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Technology advances so quickly in today's world that we often lose track of the fact that a mere fifty years after Orville and Wilbur Wright took their first flight at Kitty Hawk, the flight paths of commercial airlines spanned multiple continents and timezones.
Imagine: In 1911, it took Calbraith Perry Rodgers nearly 20 days to fly across the continental United States. By 1953, airlines like Trans World Airlines and Pan Am were servicing non-stop commercial transcontinental flights. In four short decades, aviation evolved from gliders made of planks of white pine that could only stay aloft for five minutes at a time, to jet liners made of aluminum alloys that could hold over 13,000 gallons of fuel and traverse thousands of miles in just hours.
But in addition to the technological advances it summoned, the Jet Age changed the way humans beings conceived of travel. Suddenly, Atlantic crossings by steamer were antiquated. Those that would have luxuriated aboard the Queen Mary now sought to breakfast in New York and sup in Rome, and in doing so, formed a new elite class, the Jet Set. Further, these deep-pocketed Jet Setters - a ticket from Paris to New York on Trans World Airlines, for example, cost $295 in 1953 ($2388 in today's currency) - were the harbingers of today's vibrant travel ethos.
As jet technology made the surmounting of natural and national borders nearly common-place, people responded, adapting old technologies to suit the unprecedented proliferation and relative ease of global travel. The frequency at which these transatlantic and transcontinental flights occurred made it necessary for a type of wristwatch that could display two timezones at once.
It was Pan Am 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.
This particular Reference 1675 dates from the mid-1970s, in the waning days of the Jet Age. With a gorgeous patina on the dial, it's not hard to imagine it on the wrist of a Don Draper type. Looking at it positively conjures images of La Dolce Vita.
The case is as solid as they come, sharp and solid. The "Pepsi" bezel has a lovely weathered look. But if the weathered look is not your thing, we're offering a second bezel insert; just inquire. Of all Rolex's sports models, there's nothing quite like the GMT Master, the perfect companion for the world traveler.
Stainless steel Oyster case is approximately 39mm (excluding crown). Rolex Reference 1675. Rolex GMT self-winding movement. Circa mid-1970s.
Overall Condition: Stainless steel Oyster case is in very good condition, with thick, fat lugs. Pepsi bezel insert shows some fading due to age but is in otherwise very good condition. Matte black dial shows some signs of age, namely fine even patina to the luminescent elements of the hour markers and hands. Rolex crown. Rolex case back shows some faint scratches but is in otherwise very good condition.
Includes one 20mm dark brown leather strap and two 20mm nylon straps from Crown & Buckle
Also includes an optional extra Pepsi bezel insert for additional charge.