Testing the Rolex GMT-Master II

Rolex has updated its popular travel watch, the GMT-Master II, with a steel, blue and black “Batman” bezel. We tested one of the first pieces with a Jubilee strap and a new movement in the WatchTime archives.  9786_1 9786_6
The blue and black color combination on the bezel of this Rolex GMT-Master II has led its fans to call it “Batman.” The current version comes with a Jubilee strap and a new movement, launching in 2019. Its predecessor with these same colors appeared in 2013 and was the first Rolex model to feature a two-tone ceramic bezel. This particular color combination did not exist before. The first GMT-Master II in 1954 featured a blue and red 24-hour scale and was later dubbed the “Pepsi” because of this color combination.
The Jubilee bracelet is very comfortable to wear. Its small links fit snugly together and do not pull on delicate wrist hairs. The Oyster bracelet is also comfortable thanks to its curved links. The bracelet and case are still made of non-corrosive 904L stainless steel, which replica Rolex has recently started calling “Oyster Steel”.
Instead of an Oyster clasp with a Jubilee strap, like on the Datejust, Rolex has an Oysterlock folding clasp here, just like on the Sport. It has an extra safety lever but looks very similar – both have Easylink extensions that extend the strap by 5 mm. This practical mechanism is helpful when higher temperatures or physical activity may increase wrist size. Half of the links can be folded out of the clasp to make the bracelet longer, without any noticeable difference in appearance.
The high-quality clasp on the Jubilee bracelet is near perfect in both workmanship and operation. The folding safety lever blends in with it when closed. Opening the safety lever by lifting the Rolex crown reveals an easily lifted lever to open the clasp fully.