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Almost from its inception, the Rolex GMT Master became a runaway--or shall we say, flyaway--hit, owing largely to its honest aviation pedigree. 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. They approached Rolex, and in short order the Rolex GMT (as in Greenwich Mean Time) Master was born, its name a bold declaration of what Rolex intended the watch to be: a master of two timezones.
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 released from 1954 and 1960, to be replaced by the standard of vintage Rolex GMTs, the Reference 1675.
The Reference 1675 is when the GMT Master took on the appearance that it would carry for the rest of its run. Here now are the crown guards, and the 24-hour bezel is painted, rather than the easily-chipped Bakelite. Another new modification is the inclusion of the words "Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified" on the dial, indicating the high accuracy of the new movement, the Caliber 1565.
1983 saw the introduction of a new model of GMT, the GMT Master II, with the Reference 16760. The Reference 16760 featured a thicker case and a new caliber, the quick-set Caliber 3085, which allowed the 24-hour hand to be adjusted independently of the others. Six years later, the Reference 16700 would be released, with a different caliber (the 3175), which did not allow for independent adjusting of the 24-hour hand.
Rolex followed the release of the Reference 16700 with the Reference 16710 in 1989. The Reference 16710 is more closely related to the Reference 16760, but with slimmer proportions and a Caliber 3185 movement. With Luminova indices and hands, the Reference 16710 departed from its Pepsi-bezeled forefathers in that it was also offered with a blue and black or an all-black bezel, featured here.
The Reference 16710 is a perfect embodiment of Rolex's design ethos: to refine, rather than innovate, standard designs that have stood the test of time. While it may resemble its cousin, the Explorer II, the bezel is what makes it a GMT. Its color sets it apart from ordinary GMTs, making it a sophisticated yet sporty alternative to its well-beloved Pepsi variants.
Stainless steel case is approximately 40mm (excluding crown). Rolex Reference 16710LN. Rolex Caliber 3185GMT Automatic Movement. Circa 1998/1999.
Overall Condition: Stainless steel case is in very good condition with minimal signs of use and wear in keeping with its age. Bezel is in excellent condition with no signs of discoloration or wear. Dial is likewise in excellent condition with no signs of discoloration or hand drag. Rolex crown. Rolex case back is in very good condition with minimal signs of wear.
Includes one 20mm 78790A Oyster bracelet with flip lock clasp. Bracelet is in good condition with minimal signs of use and wear in keeping with its age. Also includes two 20mm nylon straps from Crown & Buckle