Modern versions of sports watches like Panerai and IWC Ingenieur have quick strap replacement systems. In particular, a reason for Panerai watches’ great appeal is the vast number of after market straps available readily for all of their models, with each strap being relatively easy to change in a few minutes using the quick strap changing tool that comes with some of their models. Rolex, despite its indisputable popularity – and an arguably massive commercial opportunity – has never ventured to offer a wide selection options as far as straps and bracelets are concerned. One of the more interesting after market alternatives are the RubberB straps, specially designed to fit different Rolex models (see our article on the Rubber B Rolex Deepsea Glidelock Watch Strap here). We have had a chance to consider the model created for the “SubC,” i.e., the latest version of the Rolex Submariner with the ceramic bezel.
Some manufacturers, like IWC, Hublot, and Panerai, on a selection of their models, make the strap changing process even easier with a fast changing tool built into the strap or the lugs. This means that changing the strap requires no tools. Just press a button (or two) and change your strap. Cartier, more known as a jeweler, understands this convenience well, and many of their models include such quick changing systems, and in a few instances, they have lead innovations in that area.
However, what is one to do if you are one of the millions owning and wearing a Rolex sport watch, in particular the Submariner or GMT Master II? Rolex neither makes the process of changing straps easy nor even provides alternative bracelets or straps to adorn your Rubber B Rolex Gmt Master 2 Replica with. Heck, Rolex authorized dealers are quick to provide a service to fix or change your watch’s bracelet for you, but at a cost, and you will have to wait. And, as mentioned, no alternative bracelets or straps exists direct from Rolex. Enter RubberB’s unique fitting straps for the popular Rolex models: Submariner and GMT Master II.
Rolex seems to be that snare well-meaning parent, listening to the wants of the people who look up for this, but not quite delivering. Last year, watch enthusiasts begged for a two-tone GMT-Master II, and Rolex said it couldn’t be done. This year, Rolex finally cracked it, and also the two-tone 116710BLNR was unveiled. Wait a moment, BLNR? Doesn’t mean bleu and noir? It does, and there were many blank expressions when the new bezel was seen for the very first time. Where was the blue and red? Red and black, actually? What were doing?In actuality, the blue and black ceramic compliment each other quite nicely, despite being in direct violation of one of fashion’s oft-repeated rules. The deep gloss and rich colour give enough differentiation between both colors, and such as the black–that features on preceding Rolex versions–the blue changes in tone dramatically under changing light at a very pleasing manner. The blue carries over to the GMT hand too, but surprisingly not into the text like the original ceramic GMT-Master II.Nothing has changed indoors, the Parachrom hairspring-equipped calibre 3186 doing duty in the engine space. The typical Rolex conveniences abound, smooth setting and silent winding amongst them, and the reassuring fit and finish continues externally too, the bezel clicking solidly and the finishing micron-perfect. Where the cash really seems to have gone (and let’s face it, you need a lot of it to join with the Rolex owners’ club nowadays) is at the clasp, which can be designed and beautifully assembled, and places the ‘rattly’ Rolex bracelet complaints into bed once and for all. There’s a readily expandable half-link for all those hot days when the watch would normally be receiving a bit tight.Perhaps I’ve misjudged Rolex. Maybe, like a parent could with a teen that doesn’t understand the difference between what they believe is right and what is actually right, Rolex have taken an executive decision that is , well–right. The Swiss giant has already shown that it is about moving forward, leaving some incredibly popular layouts behind to try new ones, so why can they hang on to some blue and red beyond instead of doing something new?
We obtained our Rolex GMT Master II using the ‘Batman’ bezel in mint condition in a local vendor who had all those boxes, papers, and warranty still active in 2014. The model number for this particular timepiece is 116710BLNR, which can be slightly different from the other GMT Master II versions. This model includes the Rolex patented Cerachrom bezel which is made from one piece of ceramic cube subsequently colored both black and blue. Thus, the model was called the ‘Batman’ version of this GMT.It is a highly desirable variant of the GMT II, also has just gone up in value since its first appearance at the Basel World exhibit in 2013. It’s known 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 multiple zones. The 24-hour number markers on the bezel, paired with the third GMT hand on the dial can be rotated and set so that you may keep an eye on the time on your own hometown, while traveling the planet and quickly being able to recognize the local moment. A handy function for your jetsetter or anybody with relatives and friends in various areas of the world.The big date magnifier in the 3 o’clock position, the Super-LumiNova filled dial markers, and dual-colored bezel make this an 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 the fa?ade of the timepiece the crown helps you place each of the functions. You can quick-set the hour marker on the 116710 that is something which you could not do on the older GMT Master’s. You can also quick-set the GMT hand, and the date.The stainless steel Oyster style necklace which comes standard with this version also has some functionality besides a polished contemporary look. The Easylink system below the clasp can extend out 5mm without any tools to give you some room to breathe hot summer days for example.
