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Why We Love It
The Rolex Reference 16700 is the last iteration of the original GMT-Master line.
A so-called 'five digit' model, the 16700 used the classic 39mm proportions with its Oyster case, and were fitted with glossy black dials featuring raised luminous indices with white gold surrounds. Early models utilized Tritium luminous material, while later examples moved to Luminova, which offer much longer lasting glow.
This particular example features a rare and often under-appreciated 'Swiss Only' signed dial. Produced for only about a year, these dials have historically been overlooked, with many collectors focusing on their Tritium-dialed predecessors. Of course, short-lived dial variations are the name of the game when it comes to collectibility, and these 'Swiss Only' models represent a tremendous potential for future value.
In excellent condition throughout, featuring a strong case with intact factory sticker, lightly faded 'Pepsi' bezel insert, and complete with its inner and outer boxes, serialized hangtag, and papers from a Hong Kong retailer dated 1999, this example is the perfect Neo-Vintage GMT for daily wear and investment alike.
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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.
Stainless steel Oyster case is approximately 39mm (excluding the crown). Automatic-winding movement by Rolex. Rolex Reference 16700. Circa 1999.
Overall Condition: The case is in fantastic condition overall showing light wear consistent with age and use. Factory case back sticker remains intact. Luminous gloss black dial is in excellent condition with matching handset. Lightly faded 'Pepsi' bezel insert. Signed crown.
Includes stainless steel solid-link Oyster Bracelet (78790/501B) with signed Flip-Lock clasp. Also includes inner an outer boxes, serialized hangtag, and papers dated 15 June 1999 from Oriental Watch Company Ltd. in Hong Kong.
Analog/Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
We back each Analog/Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states. We are happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options