As with the Pepsi, the new time-zone Caliber 3285 is used in the updated Batman. With the exception of the chronograph, all Rolex self-winding watches are powered by the Caliber 31xx (the old version) or the new Caliber 32xx with a power reserve of 70 hours rather than 48. Unlike the Caliber 3186, the new movement has a ball bearing for the rotor. The proprietary Paraflex shock absorber is designed for improved performance in the case of impacts. But the greatest benefit for the wearer is the increased power reserve – instead of two days the watch now provides almost three full days of power, due primarily to the more efficient Chronergy escapement. The geometry of the pallet fork and escape wheel were optimized and, with the LIGA galvanic process, Rolex could create much lighter-weight cut-out components. The escapement mechanism is made of a nickel-phosphorous alloy to be impervious to magnetic fields.
Unchanged are the well-known features of Rolex movements: an extremely sturdy balance bridge (instead of a one-sided balance cock), the free-sprung hairspring with overcoil made of a paramagnetic niobium-zirconium alloy, and its fine regulator with its Microstella weights on the balance wheel. The movement can be regulated using a special tool without removing the movement from the case.
Rolex improved the caliber in the core virtues of accuracy, longevity and robustness. Decorations include a sunburst finish. Hand engraving is not present nor was it expected. The new movement can be easily identified by a small detail on the dial: a tiny Rolex crown is inserted between the two words “Swiss Made.”
As always at Rolex, the official chronometer certificate from the Swiss testing agency COSC confirms the high level of precision at various temperatures and positions. The company’s own in-house standards specify an even stricter adjustment of the daily average between -2 and +2 seconds per day. On the timing machine, our test watch met these higher expectations and showed an average deviation of only -0.5 seconds. All six positions remained between -2 and +2 seconds and the greatest positional deviation was only 4 seconds. There was a manageable drop in amplitude between the vertical and horizontal positions.
The price of the GMT-Master II, $9,250, remains in the mid range. There are more economical manufacture alternatives with a second time zone and also more expensive ones. But hardly any other manufacturer can keep pace with Rolex in terms of value retention. Since May 2019, this new edition has been available in very limited quantities – and in the next several years interested buyers will need to plan on longer wait times for delivery.
Replica Rolex has hit the bull’s eye with the new edition of the cheap replica black-and-blue GMT-Master II in steel. Even though the design has undergone only minor changes over the last 60 years, the watch has become a classic that appeals in its timelessness rather than seeming dated. The Batman colors are more reserved than the Pepsi with its bright red color and can easily be worn with a suit. The Jubilee bracelet matches the watch well. Rolex has also improved the technology with the new movement that offers the benefit of an extended power reserve.
Functionally perfect fake Rolex offers more than most other manufacturers – from the bracelet extension to its time-zone adjustment. Also, accuracy, legibility and wearing comfort are at the highest levels. We would prefer to see a transparent caseback – and that Rolex would produce enough timepieces to satisfy demand.