Thus, there you have it. And, like with most Rolexes nowadays, the innovation in this brand new GMT may not be evident to most at a glance, but if you realize what they have done to produce this bezel a possibility, it becomes evident. Again, this is patented, and you won’t find a mono-block two-tone piece of ceramic everywhere. More details here, and movie below.Rolex GMT-Master II see a ceramic bezel. Model 116710. The stainless steel Oyster bracelet come inventory with the newest design flip-lock grip, but we recommend strapping a 20mm NATO ring on it.A deep black dial is the perfect backdrop for the green GMT hand. Date at 3:00. The bi-directional ceramic bezel gives you the ability to maintain time in a third timezone, it’s also fade and scratch resistant. Not everybody is a fan of it and a number of our customers have even promised to take a flashlight to theirs to eliminate it (not advised, do it in your own risk)! Though the upgraded GMT-Master II includes a screw-down Triplock crown, it merely carries a water resistance rating of up to 100m, when compared with the Submariner armed with the exact same technology.Christmas Eve, 1995, and every kid in the land was lying awake, wide-eyed and excited, imagining a variety of situations that all involved unwrapping the recently launched Playstation. Most of those kids went on to experience a euphoric Christmas afternoon, although the rest few suffered in the hands of well meaning, but ultimately confused parents. There were no Playstations for all those kids, just a 16-bit game bundle that has been similar enough to confuse the unwitting progenitor.
Though, this version has been replaced from the ceramic bezeled 116710. However, it is possible to locate the 16710 version at BeckerTime’s used Rolex GMT Master II, as well as the pre-owned Rolex sector. This version uses a similar situation because its brother the Submariner. The circumstance is 904L stainless steel along with the bracelet that the more business standard 314L stainless. 904L helps prevent corrosion that sometimes happens on the caseback threads from sweat and sea water. Unlike the Submariner, the GMT uses a thinner caseback and Twinloc crown. Both of these differences make the GMT water resistant only to 100 meters. 100 meter water resistance is plenty durable for recreational swimming, snorkeling, and water activities that pilots would do.The other attractive feature of the Rolex GMT Master II is the ability to track 2 time zones. It’s simple to track the next time zone by using the 24 hour hand set to UTC or Greenwich time, and the rotating bezel. The numbers on the bezel fit, together with the SuperLuminova covered dial dots along with Mercedes hands create the Rolex GMT one of the legible watch faces.The Rolex GMT Master II 16710 is available with an Oyster bracelet and Oysterlock bracelet clasp. Earlier models were available with a DateJust style clasp and Jubilee style bracelet, bridging the instrument watch using a dress watch.
Those lucky enough to have time with this Rolex Gmt-master 16758 Yellow Gold Replica will understand what I am talking about. This chameleonic bezel is why the watch is so versatile in different scenarios. I am able to use it to my son’s ball game with a tee shirt and jeans and the bezel looks very sporty. When I use it to work inside and day events with a lawsuit, the bezel takes on a more subtle nuance. Aside from being fade and scratch proof, the coolest detail about the bi-color ceramic bezel is the easy point where black suits blue. It’s not that they combine together but you truly have to look close to see the transition that enriches the mystique of the 1 bit ceramic insert. I required no further proof the bi-color manufacturing process was most likely a complex and painstaking task for Rolex to shoot on.The GMT Master II features the classic Rolex expert dial layout with large easy-to-read in a glance markers and hands. When changing different light scenarios the black dial is the opposite of the blue bezel half in that it consistently projects the deepest liquid black you can envision. There is not any texture (such as the Tudor Heritage Ranger such as) for the light to play off so the black seriousness accounts the playful nature of the blue bezel and GMT hand. This GMT hand has its own set of contrasts because its arm is left in blue with the end arrow mirroring that the lume and white gold surround of the other hands and indices. The arm can also be super thin which again brings to the subtleness of the blue sporty parts and opposes the bigger parts of the dial.Moving on the case we find no openings, which is a fantastic thing. I truly have an appreciation for the contemporary Rolex oyster professional case which provides a strong and substantial appearance to this 40mm timepiece with exact edges and powerful shoulders. For opinions specifically on the case size I will connect back into my initial observations concerning the day long comfort of wearing this opinion.
