Hands On: Rolex GMT-Master II Oystersteel Ref. 126710GRNR

Low-key grey and black.

Just released at Watches & Wonders 2024, the Rolex GMT-Master II in steel with a grey and black bezel (ref. 126710GRNR) is the newest addition to the famous line of dual time zone watches. More restrained in terms of colour, the new GMT-Master sports a 24-hour bezel with a grey-and-black Cerachrom insert. It’s still immediately recognisable, but a bit more discreet than its siblings in the collection, especially the famous “Pepsi” that is perhaps too recognisable. 

Like several other Rolex sports models, the 126710GRNR sports green accents on the dial and GMT hand. And the 126710GRNR is available on either a Jubilee or Oyster bracelet.

Initial thoughts

The GMT-Master II is a almost perfect, with little that needs revision. While some expected a “Coke” GMT this year, the 126710GRNR is a solid proposition for anyone who wants a GMT-Master dressed more subtly. The bi-colour bezel is functional without being too loud unlike the better-known GMT-Master “Pepsi”Flashy or recognisable watches sometimes attract unwanted attention, so dialling back the bezel colours is smart.

In fact, the 126710GRNR may as well be more appealing than the discontinued 116710LN with its all-black bezel. Although I prefer the all-black bezel of the 116710LN, the grey and black bezel of the 126710GRNR is more functional as it separates day and night.

The Rolex GMT-Master II “Pepsi” 126710BLRO

The green accents are a nice touch and also logical since green is the Rolex corporate colour. Although not overly apparent in photos, the green markings on the dial stand out in person and add colour to an otherwise monochromatic watch. 

On the other hand, the grey and black bezel is subtle. In fact, it can appear entirely black under certain lighting. Even when the two distinct colours are visible, the bezel almost blends into the watch. 

The green accents stand out

Like most other current sports models, the 126710GRNR sports the “maxi” case, which isn’t too big but can feel chunky. That said, the case is relatively thin for what it is. 

The Rolex GMT-Master II 126710GRNR retails for US$10,700 on an Oyster bracelet and US$10,900 on the Jubilee. The pricing is typical Rolex, which is reasonable considering the quality of build, in-house movement, and not to mention the value of the brand. As a result, the GMT-Master II is a great value proposition, especially relative to its competition. The only downside, as is the case with many other Rolex models, is availability.

Grey and black

The highlight of the 126710GRNR is the grey and black 24-hour bezel insert in Cerachrom, the Rolex trade name for ceramic. “GRNR” is short for gris noir, or “grey black”, which is the same bezel insert found on the yellow-gold model introduced last year.

The colour separation on the bezel is impressively tidy; it seamlessly transitions from black to grey at three and nine o’clock without any bleeding. As is now standard for Rolex bezels, the markings are engraved and then plated via physical vapour deposition with precious metal, in this case platinum. Unlike bezel inserts on historical models like the ref. 1675 that were anodised aluminium, the ceramic insert is both scratch and fade resistant.

The GMT function is intuitive and practical. The engraved 24-hour scale and green GMT hand indicate the time in a second time zone, which is usually home time. Because this is a “true” GMT watch with a movement constructed from the ground up to show two time zones, the local time hour hand can be independently adjusted and the date moves in sync with the local time hand.


Bezel aside, the 126710GRNR is identical to other variants of the GMT-Master II. It has a “maxi” case that’s 40 mm wide and 11.9 mm high. Though the measurements are relatively compact, the wide and substantial lugs give it a chunky appearance. That said, taper of the bracelet, which goes from 20 mm on the lugs to 15.5 mm on the clasp, moderate the perceived size.

The case is finished in the conventional manner with brushing on the top and mirror polishing on the sides. The surfaces of the case and bracelet are precisely finished, with the mirror polished sides being impressively flat. This is thanks to a new polishing technique Rolex implemented several years ago, which has results in case finishing that is comparable to the famous “Zaratsu” flat-polishing method employed by Grand Seiko.

While both the Jubilee and Oyster bracelets are finished to the same level, the Jubilee is a little flashier due to its trio of polished centre links. Because it has polished centre links regardless of bracelet type, the GMT-Master in general is a bit louder than the Submariner, which is entirely brushed.

Both the Oyster and the Jubilee bracelets are impressively constructed, managing to be both solid and supple at the same time. The Oysterlock clasp with its built-in Easylink micro-adjustment mechanism is equally solid and also very useful. Arguably the only downside of the bracelet is the relatively long blade of the clasp, which makes it less ergonomic for very small wrists.

Finished with a glossy black lacquer, the dial is similarly “maxi” with large hour markers and wide hands. Legibility is excellent, including for the date that is magnified by the signature Rolex Cyclops lens

Like other current GMT-Master II variants, the 126710GRNR is powered by the cal. 3285. It’s a latest-generation movement that’s equipped with the magnetism-resistant blue Parachrom hairspring and patented, high-efficiency Chronergy escapement. It has a useful 70 hours of power reserve and beats at 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz).

In the usual Rolex fashion, the cal. 3285 is constructed to be a robust and durable timekeeper. For stability, it has a full bridge for the balance, which is free sprung.

The cal. 3285. Image – Rolex

Concluding thoughts

The 126710GRNR is perhaps the most useful variant of the GMT-Master II since it is the most low key. While it’s still instantly recognisable as a GMT-Master, it does away with the bright colours that define the other versions of the model. At the same time, the grey-and-black bezel isn’t as plain as the discontinued version with the all-black bezel.

Key facts and price

Rolex GMT-Master II
Ref. 126710GRNR

Diameter: 40 mm
Height: 11.9 mm
Material: Stainless steel
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: Cal. 3285
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, and GMT
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 70 hours

Strap: Jubilee or Oyster bracelet

Limited edition: No
Availability: Available at Rolex boutiques and retailers starting April 2024
Price: US$10,900 on Jubilee; US$10,700 on Oyster

For more, visit rolex.com


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