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The great things about the traditional Rolex GMT (16710)


608-0-300x300The Rolex GMT Master II (16710) has a long history and provenance that makes it one of the very definitions of a tool watch and make it a very sought after watch.  Originally introduced at the 1953 Basel watch fair, the Rolex GMT was designed for international travel crossing time zones, and for pilots to read 24 hour time to note in their flight log books.  Prior to the Rolex 116710 GMT that has a ceramic bezel, the older Rolex 16710 came in three bezel colors, – all black, red-blue (known as a Pepsi bezel) and red-black (affectionately known as a Coke bezel).

In this day and age of the larger Rolex Submariners, DeepSeas, and GMT, the more classic GMT is very appealing because the watch is lighter, possesses the same sapphire crystal and cyclops, and the same COSC certified chronometer mechanical timing precision found on the rest of the Rolex line. For a lucky one who has a Rolex serial numbered watch with a Z prefix, most likely this is one of the rate GMT with the 3186 movement inside it, the same updated movement found in the modern Rolex 116710 GMT complete with Parachrom hairspring and updated winding and time setting gear train.

DSC00364-1024x7671There are many appealing aspects to the Rolex GMT Master II 16710.  This model uses a similar case as its brother the Submariner of the same era. Both the 16610 Submariner and the 16710 GMT utilize the same stainless 904L case and the bracelet utilizes the more prevalent 314L stainless steel. Rolex progressed to using the 904L case starting in the 2000’s as it helps prevent corrosion that sometimes occurs on the caseback threads from sweat and seawater. Unlike the Submariner though, the GMT utilizes a thinner caseback and Twinloc crown found on the dressier Rolex DateJusts. The Twinloc crown and thinner caseback give the GMT a 100 meter water resistance rating which is plenty durable for recreational swimming, snorkeling, and water activities that pilots would normally do.

The other appealing feature of the Rolex GMT Master II is the ability to track three time zones.  Using a combination of the 24 hour hand set to UTC or Greenwich time, and the rotating bezel, it is easy to track another time zone. The independently adjustable 12-hour hand makes it easy to change local time when traveling among time zones. The numbers on the bezel insert, combined with the SuperLuminova covered dial dots and Mercedes hands make the Rolex GMT one of the more readable watch faces.

Other than the GMT functions and the choice of black, red blue, and red black bezel inserts is the ability to change them.  Unlike any other Rolex, as well as any other Swiss sport or dress watch, the owner can change the bezel insert.  There are plenty of watch forums whereby one can source a bezel insert and Rolex dealers can still obtain them but only by trading the original bezel insert.  Nevertheless, the GMT 16710 gives the owner the ability to change the watch’s look quite easily. One good tutorial is posted here and here.

No one can go wrong with a GMT Master II history, provenance, and ease in wearing it. Beckertime has plenty in stock. Click here to look…!

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