This yr, for its 2022 assortment, Rolex has been specializing in what it calls aviation-related watches. Watches made for air travellers or pilots have taken form in two particular fashions: the revamped Air-King and the brand new left-handed GMT-Grasp II. I’d personally state that this was a yr of boldness and audacity for the model, a yr when Rolex determined to be unconventional and daring, to suppose out-of-the-box and to not be consensual. Nonetheless, since such audacity naturally triggers subjective, emotionally pushed reactions, I’ve determined to jot down a private opinion column explaining why I don’t like the brand new Rolex GMT-Grasp II 126720VTNR Destro… And in addition why, ultimately, it doesn’t actually matter anyway.
It’s no secret that Rolex is king in terms of model worth, degree of gross sales (number one, and by fairly a margin), general high quality, consistency of the gathering, and the way in which its watches maintain their worth through the years. The emblem of the model is a coronet, and it feels justified. Whether or not you just like the model or not, it’s exhausting to disclaim that this success is goal. Not all the pieces is brilliant and exquisite, in fact. The present scenario of the market, with demand largely surpassing provide, and all of the unfavourable results it has on the supply and costs, is a significant black cloud in an in any other case brilliant blue sky. However, and regardless of just a few much less profitable fashions, Rolex continues to be on the high of its sport.
Up to now years, we’ve seen nearly all of the collections revamped, refreshed, and modernised… Basic product life cycle administration. A model new era of actions was launched within the Day-Date 40 in 2015; the Cosmograph Daytona acquired a brand new look in 2016; the Sea-Dweller bought a bigger case in 2017; the GMT-Grasp II was refreshed in 2018; the Yacht-Grasp bought greater in 2019; the Submariner assortment was redesigned in 2020; and each the Explorer I and the Explorer II have been facelifted in 2021. Which left us with few choices for 2022… A lot of the collections have been already geared up with the new-gen motion, that means that when it comes to life cycle administration, there was not a lot left to do. So, it was both about getting inventive and launching a model new watch assortment or taking current fashions and having enjoyable with them, reworking them, making them much less anticipated… Rolex selected the final choice and revamped its most controversial watch – the Air-King – and created one other mannequin that really ranks second, if not on par, on the dialogue board: the “Destro” or left-handed model of the GMT-Grasp II with a two-tone inexperienced/black bezel… I imply, I might by no means have imagined this watch, even when I had gone completely wild in our yearly predictions.
The info in regards to the 126720VTNR
Earlier than I change into subjective mode, a fast reminder about what this new watch is all about. The Rolex GMT-Grasp II 126720VTNR, or the Destro Rolex, is mainly the identical watch as earlier than, turned 180 levels. That’s a little bit of a shortcut, however not that removed from actuality. The rationale I say that is that, aside from this new place of the crown, the watch is an identical to the earlier, classical metal variations, the Pepsi 126710BLRO and the Batgirl 126710BLNR.
As such, the case retains the identical form (simply mirrored) and dimensions. Made out of Oystersteel (inside identify for 904L chrome steel), it measures 40mm in diameter, about 12mm in peak and has an honest 48mm lug-to-lug measurement. The case options an integral crown guard hugging the Triplock screw-down crown and is completed with straight brushed surfaces on high and polished sides. The sapphire crystal has anti-reflective coating and the all-important Cylocps over the date. And water-resistance is rated, as standard, at 100 metres of 330 toes.
Other than rotating the case 180 levels and making a so-called Destro watch, the opposite new function of this Rolex GMT-Grasp II 126720VTNR – and the clue is within the reference quantity – is the brand new bezel. Contained in the notched Oystersteel bi-directional body, you’ll discover a two-tone Cerachom insert with recessed numerals and graduations coated with platinum PVD (traditional) in black and inexperienced. This mixture of colors is a traditional of the trendy GMT-Grasp II, but it was used otherwise up to now. It was discovered on the full-black bezel 116710LN with a green-coloured GMT hand. However for the reason that assortment was revamped in 2018, two-tone inserts are the rule for the GMT-Grasp II. Those that have been anticipating the comeback of the LN mannequin must cope with this new model, the VTNR – Verte-Noire, or Inexperienced-Black. The inexperienced color is near what’s discovered on a Submariner Date 126610LV, that means a somewhat refined, not too saturated tone of mid-green. The identical color may be discovered on the GMT hand too.
As for the dial, no surprises. Once more, aside from the rotation and the truth that the date is now positioned at 9 o’clock and nonetheless subsequent to the crown, there aren’t any modifications to report in comparison with a 126710BLRO or a 126710BLNR. The dial continues to be shiny black lacquer and options massive utilized hour markers and arms in 18k white gold crammed with blue-emitting Chromalight. And there’s a inexperienced arrow-tipped GMT hand to enhance the bezel’s color.
Concerning bracelet choices, we had the Oyster model for this photoshoot. Basic, 3-link metal bracelet with polished centre hyperlinks and brushed outer hyperlinks. It options an Oysterlock folding security clasp and Easylink consolation extension hyperlink (with approx. 5mm extension, good for decent days). Word that this model, like all metal GMT-Grasp II, can be out there on a 5-link, brushed and polished Jubilee bracelet, closed by the identical Oysterlock folding security clasp with Easylink consolation extension hyperlink. Consolation can be nice on each, and on this occasion, it’s only a matter of seems to be. On my facet, for the reason that 126720VTNR is already fairly loud and busy, I’d are inclined to go for the Oyster bracelet for a extra streamlined look.
