The Batman is one of the most highly coveted Rolex watches. Its value has skyrocketed in recent years, making it a sound investment. As of 2019, it is available as a GMT-Master II with the in-house caliber 3285 and a 70-hour power reserve.
Are you looking for a watch that also makes a sound investment? If so, the Rolex Batman, ref. 116710BLNR, might be right for you. Its price has increased rapidly in the last few years. The same mint-condition stainless steel GMT-Master II that cost around 8,100 USD back in 2013 demanded about 16,300 USD in 2019. That means it more than doubled in value in only six years! Since early 2019, prices for this Batman have only been going in one direction – up.
This fantastic performance is partially due to Rolex introducing the Batman ref. 126710BLNR at Baselworld 2019. This new timepiece replaced 2013's reference 116710BLNR (BLNR meaning "bleu/noir" or "blue/black") powered by the in-house caliber 3186 with a 48-hour power reserve. As of 2019, the Batman is powered by the caliber 3285, which boasts the especially efficient Chronergy escapement system and an improved 70-hour power reserve.
The bracelet is also different. The ref. 116710BLNR comes with a three-piece link Oyster bracelet with polished middle links, while the 2019 model features a five-piece link Jubilee bracelet . Both bracelets have an Oysterlock folding clasp and the Easylink comfort extension system that allows the wearer to lengthen the bracelet by 5 mm. This is especially practical on warm summer days when your wrist might swell a bit. Rolex originally developed the Jubilee bracelet for the Datejust in 1945. Today, they also use it on some GMT-Master models, including the extremely popular stainless steel Rolex Pepsi. The Genevan manufacturer introduced this timepiece at Baselworld 2018.
|Model and reference number||Price (approx.)||Bezel color||Case material and bracelet||Caliber|
||16,500 USD||Blue and black||Stainless steel, Oyster bracelet||3186|
|Pepsi, 126710BLRO||18,500 USD||Blue and red||Stainless steel, Jubilee bracelet||3285|
|Pepsi, 116719BLRO||38,000 USD||Blue and red||White gold, Oyster bracelet||3186|
|GMT-Master II, 116710LN
||13,000 USD||Black||Stainless steel, Oyster bracelet||3186|
|Root Beer, 126711CHNR||17,000 USD||Black and brown||Stainless steel and Everose gold||3285|
|Root Beer, 126715CHNR||37,500 USD||Black and brown||Everose gold||3285|
The Rolex Batman 116710BLNR is one of this Swiss luxury watch manufacturer's most popular timepieces. It's in such high demand that purchases from offline vendors often come with waiting times of several years. The 2019 street price for a never-worn timepiece is around 16,500 USD at the time of writing. At about 15,000 USD, prices for pre-owned examples are also on the rise. Back in early 2018, the same watches were selling for between 9,200 and 9,800 USD. There's no telling how high prices might climb in the future since Rolex no longer produces the 116710BLNR, meaning mint-condition pieces will become ever rarer.
The 2019 model, ref. 126710BLNR, has an official list price of approx. 8,800 USD. While that may sound relatively affordable now, it's safe to assume that prices will be quick to increase due to limited numbers. It's common to see stainless steel Rolexes quickly turn around and sell for several thousand dollars more than their official prices. The Rolex Daytona with a ceramic bezel from 2016 is the perfect example: This chronograph has a list price of 11,300 euros (approx. 12,500 USD), but it regularly changes hands for about 23,000 USD.
The "standard" model with the reference number 116710LN and a black ceramic bezel used to officially sell for 7,650 euros (approx. 8,600 USD). However, its prices have also risen steeply since Rolex ceased its production. Mint-condition pieces that cost around 8,600 USD in April 2018 were demanding as much as 12,800 USD only a year later. That's an increase of almost 50% – You can't get a much better deal than that. However, it's not always that easy to predict. In this case, no one had expected Rolex to completely remove the ref. 116710LN from their catalog.
