26,300 USD.
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 until 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 ref. 126710BLRO 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 21,000 USD. Today, after a brief rally, you can quench your thirst for just over 22,000 USD. You can purchase a pre-owned stainless steel Pepsi ref. 126710BLRO for just under 21,000 USD. This timepiece has an official list price of 9,700 USD.
If you'd like to call a white gold Rolex Pepsi in mint condition your own in May 2023, it will set you back abound 46,200 USD. That's a decrease of over 20,000 USD since May 2022. Pre-owned white gold Pepsi watches change hands for roughly 40,000 USD. Unlike the stainless steel edition, the white gold model comes on an Oyster bracelet. The dial is available in blue or meteorite. The latter dial version bears the ref. 126719BLRO and mint-condition pieces demand an investment of approximately 64,700 USD (as of May 2023). To put this into perspective, the price has dropped by around 35,000 USD in just one year.
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 rose significantly after retirement. In 2019, the watch would have already made a dent in your wallet of about 11,300 USD. In May 2022, you would have had to reckon with an investment of over 20,000 USD for a model in mint condition. A year later, this number had dropped to "only" around 14,000 USD. You can call a pre-owned piece your own for roughly 11,000 USD.
The GMT-Master II for Lefties
Rolex unveiled a completely new GMT-Master II model at Watches and Wonders 2022, namely the ref. 126720VTNR. This watch has two special features: the black and green GMT bezel, and the fact that Rolex flipped the crown and the date to the left-hand side of the watch. While this GMT-Master is the first Rolex watch to be specially designed for lefties, the watch is identical to the Batman ref. 126710BLNR from a technical point of view. The official price for this Rolex GMT-Master is 10,250 USD. The first listings for the watch to appear on Chrono24 sold for between 60,000 USD and over 80,000 USD. Hopefully, whoever purchased those pieces have nerves of steel: As of May 2023, the object of their desire was changing hands for only around 25,500 USD.