There has likely never been a watch company as successful as Rolex, and their success can generally be attributed to two primary factors. First and foremost, Rolex has been in the luxury watch industry for decades, and as such, their watchmakers have the experience and manufacturing capacity to make timepieces of unrivaled quality. Secondly, around the world Rolex watches have become a status symbol, a way of communicating power and influence to those around the wearer, and due to the latter, the watch brand has enjoyed cultural recognition because of its association with the rich, elite, and famous. One way of paying homage to their cultural success, particularly in the United States, was by creating two superhero-inspired watches based on Hulk and Batman both of which are icons in the American entertainment industry. Each of the watches were highly sought after by collectors, meaning that the chance to get your hands on one these days is exceedingly rare; however, if you are presented with the two watches and have to decide which to purchase, it is best to know how each could contribute to your overall collection.
The Hulk, a Rolex Submariner (ref. no. 116610LV) with a matching green dial and ceramic bezel, was in production from 2010 to 2020. So far, the Hulk has been the most sought after submariner ever created by Rolex.
The Batman, on the other hand, is a Rolex GMT Master II (ref. no. 116710BLNR). Its nickname comes from the bicolored black and blue ceramic bezel paired with a black dial. Like the Hulk, the standard Batman comes with an Oyster Bracelet and was manufactured from 2013 to 2019. It was released three years after the Hulk, and its initial release took place at the Baselworld Watch fair.
Dial and Face
Between the Hulk and the Batman, both have relatively similar faces. Both watches have dates with magnification positioned at 3:00, and both feature similar geometric markings to help differentiate between twelve, three, six, and nine. The two timepieces also feature sapphire crystal on the front and metal backs, which is to be expected at the pieces’ price point. A significant difference between the two is that the Hulk is green, whereas the Batman, since it is still being produced, is able to offer a wider variety of color. The face of the Batman also looks and feels more crowded than its Hulk counterpart because of the GMT hand. Additionally, the GMT hand takes away from the symmetry of the overall dial of the watch, but an acceptable level of symmetry must be decided on a collector-by-collector basis.
Rolex is known for its superb attention to detail, but despite the attention afforded the casing, the Rolex movements are where the watch producer truly shines in their quality and care. Both the Batman and the Hulk have brilliant movements, with the Hulk sporting a caliber 3135 and the Batman possessing a caliber 3285. Both are COSC certified and tested by Rolex to ensure that they provide highly accurate times, and both are resistant to shocks and magnetic fields. They are each equipped with 31 jewels and have a frequency of four hertz. The only difference between the movements is that the Batman is inherently more complicated than the Hulk due to the additional GMT hand. The Batman also has a power reserve of a staggering 70 hours, whereas the Hulk only has a typical 48 hour power reserve. The power reserve for the Hulk Submariner may be a bit of a let down for some; in the modern-day horology community, there are many watches, including some Swiss watches, that are able to surpass the Hulk in terms of power reserve without its price tag, but it is important to bear in mind that every Rolex is handmade, and without factory laser regulation, it can be nearly extraordinarily difficult to create a watch that is capable of such a power reserve.
Style of Watch
The most straightforward distinction that can be made between the Hulk and Batman is the style of watch. In both cases, neither watch is an entirely unique design. The Hulk is modeled after the Rolex Submariner and the Batman is a classic GMT. As a diver, the Hulk is going to have a unidirectional ceramic bezel and lack the GMT hand that the Batman has. The Hulk is an ideal watch for diving and other outdoor adventures that may lead to your watch getting wet. The overall layout is designed to be easy enough to read that, in the event that you do take it diving, you should be able to easily read the time. The Batman, on the other hand, has a bidirectional bezel and has a GMT hand. The Batman is likely a better fit for people that frequently find themselves changing time zones. The Hulk also has a water resistance of 300 meters, while the Batman only has a third of that.
Unfortunately, the Hulk has been discontinued by Rolex, and due to the relative scarcity of the Hulk watch, it is almost always going to sell for more than the Batman GMT. The Batman is also more likely to come in a wider variety of Styles, making it more customizable than the Hulk. Although an ideal collection of superhero-inspired Rolex watches would contain both, if presented with the opportunity and you know you will be able to afford the other later down the line, go for the Hulk first and purchase the Batman later on. That way, you will be guaranteed to have both once you decide to get the Batman.
Both the Hulk and the Batman Rolex watches are highly collectable and will perfectly fit in with just about any watch collection. The two watches are similar, and regardless of which you choose to buy, you will receive a truly superlative chronometer. However, when deciding on which to invest in, there are a few key differences that you should understand. The primary difference, of course, is that the Batman is a GMT while the Hulk is a dive watch, so depending on which fits your lifestyle best, you may wish to choose one over the other. In any case, both make for excellent investments, and, if you change your mind later on, you will find that they maintain—and in the case of the Hulk line, surpass—their initial retail value.