With the advent of the first transcontinental flight in 1953, the pilots of Pan American Airlines required a watch that could tell two timezones simultaneously. As the story goes, they approached Rolex, and in short order the Rolex GMT (as in Greenwich Mean Time) Master was born. The name is a bold declaration of what Rolex intended the watch to be: a true master of the time zones.
That first reference of GMT-Master, the Reference 6542, was essentially a heavily-modified Turn-O-Graph with the Caliber 1035 movement upgraded to include a 24-hour driving wheel and a 24-hour-hand. The case was modified to include a rotating 24 hour Bakelite bezel in a distinctive blue and red, but lacked the crown guards that would adorn all subsequent references of GMT-Master. But the Reference 6542 was only produced from 1954 to 1960, and was replaced with what was to become the gold standard of vintage Rolex GMTs--and perhaps one of the world's most iconic sport watches--the Reference 1675.
The black dial with the red-and-blue "Pepsi" bezel remains the most frequently-seen, associated with the intrepid pilots of Pan-Am, and even with NASA. A Reference 1675 has the distinction of traveling aboard the fateful Apollo 13 mission on the wrist of Jack Swigert. Indeed, Swigert credited his GMT Master with aiding him to make life-saving calculations that would allow the astronauts to return to Earth.
One thing that can make a particular Reference 1675 unique is the hue that the bezel will take on when exposed to sunlight or water, or left in a dark drawer for decades. These various hues have been given nicknames by collectors, and one such nickname is the "fuchsia" GMT which we feature here. It's so-called because the vibrant red of the bezel has lightened to a stunning fuchsia. The reason for this metamorphosis of color is due to the chemical formula of paint used by whatever manufacturer produced the bezel (Rolex used several for this reference). Some colors age or degrade faster than others, thanks to the formula, and what results is a veritable rainbow of colors.
We've seen GMTs before, even some that have taken on a patina that's undoubtedly breathtaking. But there's something to be said for the irresistible appeal of the fuchsia. Much-coveted and conversed about by collectors, the "fuchsia" is sure to turn heads.
Stainless steel case is approximately 39mm (excluding crown). Rolex Reference 1675. Rolex Caliber 1575GMT Self-Winding Movement. Circa 1965/1966.
Overall Condition: Stainless steel case is in very good condition with strong, sharp bevels and no signs of over-polishing. Case does have slight cosmetic signs of use and wear in keeping with its age. Matte Mark I dial is in very good condition with fine patina to the luminescent material on the hour markers and hands. Bezel insert is in very good condition with a stunning patina and mild signs of use and age. Rolex crown. Rolex case back has some signs of use and wear but is in otherwise very good condition.
Includes one 20mm Rolex C&I rivet bracelet and two 20mm nylon straps from Crown & Buckle