So what makes RubberB straps so unique? And what is my experience wearing RubberB straps on my Submariner for the past three months? First, material. The rubber on the RubberB strap is not your normal rubber that one finds in most modern watches. Instead, it’s a special carbon-injected caoutchouc that is treated for feel, flexibility, and duration. This is important, since typically, a sports watch is worn for a good part of the day (at least in my case) and comfort, feel, subtleness, and flexibility are top attributes on my list.
Thus, imagine our surprise when in Baselworld 2013 Rolex introduced a brand new steel Rolex GMT-Master II with a blue and black porcelain bezel – the Ref. 116710BLNR (BLNR for bleu/noir). It was easily one of the celebrities at this past year’s series, and we noted in our hands on last year how well-made the new ceramic bezel is, and just how handsome the Rolex Gmt Master Zifferblatt Replica is in the flesh.Judging in the simple fact that Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. In fact, lots of traders, at least my own part of the world, are actually charging a premium for this piece. Plus it was only after much searching around and asking I managed to get a dealer who was happy to sell it in retail price.For this particular review, I’m not going to tell you about the features and technical details of this watch, I think that the capacities of this calibre 3186 have been well covered in our previous review of the gold and steel Ref. 116713. Besides, the Rolex GMT-Master II is this a favorite watch that it needs to not be any stranger to most people. But I will say that the case is solidly constructed and nicely polished, and the bracelet and clasp are also of the maximum quality. Additionally, the Easylink expansion, which allows the bracelet to be subtly extended by 5mm, is a lifesaver on warm days. Not everybody will be a lover of the polished center-links, but I like it as it distinguishes the GMT-Master II in the Submariner and causes it to seem a little dressier.What I’m mostly going to talk about rather is that new black and blue bezel, and whether it’s worth paying the price difference over the typical Ref. 116710LN. As it stands, the Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 116710BLNR currently controls a premium of about $600 over the Ref. 116710LN cost.
RubberB does not disappoint here, since on the strap, the Rolex Submariner is about 40 grams lighter and feels very comfortable due to the flexibility and the soft feel of the strap. Also, since the RubberB strap is designed to integrate with and use the oyster clasp, you do not loose the convenience of the oyster glide lock on the Rolex Submariner, nor the protection of the oyster clasp double lock mechanism.
The RubberB strap integrates so well with the Rolex Submariner that it’s hard to think it was not designed by Rolex. It fits perfectly flush with the Submariner’s case and integrates brilliantly everywhere else. And due to its tone black color it also blends well with the black dial and the Submariner’s cerachrom bezel.
But, it is possible to locate the 16710 version at BeckerTime’s used Rolex GMT Master II, as well as the pre-owned Rolex sector. The GMT Master II 16710 has evolved in the first 6542 and 1675 GMT Master with a number of features and improvements added.This Rolex GMT Master II review describes many appealing elements to the Rolex GMT Master II 16710. This model uses a similar case as its brother the Submariner. The case is 904L stainless steel along with the bracelet the more business standard 314L stainless. 904L helps prevent corrosion that occasionally happens on the caseback threads out of sweat and sea water. Unlike the Submariner, the GMT uses a thinner caseback and Twinloc crown. Both these differences make the GMT water resistant only to 100 meters. 100 meter water resistance is plenty durable for recreational swimming, swimming, and water activities that pilots would do.The other attractive quality of the Rolex GMT Master II is the ability to monitor 2 time zones. The figures on the bezel insert, together with the SuperLuminova covered dial dots along with Mercedes palms make the Rolex GMT one of the legible Rolex Gmt Master Vs Omega Speedmaster Replica faces.The Rolex GMT Master II 16710 can be obtained using an Oyster bracelet and Oysterlock bracelet grip. Earlier models were also available with a DateJust style grip and Jubilee style bracelet, bridging the instrument watch with a dress watch.
