Jason K. from Chile asks:
Rolex GMT Alternative? I love the look / functionality of the Rolex GMT but don’t really want to buy a Rolex and in particular as I hate the bulbous lens over the date window. Can you provide some alternatives that offer the same functionality (GMT hand, bi-directional bezel w. 24 hour scale), mechanical movement and quality that will last a lifetime?
We obtained our Rolex GMT Master II using the ‘Batman’ bezel in mint condition from a local seller who had all the boxes, papers, and guarantee still active in 2014. The model number for this timepiece is 116710BLNR, that is slightly different from another GMT Master II models. This version features the Rolex patented Cerachrom bezel which is made from 1 piece of ceramic block subsequently coloured both blue and black. Thus, the model was called the ‘Batman’ variant of this GMT.It is an extremely desirable version of the GMT II, and has just gone up in value since its first look at the Basel World exhibit in 2013. It’s referred to as the first timepiece to have a dual-color ceramic bezel.The GMT Master II is well known for its ability to keep time in many zones. The 24-hour number markers on the bezel, paired with the next GMT hands on the dial can be rotated and set so which you may keep track of the time in your hometown, while traveling the planet and quickly being able to recognize the local time. A useful function for your jetsetter or anybody with relatives and friends in different areas of the world.The big date magnifier in the 3 o’clock position, the Super-LumiNova stuffed dial markers, and dual-colored bezel make this easy to read see. On the bezel, the blue coloured half represents the day-time (hours 6-18) and also the black colored half represents the nighttime (hours 18-6).Besides that the fa?ade of this timepiece, the crown makes it possible to set all of the functions. It is possible to quick-set the hour mark on the 116710 that is something which you couldn’t do on the older GMT Master’s. You can also quick-set the GMT hand, and also the date.The stainless steel Oyster design necklace which comes standard with this model also has some functionality besides a polished dress-up look. The Easylink system under the grip can extend out 5mm without any tools to give you a bit of room to breathe hot summer days for example.
You have featured some alternatives on the site such as Nivrel, Christopher Ward, Seiko, etc but they don’t seem to have the bi-directional bezel.
Thanks for your help.
Max here. I think the Oris Diver GMT (see: http://www.oris.ch/en/watches/oris-divers-gmt-date/01-668-7639-8454-07-4-24-34eb) maybe a great alternative that is on the low price point side. It has bi-directional bezel and GMT hand and good looks. I have seen and handled it in person at an AD, and I must say I was impressed, especially when you consider the price point: ~$2000.00.
Finally, for a little more, I can recommend the Omega Seamaster GMT 300M. I’ve reviewed it on aBTW last year here. I am wearing it as I write this, so it’s needless to say how much I like it as a work beater.
The AquaTerra version that Ariel reviewed recently has in-house movement and is priced higher than the old James Bond Seamaster and certainly gives you a fairer competitor to the Rolex GMT.
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