Rolex 16700 Vs. 16710 GMT Face-off: Will it be Pepsi or Coke?

Two Rolex GMT models. One winner. Which watch will defeat all odds and take home the gold.

Now that you got your reality television show introduction, you know it is time for another amazing watch review. Both the Rolex GMT 16700 and the Rolex GMT 16710, are fantastic watches. But sadly I have to make the decision between the two so my greedy  amazing readers can be happy and choose one. With that being said, due to the latest design and updates paired with a handsome, yet classic look, I have to recommend the Rolex GMT 16710 for the win. If you want more details as to why, just read below……..

Rolex GMT 16700

Despite the unavoidable loss, this watch should not be looked down upon. It is an expertly crafted model from Rolex, that offers distinct features and unbelievable reliability. It did in fact, last for over ten years (1988-1999). That tells you something for a watch. I would recommend this piece to those who are wanting a top notch watch at a great price!

Design

Rolex always has great designs with their watches. And the same can be said for the GMT 16700. With a well-sized 40mm case and a multicolored bezel that just screams out buy me! This model features an elegant red color on the bottom half of the bezel and a “Pepsi” blue on the top. The colors fit perfectly and actually match very well with the dark black dial and the red second hand. Due to the color scheme, some people may stray away from wearing this watch with dress clothes. But I say, go AHEAD! In my opinion, the tones from the all of the colors present a very strong, elegant, yet fancy aura. One that will grab the attention of anyone surrounding.

Keep it Classic

Even though the watch has innovative, new features that are not native to the original GMT. The timepiece still has an overall classic design.  For one, if the blue and red bezel throw you off, the watch still features a 2.5 magnifying cyclops, sitting atop the domed sapphire crystal and a bi-directional bezel. Familiar, yet different at the same time. A well-deserved rating of 4.5/5 stars goes to the design of this watch.

Movement

We all know by now (I hope) that Rolex always uses top-notch movements inside of their watches. But as time passes, some become more innovative and reliable than others.

The GMT 16700 uses a caliber 3175 automatic movement. It has a hacking and quickset function to set the time. Hacking just means that when the twistable crown is pulled out, the second hand HALTS, to ensure more accurate timekeeping. Quickset, just means that the date can be changed quickly, without the hour hand having to pass 12 am. As for reliability, this watch does not disappoint.

The 31 jewel, 28,000 vibrations per hour, make it so the watch runs smooth and accurate. A slight downfall to the ref. 16700, is the one hour hand, that is independent. Newer models feature an independent hour hand, so three time zones can be accounted for. Important if you are a pilot, not so much if you are anything else. With all of that accounted for, a solid 4/5 rating is given to the movement.

Value

Despite the long run of the GMT 16700, not many models were actually produced. That being said, this is actually a rarer watch, that is harder to find than similarly styled Rolex watches. You can still find these models at cheaper prices than newer models from trustworthy websites, but expect that to change in the future, not that I am a fortune teller or anything. Just due to the rarity of the piece, I can assume that prices will, in fact, raise as the watch becomes more vintage. Vintage + rare = money money money!

Can you find better GMT models around the same price. Certainly. But newer mass produced models do not have as much history as the 16700.  You get a luxurious watch, with precision craftsmanship and features that set it apart from other models. So I give the value rating, a humble 4.5/5. This is definitely on my purchase list in the near future.

Durability

A feature that should be one of the most important when deciding on a watch. You do not want a flimsy watch that will damage very easily. Not that ANY Rolex watches are not durable. This is something Rolex takes seriously. The GMT 16700 is no exception.

Solid, strong stainless steel case, a sapphire, scratch resistant crystal and a water resistance up to 100m (this is great for a non- dive watch). So if you treat the watch well, and don’t drop it from a plane, normal wear and tear should not affect the watch. It should hold its own.

Rolex GMT 16710

What do you know? A bright red and Pepsi blue again!

Now don’t let the same color fool you. There is ALOT of upgrades on this watch as compared to the older 16700. This was one of the FIRST watches by Rolex that was able to account for up to three time zones. As insane as it sounds, it was a very important factor for pilots years ago, who relied solely on watches to tell time.

Design

Are you going with Pepsi, Coke or all black?

If you live in Atlanta like me, you must go COKE….

The design is basically identical to the 16700, with some minor changes. You still have the choice between Pepsi and all black, but the addition of the Coke color scheme, you get another choice (or you can buy them all). Besides the Coke coloring, the watch also features a matte bracelet that really shines and gives the watch a strong, luxurious and wealthy look. Everything else is just about the same when it comes to design, a cyclops, black dial , 40 mm steel case, and oyster bracelet all match the 16700 model. But due to the few upgrades, the GMT 16710 pulls a victory with a 4.7/5.

Are you in love with all the color schemes, and can’t decide on just one? An interesting fact is that you can buy separate bezels, so you can have more than one watch display! This goes for both the 16700 and 16710.

Movement

If you thought the caliber 3175 was good enough, be prepared to be amazed with the caliber 3185! Not many Rolex models use this movement. So it is an unwonted movement that is crafted to perfection, hence why it is not used in every watch.

The caliber 3185 is fitted with a 31 jewel 28,800 vibrations per hour, automatic movement. The addition of the independent hour hand and the 50 power reserve, make it even more unique. Reliability is an understatement when describing this watch.  Who else can tell a friend what time it is in three different time zones on their watch (Smartphones don’t count)!

A 4.8/5 is the rating I give to the movement on this piece. What is even more amazing? Models made after 2005 use a 5186 MOVEMENT! So even more of an upgrade!

Value

Although it may have been produced more than the 16700, the GMT 16710 is a watch that I expect to grow in value as well. A main factor in the battle is all of the upgrades this watch has. So despite the fact that there may be fewer of the 16700’s out there, they are not as advanced as the 16710’s. And you have more colors you can choose from.

This model was discontinued as well. So it will soon be known as a vintage as well. Like all watches, if you have this model, keep it in good condition and you won’t be disappointed with the value. 4.6/5 rating on value.

Durability

The 16710 is just as durable as the previous model. Not really any differences here. Everything pretty much mirrors the 16700. Take care of the piece and it should be looking as good as new for a very long time!

A Win Due to Advancements

As I mentioned throughout the article, there is not a lot of difference between these two models. What you do get is a more advanced piece with the 16710, which may be a selling point for many watch enthusiasts. I tend to live by the motto, if you are purchasing a luxury, high-grade watch, buy the best one. Since these two are so similar, why not go with the upgraded model? Now, if mechanical advancements are not a big deal to you, either watch is a great choice.

Can you even see the difference?

If not, don’t feel bad. The differences are minor. The best advice I can give to anyone purchasing either one of these watches is to buy from a reliable source like Amazon. Too many counterfeits are in circulation, make sure you are purchasing the real thing!

Compare and Contrast

Here is a closer look at what makes the watches different (not much).  Very subtle differences separate the two. The main factor is the movement.

Rolex GMT 16700 Rolex GMT 16710
2.5 mag. cyclops 2.5 mag. cyclops
Stainless steel bracelet Stainless steel bracelet (matte)
40mm case 40mm case
Oyster bracelet Oyster bracelet
Multi-colored bezel (2 choices) Multicolored bezel (3 choices)
Black dial w/ luminescent hands Black dial w/ luminescent hands
31 jewel, 3175 Calibre movement 31 jewel, 3185 or 3186 movement (independent hour hand)

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