Pre-owned GMT-Master IIs with a black ceramic bezel have also appreciated in value, requiring an investment of over 10,500 USD in April 2019. Only a year prior, that same luxury watch would have cost just 7,700 USD. That's an impressive 40% increase.
Like the Batman, the Rolex Pepsi from 2018 is another 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 are identical as of 2019. However, when it comes to price, the Pepsi is slightly ahead: Just after its release, prices for mint-condition pieces skyrocketed to around 22,500 USD before settling down at the 18,500 USD they demand today. You can purchase a pre-owned Pepsi with the reference number 126710BLRO for just over 18,000 USD. This timepiece has an official 2019 list price of 8,400 euros (approx. 9,500 USD).
If you'd like to call a white gold Rolex Pepsi your own, be sure to set aside around 38,000 USD. This is about the same price you'd pay at an offline retailer. Pre-owned gold Pepsis sell for around 31,500 USD. Back in April 2018, prices for the ref. 116719BLRO ranged from 28,000 USD pre-owned to over 29,000 USD new. Unlike the stainless steel edition, the white gold model comes with an Oyster bracelet. Its dial is available in blue or meteorite.
The most notable detail of the Rolex Batman is its black and blue ceramic bezel. This striking resemblance to the "Dark Knight" is what earned the Rolex BLNR its nickname. The bezel has a 24-hour scale, with the blue half representing the day and the black half, the night. This makes it easy to tell if it's day or night in the second time zone, which many owners of GMT watches use to keep track of the time back home while traveling.
The conventional three hands for the hours, minutes, and seconds display the current local time. Every Batman model has a blue 24-hour hand that fits in perfectly with the rest of the design. This hand is red on the Pepsi model and green on the ref. 116710LN with a black bezel.
The "GMT-Master II" inscription is white on the Rolex Batman and Pepsi. On the version with a black bezel, this inscription is the same green color as the 24-hour hand. Rolex does this to make sure that no one can change out the bezel of the standard GMT-Master with a black and blue or blue and red one and then sell it as a Batman or Pepsi for a higher price. Every GMT-Master II has a Cyclops lens above its date display.
Rolex began outfitting the Batman with a five-piece link Jubilee bracelet in 2019. The Datejust and the stainless steel Pepsi also feature this bracelet. From 2013 to 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 middle links of the Rolex Batman are polished and not satin-brushed. This gives this timepiece a more refined look. Other GMT-Master II models also have these polished middle links.
An Oysterlock clasp keeps the bracelet from accidentally coming open. This bracelet also comes with the highly 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.
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 has even stricter rules and retests the watch's deviation after its certification. A Rolex watch may only deviate by +/-2 seconds a day.
The main difference between these two movements is their power reserves. While the 3186 has a respectable 48-hour power reserve, the 3285 can run unimpeded for an impressive 70 hours. This increased power reserve is mainly a result of Rolex's own Chronergy escapement , which is much more efficient than your average Swiss anchor escapement. A blue Parachrom hairspring with a Breguet overcoil swings in both calibers. This hairspring is made of a paramagnetic zirconium-niobium alloy that is much less sensitive to vibrations than common hairsprings.
The Rolex Batman is a modern take on one of watchmaking history's most iconic watches. The first GMT-Master bore the reference number 6542 and debuted all the way back in the mid-1950s. Rolex originally developed this wristwatch for Pan American World Airways , better known as Pan Am.
The rise of intercontinental flight saw planes and passengers crossing multiple timezones in almost no time at all. Having the possibility to keep track of multiple time zones at once quickly took on increased importance. This is why Pan Am commissioned Rolex to create a wristwatch that could do just that. The result was the GMT-Master 6542 with a rotatable 24-hour bezel and additional 24-hour hand. Its red and blue bezel made it easier to tell day from night: Blue represented the night and red, the day.
Do you know when the Rolex GMT-Master had its film debut? In Goldfinger (1964), Pussy Galore wears a model with reference number 6542. The watch isn't a James Bond watch like the Rolex Submariner 6538, but the Rolex Pepsi found its way onto the big screen nonetheless.