Ever looked through a car magazine and noticed all the wrist watch ads? It’s no coincidence. Most car magazine readers are male who also share a fondness for wrist watches. Cars and watches, they are big boy toys. The Switch watchmaker Rolex which has been making upscale timepieces since 1905, released some of the most sought after sport watches in the 1950s and 1960s. Most of these were stylish durable stainless steel watches, not the type of watches the average person associates with Rolex. To the average person the solid gold Datejust or Presidential are the watches most people think of when the name “Rolex” is mentioned. These watches which are full of regal bling had no place for the active car loving alpha male. It was Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, Robert Redford, and many other Hollywood mega stars who owned fast cars and wore stainless steel Rolex sport watches. Steve McQueen wore a Rolex Explorer, Paul Newman wore a Rolex Daytona, and for Robert Redford it was a Rolex Submariner. Robert Redford was so fond of his black Submariner that he even wore it on wrist on some of his big screen roles. He sported his Submariner on his wrist during his famous role in “All The President’s Men”.
Redford was given the gift of a solid gold Rolex Submariner which he refused with the reply “I am not a gold kind of guy”. These sentiments sum up very well how most car guys feel. They want a rugged but stylish watch that matches their persona and gold bling just isn’t part of the equation. Even though the Rolex Daytona was originally released as the ultimate watch for race car drivers, the Rolex GMT has appealed to many fast car fans over the years. Some of the credit is due to Tom Selleck who wore a GMT on the small screen in “Magnum P.I.”. His red and blue bezel GMT Master was just as popular with TV viewing audiences as the Ferrari 308 he drove in the TV series. While the cameras were rolling his GMT looked cool while he was driving the Ferrari yet was rugged enough that he wore it while swimming in the Pacific Ocean. Even though Magnum P.I. has been off the air for a few decades Selleck still wears his Rolex GMT.
Just as automobile buffs love rare collectable cars, they also tend to like rare collectable watches. For those car guys looking for a rare new stainless steel Rolex GMT there’s no better model than the 116710BLNR which is a Rolex GMT Master II with a two-tone black and blue ceramic bezel. Cost of ownership compared to other watches is steep with a sticker price of $9,200. Looking at the big picture the BLNR GMT Master II is not too expensive if you consider it’s $2,800 cheaper than a new Smart Car. Not to mention years down the road the GMT will have a monetary value worth more than its original cost while the Smart Car if not recycled into metal cans will be lucky to be worth 10% of its original purchase price. The GMT like other Rolex watches will in the long term yield a monetary gain just like a desirable classic car. Rolex watches can also be used and enjoyed just like classic cars. Take care of a Rolex watch and you’ll easily be passing it on to the next generation many years in the future.
The BLNR GMT is constructed of 904L stainless steel, the most durable stainless steel produced. It’s a surgical grade steel that is high-alloy austenitic and resists corrosion and rust. Most of Rolex competitors use 316L stainless steel which is less durable and not as corrosion and rust resistant.
The BLNR GMT has gained the nickname of “Batman” due to its black and blue bezel which is the same color scheme as the comic book character. As previously mentioned this is a rare watch, one that many Rolex dealers don’t readily have in stock like the black ceramic bezel GMT which is made in greater numbers. So expect to wait or shop around in order to find one.
The GMT was first produced in 1954 at the request of Juan Trippe who ran Pan Am airlines at the time. The GMT was designed to be a pilot’s watch since it could keep local time along with GMT time (an absolute must for pilots). The BLNR just as all Rolex GMT models has a moveable 24 hour bezel and a 24 hour GMT watch hand which allows the watch user to determine the time from any time zone. The BLNR’s ceramic bezel can be moved both clockwise and counter-clockwise and is scratch resistant.
The BLNR has just the right feel on the wrist, it’s heavy enough to feel solid but not too heavy where it feels cumbersome. The BLNR’s newer style stainless steel band is solid when compared to the pre-2008 GMT bands. The crown is solid and easy to unscrew and make time adjustments. Like all Rolex watches the BLNR uses an automatic movement which winds with the movement of your arm.
The black dial with white markings glows in the dark. The date is magnified and very easy to read. One unique aspect of this watch is the GMT hand is blue – something it doesn’t share with any current or past Rolex GMT models. The BLNR uses Rolex’s impressive 3186 movement which is a Rolex exclusive. Many of Rolex’s competitors use the more common and inferior Swiss ETA movement.
Overall this watch is very impressive. It may be a alpha male watch but there are many women who are fond of it and wear one. Even though it seems this is a recent phenomenon. It’s really not. Honor Blackman wore a GMT while she played one of the lead roles in the James Bond thriller – Goldfinger.
The BLNR GMT has so much going for it don’t let its steep retail price keep you away. If you like classic, exotic, or fast cars this watch may be just what you have been seeking for a wrist piece. The Swiss are not known for their cars but when it comes to watches they are top dog. The BLNR GMT proves how exceptional true Swiss timepiece craftsmanship truly is.
Written contents in this article – © 2015 Pete Dunton – All Rights Reserved