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Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 116710LN - 'Ceramic' w/ Box & Card

Sale price$12,350.00 USD

The Rolex GMT-Master is one of the most historic and iconic watches the brand ever produced. Its origin dates back to a commission request by Pan American World Airways in the early 50’s for their fleet of pilots who needed access to different time zones.

These pieces would feature a similar design to another watch that Rolex was developing around that time, the Submariner, but would include a fourth hand running on 24-hr time, and a bi-colored bezel insert to represent AM/PM times. Those colors, naturally, would be the PanAm colors: Red & Blue. Thus, in 1953, the Ref. 6542 GMT-Master was born. These early pieces were ultimately, fragile arguably flawed in some ways, and were therefor succeeded by the updated Reference 1675 in 1959.

Like many Rolex models, the 1675 underwent many small changes over its 21-year production run, with a slew of dial, bezel, bracelet, and hand variations, and would eventually evolve into the 5-digit GMT-Master and GMT-Master IIs, followed by the first of the 6-digit References in the late 2000s.

The introduction of the 6-digit pieces was almost certainly the most thorough update to any previous GMT-Master. These would carry over the movement from the last of the 5-digit Ref. 16710s and introduced: an updated gloss black dial with enlarged 'Maxi' indices, a larger 40mm 'Maxi' or 'Super' case with widened lugs and a more square profile, an updated solid steel Oyster bracelet with polished center links and a matching updated clasp with Rolex's outstanding Easylink extension system, and perhaps most importantly, a black 24hr bezel insert made of ceramic. All of these changes amounted to a very different watch than what fans were used to and was met with some controversy and negative feedback. 

Of course, any negativity would have been purely subjective and it didn't take long for for some of the negativity to fade after enthusiasts began getting hands-on time and wearing these for awhile (along with ceramic-bezel Submariners). The long requested bracelet updates, the improved durability, and the thoroughly modern and fresh look was eventually praised by many, which largely continues on to this day.

The piece that we have here was the very first Reference introduced with the updates mentioned above: the Ref. 116710LN. This piece dates to circa the early 2010s and shows its age with normal signs of wear throughout. By design, the black ceramic bezel insert remains in flawless condition, showing no wear or fade. The dial within features green "GMT-Master II" text on the bottom half with a matching green 24hr hand. The dial and hands also show no signs of wear or patina, with its white gold indices and handset utilizing Rolex's blue-glowing 'Chromalight' lume within.

Last but not least, this piece comes fitted to its correct updated Oyster bracelet, which we simply cannot stress enough how incredibly handy and functional Rolex's Easylink system is. Built into the fliplock clasp, a 5mm extension can be effortlessly deployed for when it gets warmer out and your wrist expands.

When compared to its more colorful siblings, these black-bezel examples are a bit slept on, and as a result, remain bargains on the secondary market. And , we think, there is something to be said about the fact that these look like a Submariner Date from a few feet away.

Stainless Steel Circa 2010s Box & Card Automatic 40mm
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From Rolex & Patek Philippe, to Cartier & Audemars Piguet. As collectors first, we love the small details that separate the Submariner from Daytona and Calatrava from Royal Oak. This is why you'll find our curated assortment spans decades of generations of models and brands. We believe that watches don't just tell time, they tell history - and life is too short to wear a boring watch.

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