Rolex GMT-Master 'Pepsi' Transitional

Rolex GMT-Master 'Pepsi' Transitional

Why We Love It

The Reference 16750 GMT-Master is what’s known as a ‘transitional’ model by Rolex collectors today. Early versions boasted a matte dial, like the Reference 1675. However, after a few years Rolex transitioned to a glossy dial with white gold surrounds on the hour markers. This was the same type of dial that was carried over into the modern GMT-Master II references. 

Savvy collectors gravitated to the Reference 16750 because it is virtually identical to the classic 1675 on the outside, but features a more modern and improved movement on the inside. In an effort to keep up with the competition, Rolex introduced new movements in the late 1970s with higher beat rates and quick-set dates. With the upgraded Caliber 3075 movement, the 16750 had an increased beat rate of 28,800 vibrations per hour (now the modern standard), and the quick-set date was a welcome convenience for owners. It’s not hard to understand why the 16750 GMT-Master is viewed as THE reference to own by many knowledgeable collectors.

And if the technological advancements aren't enough of a draw - just look at that dial! Perfectly aged tritium indices are framed by the iconic, lightly faded red back Pepsi insert. 

The GMT-Master Story

The years following the end of The Second World War saw the world become a much, much smaller place.

Advances in aviation technology led to the world’s first nonstop Transatlantic passenger flights between Europe and North America, and the era of the jetsetter began. Along with this new age of travel arose a need for travelers, and more importantly pilots, to have a wristwatch that could display two time zones at once.

As a pioneer of transatlantic and transcontinental flight, Pan American Airlines approached Rolex in 1953 looking for a watch specially designed for their pilots, and Rolex agreed to take on the project. The newly designed Submariner became the base for this new watch, and several important complications were added. A date function with a cyclops lens magnifier, GMT complication, and two-colored bezel to provide long-haul pilots with the info they needed as they circumnavigated the globe.

The GMT-Master’s 24-hour hand works in conjunction with a rotating bezel to make tracking a second time zone incredibly simple. When the wearer rotates the bezel so that the numbers around the bezel correspond to a second time zone (such as Greenwich Mean Time, the inspiration for the model’s nomenclature), it allows the watch to track any two time zones in the world at once.

Not long after the debut of the GMT-Master at the Basel World Fair in 1954, Pan-Am adopted the GMT Master as its official wristwatch. Decades later, the GMT-Master and its “Pepsi” bezel has become a true icon of the watch world. It is instantly recognizable and eternally stylish – the very best of what Rolex has to offer.


SKU: AS03745

Stainless steel Oyster case is approximately 39mm (excluding the crown). Rolex automatic winding movement. Reference 16750. Circa 1984.

Overall Condition: The case is in excellent condition having been professionally refinished. Luminous glossy black dial is excellent condition with richly patinated applied white gold tritium indices and professionally color matched handset. Signed crown.

Includes solid link stainless steel Oyster bracelet with signed clasp (78360/580).

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