In 2005, Rolex celebrated the 50th anniversary of the GMT-Master by redesigning the GMT-Master II, beefing up the case considerably and introducing a ceramic bezel insert that, at first, was produced in a single color: black. The initial anniversary model was made in gold, but Rolex followed up in 2007 with the steel version we have here.
The black GMT Master II (116710LN) - a true no nonsense, no frills classic watch.. At the time of its introduction, there were many new features and upgrades including:
It's important to remember that Rolex chose to debut the Cerachrom bezel on the GMT-Master II, not the Submariner, the Sea-Dweller, or the Daytona, which all have monochromatic bezels. While this watch had indeed already had monochrome bezels from the beginning with the gold 6542, it was the two-tone Pepsi, Coke, and Root Beer variations that came to define the GMT-Master in the minds of watch collectors. With the arrival of the Cerachrom lunette noire in 2007, Rolex discontinued its Coke and Pepsi variations with aluminum inserts, and the black, Cerachrom-bezeled GMT-Master II was the only steel GMT game in town.
This is a handsome and underappreciated watch. For some reason, it was underrated during its production. It was discontinued in 2018 and is seeing a resurgence in interest as the predecessor to the newer colored variants (BLNR, BLRO, LV etc.) of the GMT. One of my favorites and happy to see it is getting some attention lately.