Rolex Batman: All you need to know
Rolex. The world that when heard around the world, defines luxury, status and aspiration. Rolex has been for many years a brand that represents quality and value. In fact, so much so that when you buy a Rolex watch, there is a very high possibility that the watch will actually appreciate in value over time, depending on the model of course.
The Swiss made Rolex brand has made its way into the mainstream being featured in rap songs and music videos regularly. In the past, you would get a gold Rolex when you retired from working in the corporate office of a fortune 500 company. It is a brand so well known that even spell check will make sure that it is capitalized.
The watch brand is so admired and known around the world but to a real watch collector, not all Rolexes are made the same.
A Brief Background on Watch Value
If you ever took a class in economics, you heard the term Supply and Demand over and over. One affects the other and both of them affect price. Too much supply to cover demand and you will see a dip in price. Too little supply and you will see an increase in price. What makes one Rolex watch appreciate in value more than the others is essentially a factor of supply and demand with an added layer of what I like to call, “story”. As the producers of some of the best timepieces in the world, Rolex controls the supply. They are able to produce as much, or more often as few, timepieces as they would like per model. This scarcity of supply will cause a watch that is kept in good condition, to maintain its store of value.
Additionally, as time passes and any watch maker decides to discontinue the model from production, you will definitely see a price change. For collectible watches such as a Rolex, you will usually see an increase. But enough of this econ refresher.
Enter the Rolex Batman
The Rolex Batman, also known by its formal name, Rolex GMT-Master II Ref 116710BLNR Batman, not only has value due to it’s supply but also because of that added element of “story”. So what is the Rolex Batman’s Story?
The Batman entered the scene in 2013 at any watch lover’s dream stage, BaselWorld. For those of you who don’t know about BaselWorld, it is essentially the Comic Con, the World Series, the Superbowl, or Wimbledon for watch aficionados around the world. When the Rolex Batman made its first appearance onto the world stage, people saw it and fell in love. Not just because it was a new model of Rolex that hit the market but because it was also a watch of much innovation in an otherwise static world.
The Rolex Batman first edition was the first Rolex watch to have a two toned, or bi-colored, ceramic bezel. The difficulty of working with ceramic adds a layer to the story, however, the two toned color on one solid piece of ceramic is what makes that Rolex Batman truly historic. There were many other watch brands that were using ceramic bezels before Rolex. None, however, were able to get two distinct colors on one piece of ceramic.
You might be asking yourself, is there really that much value to having two colors on a bezel? The answer is, well, yes. For a watch collector, the story is as important as supply and demand. The watch has to be of high quality as well or else the story would not hold any weight but being Rolex does not make anything but quality, luxury watches. Any who, I digress.
The Rolex Batman gets its name because of the blue and black bezel, along with a matte black face, and Oystersteel case and bracelet. You can just imagine Bruce Wayne rolling up in one of these guys.
The New and Improved Rolex Batman
The GMT-Master II Ref 116710BLNR was and will always be an iconic timepiece. However, in 2019 Baselworld, Rolex unveiled a new edition of the classic Rolex GMT-Master 116710BLNR and discontinued the production of the 116710BLNR. As we mentioned above, the restriction of the supply from the producer, along with the historical significance that the original Batman had will reflect in the price (more on that later).
The new model of the ever loved and classic Rolex Batman was named GMT-Master II Ref 126710BLNR. The new watch had some upgrades to its movement and functionality, as well as an upgraded bracelet, however, the face and case kept its very loved aesthetics of the black and blue bezel with a matte black dial. The table below will show a side by side comparison for the first edition as will as the second edition Rolex Batman.
Now you might be wondering if there is only the change in movement and bracelet is this really a different watch? In the watch world the answer is yes. The movement of the watch is the heart and if that changes, most would consider it a big change. Additionally, the bracelet is like the torso, if you were to swap torsos with a friend, you would be a different person.
Regardless of if you or I see any distinctions, the market clearly does see them as different watches. That difference is reflected in the price. Since the 116710BLNR has been discontinued, has a limited supply, and has the story of being the first bi-colored ceramic bezel watch, its price varies but it starts at $16,000 on the secondary market. The 126710BLNR; however, starts at $9,700 and can be found at an authorized dealer near you. If you want to find an authorized seller near you check out this link here.
When you are buying something off a secondary market, it is important to make sure of the authenticity of a watch. There are many scams out there. With such a valuable price tag it is important to do your research before.
We’d love to hear from you. Let us know what you thought about this article and if you were to buy one of the Rolex Batman’s let us know which you would pick!