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The advent of transcontinental and transatlantic jet travel made it possible for a person to sip an espresso in a cafe in Rome in the morning and still make an 8:00PM reservation in New York City that same evening. But despite this revolutionary development, it was merely the result of old technologies being adapted to suit the unprecedented proliferation and relative ease of global travel.
After all, the Trans-Siberian Railway had been ferrying passengers across eight timezones since 1916. To meet the demands prompted by the establishment of railway time in the 1860s, watch manufacturers such as Hamilton and Elgin developed railroad pocket chronometers that had a third hand to indicate an additional timezone. But since a journey from Moscow to Vladivostok on the Rossiya could take six days—roughly the same as a transatlantic crossing on the Queen Mary—passengers could merely set their watches to the local time upon arrival, thus rendering the GMT or world time pocket watches expensive and whimsical.
However, the sheer immediacy of jet travel—and the frequency at which these transatlantic and transcontinental flights occurred— made it necessary for travelers, and more importantly pilots, to have a type of wristwatch that could display two timezones at once.
It was Pan American Airlines that approached Rolex with that conundrum, and Rolex came up with the solution--the GMT Master. The pilots of Pan Am adopted the GMT Master as the official wristwatch, and the airline even commissioned a white dial for its ground crew. Other airlines soon followed, making the GMT Master synonymous with aviation. According to Skeet & Uhrl's Vintage Rolex Sports Models, a Rolex advertisement from 1960 stated that the GMT Master was the preferred timepiece of "twenty out of twenty-one aircraft navigators."
In 1960 Rolex released a new reference of GMT Master, the Reference 1675. The 1675 featured crown guards and was powered by the Caliber 1565 movement, and later, the Caliber 1575. Still the preferred favorite of pilots, the GMT Master also attracted the attention and appreciation of astronauts.
Purchased from the person who bought it from the original owner, this particular Reference 1675 dates from the late 1970s, in the waning days of the Jet Age. The handsomely-ghosted bezel speaks of the life it's seen--years of travel and loving use in its intended purpose. Looking at it positively conjures images of La Dolce Vita.
Rolex Oyster case is approximately 39mm (excluding crown). Rolex Reference 1675. Rolex Self-Winding GMT Movement. Circa 1977.
Overall Condition: Stainless steel Oyster case is in very good condition with sharp lugs and no signs of over-polishing. Bezel has ghosted over time. Dial is in very good condition with a fine even patina to the luminescent elements of the hour markers and hands. Rolex crown. Rolex case back has faint signs of wear but is in otherwise very good condition.
Includes one 20mm Rolex C&I rivet bracelet. Bracelet does have some stretch and signs of wear but is in otherwise good condition. Also includes two 20mm nylon straps from Crown & Buckle
Also includes green inner Rolex box and GMT booklet.