Now, the bi-color ceramic bezel is quite a technical accomplishment and really starts off as gloomy, with the black blended in later using a patented Rolex procedure. It is understood that the next tone is achieved by masking one half of the bezel and exposing the unmasked half to a special chemical treatment. The transition between the two colours is flawless and extremely sharp, without any audible bleeding or fuzziness. The engraved numerals are then completed with thin coating of platinum to provide a glistening, three-dimensional look that is both striking and legible.Admittedly, the combination of blue and black is an unusual choice for Rolex, and has never been done before this Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 116710BLNR. Color is of course a highly subjective topic, but grim does create some sense — gloomy for the daytime hours and black to the night hours. So if blue is not your color, I figure you can stop reading here and just choose the Ref. 116710LN. However, if you are neutral towards partial or blue to it, the next thing to notice is the hue of the blue changes depending on the lighting. In bright environments, under direct sunlight, for instance, the blue is strikingly brilliant and is magnificent to behold, and in certain angles, it appears almost purplish. In low light, the blue disappears, and the bezel appears almost completely black. It would not be a stretch to state this bi-color bezel is something of a chameleon of sorts.I love such a quality in a opinion, and I think that it adds a whole lot of visual pizzazz and variety, compared to the black bezel of the Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 116710LN. And, in my experience, no amount of pictures can do justice to the way the bezel reacts to the light; I do not speak only for myself, since this is a view shared by a number of other owners of the watch. Honestly, your thoughts about this watch may change after viewing it at the flesh.But this quality of the GMT-Master II Ref. 116710BLNR can also work against it, especially if what you want is a more serious and somber timepiece. In my view, the GMT-Master II Ref. 116710BLNR is definitely more casual and fun and if this isn’t your thing, then you may be better off with the Ref. 116710LN’s black bezel. The GMT-Master II Ref. 116710LN is a bona fide modern classic which could do no wrong in my novels.
However, while the RubberB strap does a great job of giving an alternative strap to the popular Rolex Submariner watch, it cannot however undo the fact that Rolex does not design their watches for ease of strap replacement. Replacing the Rolex Submariner bracelet to install the RubberB strap was not super hard, but it’s also not easy. Short of bringing it to a watchmaker and paying the typical strap replacement fee, replacing the strap, at least for me, was a two-hour affair. While I did not spend the entire two hours replacing the strap, I opted to take my time so as not to scratch the bracelet or the case.
I would equate changing the strap as performing minor mechanical surgery. The new Rolex Submariner does come with screws for the links and the clasp, but the case uses a spring loaded pinion. And therein lies the main problem when removing the strap. Like most of these spring loaded cases one has to be super careful (even when using the appropriate tools) to avoid missing the little keeper and scratch the case.
So while adding clear value and advantage to your Submariner and filling a gap left by Rolex by not having after market straps, the RubberB rubber strap for the Rolex Submariner and GMT Master II has one considerable shortcoming in that it does not ease the difficulty of replacing Rolex bracelets. Arguably, there is not much RubberB can do about the construction of Rolex watches, but this issue is particularly apparent when I compare it with Panerai watches, where I can easily decide what strap to wear minutes before wearing the watch. With the RubberB-Rolex combination, the process is so involved that one has to pretty much plan to keep the Rolex Gmt Master Dimensions Replica with the strap for months so that the change is worth the effort. By no means is this a reflection on RubberB, but rather on Rolex’s typical tight control over all aspects of their watches.
Therefore, if you own a Rolex Submariner or GMT Master II and are in search of an excellent alternative strap, that feels great, looks fantastic, and will last for a long while, then RubberB would be my first recommendation. Just plan to keep the watch on the strap for the entire summer, so that your efforts in changing to it are amortized over that period – or be ready to make the trip to your local watchmaker. Price for the RubberB strap is $250 for the one shown in this review, which allows reuse of the Rolex clasp. RubberB also offers another strap that comes with a tang buckle (not shown here) and it costs $240. rubberb.com