Batman Returns: Rolex Launches GMT-Master II with Black-and-Blue Bezel and Jubilee Bracelet

The Rolex GMT-Master II, the Swiss power brand’s iconic travelers’ watch, launched with a new red-and-blue “Pepsi” bezel and a revamped jubilee bracelet in 2018. Rolex follows up that much-discussed debut with 2019’s version of the GMT-Master II, this one sporting the popular black-and-blue “Batman” bezel. Here’s what you need to know about the watch, one of Rolex’s highlight pieces from this year’s Baselworld.

Rolex GMT-Master II Batman - frontThe 904L stainless steel case (Rolex refers to the material as “Oystersteel”) measures 40 mm in diameter and is guaranteed waterproof to 100 meters (330 feet) thanks in part to a solid steel, fluted-edge caseback that is hermetically screwed down with a special tool, exclusive to Rolex, that allows watchnakers easy access to the movement. The case, constructed in Rolex’s famous “Oyster” style, also features integrated crown guards flanking the screw-down crown.

Rolex GMT-Master II Batman - side - crown

The 24-hour bidirectional GMT bezel — which ardent Rolex fans have nicknamed “Batman” due to its bold, graduated blue-to-black color scheme, has an insert made of Cerachrom, whose moulded, recessed graduations and numerals are coated with platinum in PVD. The ceramics used for the insert are exceptionally resistant to scratches, corrosion, and the effects of ultraviolet rays, which could otherwise dull the vibrant colors over time. The bicolor bezel’s 24-hour scale can be synchronized with the triangle-tipped GMT hand on the dial to quickly and easily read the time in a time zone other than your own, while the hour and minute hands and date all continue to display the local time. The bezel surrounds a nearly scratchproof sapphire crystal, with the familiar Cyclops lens magnifying the date display in a window at 3 o’clock. Continue reading

Summertime is Sea Time: Rizzoli Releases Hardcover Book Aimed at Dive Watch Enthusiasts

Avid readers of WatchTime, especially those who devoured luxury author Aaron Sigmond’s best-selling hardcover book, DRIVE TIME: Watches Inspired by Automobiles, Motorcycles and Racing in 2016, and its expanded edition in 2018, will be lining up to dive into its sequel, SEA TIME: Watches Inspired by Sailing, Yachting and Diving — a volume that teams Sigmond (who also penned last year’s horological history tome, Bulova: A History of Firsts for Assouline) with WatchTime’s own Senior Editor Mark Bernardo as co-authors and features the most comprehensive collection of nautical-inspired timepieces ever assembled between two covers. Continue reading

Laurent Ferrier Taps into His Personal Racing History for the Tourbillon Grand Sport

Laurent Ferrier recently announced his first sports watch to celebrate two important anniversaries. The watch in question is the limited edition Tourbillon Grand Sport, a throwback to luxury sports watches introduced in the 1970s.

Before he launched his eponymous brand, Laurent Ferrier was an avid racing enthusiast and even competed in the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans seven times, coming first in the two-liter prototype category in 1977. In 1979, he participated in the Le Mans race along with fellow driver and industrialist François Servanin, with their Porsche 935T finishing in the third position. The duo would go on to form the Laurent Ferrier watch brand in 2010. Incidentally, the year 2019 is also the 10th anniversary of the conception of the brand’s first tourbillon. Continue reading

5 Divers’ Watches That Stole the Show at WatchTime L.A.

Last week’s WatchTime L.A. event was populated by many dozens of luxurious timepieces, — tourbillons, perpetual calendars, astronomical world timers, and any number of other high-end and often idiosyncratic complications. But those looking for a little “tool watch” appeal in their timepiece also found quite a few to strike their fancy, including several highly individualistic takes on the humble, albeit mega-popular, dive watch. Here are five that are worthy of note.

De Bethune unveiled its first-ever divers’ watch this year and, in typical De Bethune fashion, it’s highly memorable. The DB28GS Grand Bleu features De Bethune’s 27th in-house produced movement with a five-day power reserve and a manufacture produced balance wheel made of titanium and white gold. The 44-mm case is made entirely of titanium and offers a water-resistance rating of 105 meters. The newly designed lugs feature black zirconium inserts referencing the middle side of the case. The Grand Bleu’s unidirectional dive-scale bezel (the first one appearing on a De Bethune timepiece) rotates in the traditional manner but the scale’s numbers are actually applied to the sapphire crystal, a design De Bethune says it chose to keep the watch thin. The most intriguing aspect of the new diver is the application of a mechanical dynamo system that emits a blue-white light around four spots in the bezel. Using zero electronics or batteries, a pusher flush to the case at 6 o’clock activates a small gear train driven by the twin barrel. This gear train, via its miniature dynamo, provides the necessary energy to light up the watch. Once the five-day power reserve has dropped to a single day (indicated by a subtle display between 9 and 10 o’clock), this function will be blocked in an effort to conserve energy. De Bethune worked with lume expert James Thompson of Black Badger Advanced Composites to create a unique and proprietary blue photoluminescent material to improve the readability of the hands, indexes, and timer while remaining true to the brand’s trademark blue color. Continue reading

Introducing the Patek Philippe Nautilus Annual Calendar Moon Phases 5726/1A and Aquanaut “Jumbo” 5168G

You know a trend has officially arrived in the wristwatch world when traditionally trend-averse, stay-the-course Patek Philippe begins adopting it. The prestigious Swiss manufacture has not only contributed, in its own distinctive style, to the still-prevalent blue-on-blue aesthetic that began gathering heat several years ago — its latest being a moon-phase-equipped annual calendar version of the Nautilus — but has also now plunged into a more recent colorways trend with a new, khaki-colored version of the recently revamped Aquanaut. Here are what both of these sport-luxury models, introduced at Baselworld 2019, have to offer. Continue reading

Citizen Conquers the Sea, Air and Land With 30th Anniversary Promaster Limited Editions

Citizen launched its line of Promaster line of professional-grade sports watches, targeted at adventurers and explorers, 30 years ago. To commemorate the three-decade anniversary, the Japanese power brand unveiled at Baselworld 2019 a trio of limited-edition Promaster models, one each for land, sea, and air, that boast not only Citizen’s proprietary Eco-Drive movements but other technological and design innovations as well. Here is the lowdown on each model in the Citizen 30th Anniversary Promaster series. Continue reading