Contained in the case, the calibre 3285 continues to be beating with minor modifications as a result of new place of the crown and date window. Mainly, the date disc needed to be modified, however this new crown place additionally required altering the precision testing course of for a number of the remaining controls carried out as a part of the Superlative Chronometer certification. Apart from that, we’re nonetheless speaking about an in-house, computerized motion from the 32xx era, with all of the attainable refinements of the Crown: a bi-directional rotor; the Chronergy escapement with enhanced geometry for higher precision and effectivity; anti-magnetic components with nickel-phosphorus escapement components and blue Parachrom hairspring and Rolex overcoil; high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers; an prolonged 70h energy reserve; and a traversing stability bridge and stability with variable inertia and gold Microstella nuts. The motion beats at 4Hz, contains a stop-seconds mechanism, an instantaneous date, and the GMT perform depends on – as you’d anticipate from a traveller’s watch – a leaping native hour hand that may be adjusted independently when crossing borders.
Total, the standard of the watch is… typical Rolex. Extremely-precise in manufacturing and changes, with a Superlative Chronometer-certified (-2/+2 seconds per day) motion and a solidity that may hardly be overwhelmed. It’s neat, ultra-clean, and nearly surgical. Briefly, it’s a Rolex.
The Rolex GMT-Grasp II 126720VTNR is priced at EUR 10,400 on an Oyster bracelet and EUR 10,600 on a Jubilee bracelet.
Why I don’t just like the 126720VTNR
Let’s now get subjective. I’m going to make it easy; I’ve nothing in opposition to Destro-style watches. I don’t actually fancy sporting them as a result of I favor to put on my watch on my left wrist and I don’t really feel snug sporting a watch on the fitting. However, nothing obliges you to put on a Destro watch on the fitting wrist. The entire idea, typically related to Panerai, actually works with the Italian model’s design language. So it’s not a lot the truth that it’s a Destro that places me off this GMT; it’s extra the truth that I don’t suppose, personally, that the implementation of the Destro idea has been properly built-in into Rolex’s design language.
To provide you an instance, when the watch was introduced to me throughout Watches & Wonders, I discovered myself placing the watch on the flawed facet (with the crown at 3 o’clock) on no less than three events inside lower than quarter-hour. That has by no means occurred to me with a Destro Panerai, just because the combination of the crown at 9 o’clock is extra seamless, extra coherent. To me, the 9 o’clock crown doesn’t work within the context of a Rolex with a crown guard, and much more with a date that has been pushed away to the opposite facet too. If Rolex had saved the date at 3 o’clock, I feel I might have appreciated it extra.
One other subject I’ve with this watch is on the wrist. As I discussed, I wish to put on my watch on my left wrist… And, forgive me for this little trick (I do know, I’m probably not enjoying honest), however I deliberately hid the crown beneath my sleeve to make it disappear… As a result of that is how the watch can be in most conditions in case you put on it on the left. And the result’s, to me no less than, a really, very weird look. I could be a little bit of a monomaniac, however it merely doesn’t work for me. Sorry Rolex, I received’t be your shopper for this one… Nevertheless it doesn’t matter anyway!
Why it doesn’t matter…?
I can see no less than three explanation why my tackle the Rolex GMT-Grasp II 126720VTNR doesn’t actually matter. First, as a result of what I stated above is solely subjective and private. I don’t ask you to agree with me, and I even encourage you to disagree with me within the remark part under and clarify why you suppose this watch might work. Not liking a watch doesn’t imply that it’s not a very good product. Truly, on this case, it’s nonetheless a really, very spectacular product. Simply not one made for me.
The second motive is extra vital. The straightforward proven fact that I (and others) don’t like this watch is definitely a really optimistic level. There’s nothing worse than a mildly good product – your typical “sure it’s OK” extremely consensual watch that appears good however doesn’t generate a real sparkle. What Rolex has achieved right here is to create one thing daring, barely provocative, utterly sudden and thus, one thing emotional. Find it irresistible, hate it; the vital factor to notice is that Rolex has produced a watch that’s controversial, segmenting, that has grow to be a sizzling matter of dialogue. Luxurious, mechanical watches are pointless objects, and feelings are extra vital than the rest when shopping for/sporting one.
The rationale Rolex did it is because it will possibly, and it ought to. As a substitute of resting on its laurels and making consensual watches that vaguely please the bulk, it’s now the right time for the model to be inventive and audacious. It was the fitting second for the brand new Air-King and for this Destro 126720VTNR. The demand is excessive, watches are sizzling matters, and the model is criticised for its lack of provide… Let’s return our consideration again to the product and let the group speak about a watch. And ultimately, I’m positive this Destro GMT-Grasp II will promote like sizzling truffles, just because it’s daring and totally different.
The final motive why it doesn’t actually matter that I don’t like this watch is straightforward: it’ll be so exhausting to get that even when I hate it or like it, I received’t have the ability to purchase one straight from a boutique.
For extra particulars, please go to rolex.com.