Rolex GMT-Master II Grey-Black

written by YWH team 25 April 2024
Rolex GMT-Master II Grey-Black ref. 126710GRNR

Quick specs Rolex GMT-Master II Grey-Black
Price: starting at € 11.100 | CHF 10’200 | $ 11,250 | £ 9,350 (3-link bracelet)
Size: 40 mm
Reference: 126710GRNR-0003 (5-link bracelet) | 126710GRNR-0004 (3-link bracelet)

The Rolex GMT-Master II Grey-Black is the 2024 iteration of the renewed model with second time zone function. It’s less colorful than the other available models, which are quite a few if you count all the colors and case materials. First, let’s see which models are available at the moment.

For a steel model you have the red-blue bezel (nicknamed Pepsi), or the blue-black (Batman or Batgirl, the latter has a Jubilee bracelet). Which are the most common ones. Then there is a green-black (Sprite) with crown on the opposite side, and now this grey-black version, that doesn’t have a nickname yet.

No GMT-Master Coke or Root beer anymore

When you would go for a steel-gold combination of the case and bracelet, the bezel is always black with either yellow or pink gold accents on it. If you go for full gold, you’ll have yellow gold or pink gold (Everose in Rolex speak) with a full black bezel. Lastly there is a white gold version that has the red-blue Pepsi bezel. Not available anymore are the red-black (Coke) and the brown-black (Root beer) versions.

Since we have dived in the colors, let’s give a little more history about this iconic model. It was originally launched as GMT-Master in 1955, with reference 6542, focused on people who’d travelled a lot. The lay-out of the watch was practical: three hands for the hours, minutes and seconds plus an extra 24-hour hand with triangle tip for a second time zone. The graduated rotatable bezel in red-blue has a 24-hour scale, as the world has 24 time zones. The dark part of the bezel indicates if it’s evening/night at the location of the seconds time zone. Which explains the bi-colored bezels, from plexiglass back then. Which changed to aluminium in 1959.

From GMT-Master to GMT-Master II

In 1982 the Rolex GMT-Master gets a mayor movement change: the adjustment of the time zone hand (in steps of one hour) becomes independent from the other hands. This step leads to a name change: from GMT-Master to GMT-Master II. This 1982 reference 16760 is executed with a red-black bezel to distinguish it from the red-blue GMT-Master. Which was still available until the year 2000.

In 2005 another update changes the GMT-Master II. Over the years one could see the colors of the bezel fading. All early GMT-Masters with original bezel turned from red-blue to more of a pink-light blue due to ultraviolet rays. The sun is to blame, collectors love it. Thus in 2005 Rolex changed the aluminium of the bezel to ceramic, which is not affected by the light, harder and cannot corrode. It was the GMT-Master II with reference 116718, with a full black bezel. In 2008 Rolex names the ceramic Cerachrom, as the brand tends to name all the materials of a watch with their own unique, made-up name. In 2013 they create the first bicolor monobloc Cerachrom insert, in blue-black: the Batman. Later followed with more colors and more case materials.

The Rolex GMT-Master II Grey-Black has a power reserve of 70 hours

Over time the GMT-Masters change movement six times, starting with the Rolex caliber 1036 GMT (1955-1957) to the Rolex caliber 3285 (from 2018 to today). The 3285 has a patented Chronergy escapement, made of nickel-phosphorus. And the oscillator is mounted on the Rolex-designed, patented high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers, enhancing shock resistance. Since 2023 the oscillating weight has been fitted with an optimized ball bearing. The power reserve is 70 hours.

The Rolex GMT-Master II Grey-Black comes on a stainless steel bracelet with 5-link solid links, the Jubilee bracelet. Or you go for the bracelet with 3-piece solid links, the Oyster bracelet. Which is about 200-300 less expensive. Both are actually from Oystersteel, like the case, which is a stainless steel with grade 904L.

© Photos: Rolex / JVA Studios / Ulysse Frechelin

Technical data Rolex GMT-Master II Grey-Black
126710GRNR-0003 (5-link bracelet) | 126710GRNR-0004 (3-link bracelet)
Rolex caliber 3285 | Automatic | Diameter: 28.5 mm | Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz) | Jewels: 31 | COSC certified | Hours, minutes, seconds, GMT | Power reserve: 70 hours
Case and dial:
40 mm | Stainless steel grade 904L | Sapphire with date cyclops | Bidirectional rotatable 24-hour graduated ceramic bezel in grey-black | Black dial | Hands and indexes with blue luminescence | Grene GMT hand | Screw-down triplock crown | Screw-down stainless steel case back | Water resistance: 10 ATM / 10 bar / 100 meters / 330 feet
3-link stainless steel bracelet (Oyster bracelet) | Folding safety clasp
Price Rolex GMT-Master II Grey-Black:
starting at € 11.100 | CHF 10’200 | $ 11,250 | £ 9,350 (3-link bracelet)

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