Is it worth the hype? The Rolex GMT Master II BLNRO (AKA the Batman) | VARIO
Everyone talks about it, takes pictures with it, and tries to get one at retail price, these 3 elements have really boosted the sales of the famous BLNRO or as we know it the GMT Batman. The combination of a black and blue bezel in ceramic has made the watch community go crazy, and I kind of understand why, is elegant but at the same time sporty, it has those classic Rolex lines but also is something that you can wear every day, and at the end, this is what you want for your luxury watch to be, a piece that is so versatile that you do not want to take it off. I've enjoyed my time with this watch, I was fortunate enough to have one for a short period of time and spoiler alert, it did not meet my expectations, there are several reasons for this, but before you start thinking that this watch is not good, let me tell you it really is but, strangely it might not be for me. Let's begin.
The Rolex GMT Master II is an institution, we all know how good it wears, the vintage ones are more classic, and I have to say that in my 16.5-inch wrist wear much better that the new super case versions, it is a matter of taste but the Batman feels a bit too chunky sometimes, only sometimes because even that the 40mm presence feels strong, the comfort and ergonomics are spot on. With Rolex and more specifically modern Rolex, the case wears bigger than the specifications suggest but always within the acceptable for my wrist diameter. As a state of the technology, the GMT Master II is as good as it gets, sure there is the newer version with more hours of power reserve and a more efficient escapement, but the in-house caliber 3186 is just perfection, probably has the most silent rotor I've ever experiences on an automatic watch and is as precise as a Quartz Grand Seiko 9F movement, honestly is that good. Going back to the features of the watch we can find the start of the show and is not the dial, or the fact that is a GMT Master, the start of the show is the bezel, the black and blue ceramic bezel is really a thing of its own, the bule is bright but it can be muted to the point that it looks black, when you turn the bezel to adapt a new time zone the smoothness of the mechanism is as precise as a hot knife cutting through butter, nothing has a bezel action like a Rolex, and there are a lot of brands out there.
On the wrist
The watch is legible, very legible. Nothing really detracts you from reading the home time, second time in a beautiful blue GMT hand and the lume, well, people like to praise Seiko for its lume, but nothing else comes close to Rolex Chromalight, it lasts forever and with the smallest hint of light, the black dial is already sending that blue hue. Going to the bracelet, we already know how good these are, is solid, and really feels like an integrated piece, plenty of adjustment and polished links make the GMT Master II a commanding piece on your wrist, it is that good and that versatile. It is heavy but not to the point that becomes uncomfortable, and you wish it was made of titanium, it’s a weight that never lets you forget the watch is there, but you can also do stuff with it.
So, after reading all the praise for this piece, we come back to the original question, is it worth the hype? To me it doesn’t, unfortunately its new proportions are a bit off, I do enjoy the solidity of the new Rolex generation of watches, but the truth is that for my small wrist the non-super-case models just fit better, also the prices for the BLNRO are a bit high, is not comfortable to go out with a 15K GBP watch, it just becomes a bit too much. I think this piece can be worn by any enthusiast and be appreciate it for what it really is made to do, a traveler’s watch, but to be honest also I am not sure if I would travel with the Batman, is a solid piece of kit but maybe there are less flashy alternatives that can fit also, the Rolex just feels, well too much of a luxury piece.
Written by Robbie from Robbie & Watches
Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the author and do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in professional or personal capacity, unless explicitly stated.
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