In 2019, Rolex replica announced a new version of my watch. It looked pretty much the same only now it was fitted to a Jubilee bracelet. Inside ticked a new movement which was sign-posted by a Rolex coronet on the dial between SWISS and MADE. Allegedly, the case design was tweaked (just a hair) to accommodate the new bracelet and to keep clients from swapping out the Jubilee for an Oyster bracelet or vice versa.
On that day, my watch met the fate that everyone’s does at some point: It was discontinued. But why should that have mattered to me? I owned the watch.
Well, it mattered because those secondary market numbers became un-ignorable. When I bought the watch, I actually traded in a Chopard Mille Miglia, which brought my out-pocket-cost to $6,500. In the meantime, the value of my new Rolex had increased to more than double that. These were bonkers numbers.
The blue dial copy Rolex watch that once seemed like a lifelong companion now looked ever so slightly fungible. I kept thinking about how much better my bank account would look if the value of the watch was made liquid. Or I devised two- to three-watch collections I could purchase using this watch as a trade chip. What about vintage pieces? Those that seemed unattainable to me at one point now felt within reach.
I began consuming watch content again, and dreaming of my next acquisition. I wore the Batman less. It felt strange walking around wearing something so expensive. But every time I thought about selling it, I would look at it and remember the experience of buying it with my dad. There was that, and the fact that I still just loved it – pretty much every aspect of it.
The blue-black color scheme is what drew me to the watch in the first place. I have a passion for the Rolex Submariner, and this watch represented an evolution in my taste. It was familiar, but also a bit more of a statement. I’ve always loved the Pepsi GMT from afar, but the red and blue just felt a bit too loud for me.
I also really appreciated what the modern Swiss made copy Rolex GMT-Master II represented in the contemporary Rolex lineup. It was something of a test-case of a watch, the first Rolex to get the maxi-case treatment, and the first to feature a ceramic bezel. In the process, it went from timeless mainstay, to one of the most – if not the most – modern watches in the Rolex stable.
With the blue and black bezel, Rolex had effectively created a brand-new watch. Rumor had it that the colors were more a product of experimentation than they were a purposeful choice. It’s become a common trope in watches to hear how difficult it is to make ceramic in different colors. In this case, the red color was proving impossible to create, and a bicolor red and blue was even harder. Rolex just couldn’t do it – at least not yet.
The result was the 116710BLNR blue-black, a color scheme which actually makes more sense than the Pepsi configuration. The blue half of the bezel represents the daylight hours (blue sky) and the black represents the nighttime (black sky). I like things that make sense.
All of these factors – including the oh-so-comfortable Oyster bracelet (even the polished center links have grown on me over the years) – reminded me why I couldn’t let this watch go despite the dollar signs in my eyes.
On July 4th, 2019 – shortly after the announcement of the new Batman (no, not Ben Affleck), my wife and I celebrated our wedding in Poland with family that couldn’t attend our ceremony stateside. On my wrist for that night (and the entire trip) was my GMT-Master II. I was defiant in my resolution to keep this watch, even if it somehow managed to rise to a value of a million dollars (though I am sure my wife would have something to say about that). I was building real memories with the watch.
Soon it was time for me to start my new job – my new career. I arrived in March of 2020, during the week that New York (and the world) shut down. But during my brief time in the office, I sat down at my desk and began writing my first story with the Batman on my wrist. I remember Cole Pennington asking to try it on and giving me the seal of approval after seeing all the scratches I put on the case and bracelet. “You really wear this thing” he said. “That’s why I bought it,” I responded. And it was true.
As of today, the Jubilee steel bracelet replica Rolex 116710BLNR value is still going strong. Crown & Caliber has multiple models listed at more than $18,000, and frankly, I still don’t know how to feel about it. I do know that my Batman/Bruiser/Blue-Black GMT Master II on its scratched-up Oyster bracelet is a watch that reminds me of my family, and of starting a dream job. It’s a watch I’ll never sell. You can hold me to it.