Rolex GMT-Master II: Ref. 16718 – Review

by Barbara Wilson

The Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16718, an embodiment of luxury and precision, has stood the test of time as one of Rolex’s most iconic watches. Crafted from 18k yellow gold and featuring a distinctive black Tritium dial and Jubilee bracelet, this timepiece is a symbol of sophistication and functionality. In this comprehensive review, we will delve into the various aspects that make the Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16718 a horological masterpiece.


I. Rolex Yellow Gold GMT-Master II Watch Ref. 16718

The Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16718 is a testament to the brand’s commitment to excellence. It boasts a striking 40mm Oyster case, which is meticulously crafted from 18k yellow gold. This luxurious material not only enhances the watch’s aesthetics but also ensures its durability. The solid gold construction adds weight to the watch, giving it a substantial and substantial feel on the wrist.


The watch features a bidirectional rotatable bezel with a 24-hour scale, a signature element of the GMT-Master series. This bezel allows the wearer to track a second time zone, making it an ideal companion for frequent travelers and pilots. The iconic blue and red “Pepsi” bezel, with its vibrant colors, adds a touch of sportiness to the otherwise opulent design.


II. Rolex GMT-Master II Ref-16718 18k Yellow Gold Black Tritium Dial Jubilee Bracelet

One of the standout features of the Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16718 is its captivating black Tritium dial. The contrast between the black background and the luminous hour markers and hands creates a visually striking display. The Tritium luminescence, though no longer used in modern Rolex watches, has aged gracefully, giving the dial a warm and vintage charm.


The watch is presented on a Jubilee bracelet, another hallmark of Rolex’s craftsmanship. Crafted in 18k yellow gold, the five-link Jubilee bracelet offers not only exceptional comfort but also a touch of elegance. The polished center links are flanked by brushed outer links, adding depth and texture to the bracelet. The concealed Crownclasp ensures a seamless and secure closure.

III. Rolex GMT-Master II 18ct Yellow Gold 16718

At the heart of the Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16718 beats the Caliber 3185, a self-winding mechanical movement. Renowned for its reliability and precision, this movement is equipped with a quick-set date function, allowing for easy adjustment of the date display. The movement also features Rolex’s Parachrom hairspring and Paraflex shock absorbers, enhancing its resistance to shocks and magnetic fields.

The 18ct yellow gold case is not only visually appealing but also water-resistant up to 100 meters (330 feet), adding a layer of versatility to this opulent timepiece. Whether you’re diving into the depths of the ocean or attending a formal event, the Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16718 is ready to accompany you.

IV. Rolex GMT Master II 16718 w/Black “Gilt Dial”

One of the rare and sought-after variations of the Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16718 is the model with a black “gilt dial.” The term “gilt” refers to the gold print on the dial, which imparts a luxurious and vintage aesthetic. This variant is highly coveted by collectors for its historical significance and unique appearance.

The “gilt dial” version of the Ref. 16718 features gold text and hour markers, which have gracefully aged over the years, acquiring a charming patina. This vintage-inspired design pays homage to the earlier GMT-Master models and adds a touch of nostalgia to the watch. The combination of the black “gilt dial” and 18k yellow gold case is a visual masterpiece that sets it apart from other Rolex watches.

V. “Rolex GMT-Master II: Ref. 16718” vs “Rolex GMT-Master II: Ref. 126710BLRO” – Which is better

Comparing the Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16718 to the more modern Ref. 126710BLRO, it’s essential to consider your personal preferences and priorities. The Ref. 16718, with its 18k yellow gold construction and vintage appeal, exudes a timeless elegance. It caters to collectors and enthusiasts who appreciate the classic design and historical significance.

On the other hand, the Ref. 126710BLRO, commonly known as the “Batman” due to its black and blue ceramic bezel, offers a contemporary twist on the GMT-Master II. It features a stainless steel case with an upgraded movement and ceramic bezel insert. This model is geared towards those who seek a sportier, more modern aesthetic and advanced technology.

Ultimately, the choice between the Ref. 16718 and the Ref. 126710BLRO comes down to your style, budget, and whether you prefer the vintage allure of the former or the modern functionality of the latter.

VI. The Best Ways to Care for Your Rolex GMT-Master II: Ref. 16718

Owning a Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16718 is a privilege, and proper care is essential to preserve its beauty and performance. Here are some tips for maintaining your cherished timepiece:

Regular Servicing: Rolex recommends servicing your watch every 10 years to ensure its accuracy and longevity. Trusting an authorized Rolex service center is crucial to maintain the watch’s authenticity and value.

Avoid Extreme Conditions: While the GMT-Master II is designed for durability, avoid exposing it to extreme conditions such as extreme temperatures, strong magnetic fields, or rapid changes in pressure.

Cleaning: Clean your watch regularly with a soft cloth and warm, soapy water to remove dirt and grime. Rinse it thoroughly and dry it with a soft, lint-free cloth.

Storage: When not wearing your Rolex, store it in a cool, dry place in its original box or a watch winder. This helps prevent dust accumulation and protects it from potential damage.

Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Keep your watch away from harsh chemicals, including perfumes, solvents, and cleaning agents, as they can damage the finish and seals.

Strap Care: If you have a leather strap, be mindful of moisture and perspiration, which can cause the strap to deteriorate. Metal bracelets can be cleaned with a soft brush and warm, soapy water.

By following these care tips, you can ensure that your Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16718 remains a timeless companion for generations to come.


The Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16718 is not just a watch; it’s a symbol of luxury, craftsmanship, and a timeless legacy. Its 18k yellow gold construction, black Tritium dial, and Jubilee bracelet combine to create a masterpiece that transcends generations. Whether you’re a collector, an enthusiast, or simply someone who appreciates the finer things in life, the Ref. 16718 is a watch that deserves a place in your collection. Its blend of elegance and functionality, along with its rich history, make it a true icon in the world of horology. So, whether you’re tracking multiple time zones or making a statement at a formal event, the Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16718 is the ultimate companion, standing as a shining example of Rolex’s unwavering commitment to excellence.


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