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We fawn over a lot of watches here at analog/shift. After all, we truly love vintage watches, and everything we have in our inventory is something that we would happily own and wear ourselves. But due to unforseen complications in the real-world applications of alchemy, we are forced to make tough decisions about which pieces can actually stay in the personal collection in perpetuity.
While there are a vast array of watches that would be worthy of our love, there is one model that stands apart from the rest, and occupies not one, but THREE spots in our permanent collection. The Rolex GMT-Master Reference 1675 is easily one of our all time favorite watches, and we own one of each variation; steel, two-tone, and yes - solid 18K gold. In any configuration, the 1675 is a watch that fits our daily life perfectly, no matter where we are in the world.
With classic full-size Oyster case proportions that measures a few millimeters thinner than that of Submariner, the GMT wears excellently, sliding under the cuff of a shirt and jacket easily. Off duty, the GMT is the perfect side kick. Its iconic look oozes class and sophistication, whether a steel model with its iconic red and blue "Pepsi" bezel, the undeniably goofy-yet-classic two-tone configuration, or the king of all GMTs -the Reference 1675/8, finished in 18K Yellow Gold.
Which is of course what we have here.
This particular 1675/8 has a 3.6 million serial, dating it to around 1972 - the golden age of Rolex sports models (pun intended). Featuring a matte brown dial with so-called "Nipple" markers and a two-tone brown/gold bezel insert, this watch has been nicknamed the "Root Beer" by collectors and enthusiasts, and is easily one of the most unique and stunning models Rolex ever produced. In incredibly crisp condition inside and out, this is a truly rare find, and one we hope will find a good home on the wrist of an adoring fan. Because if it doesn't, we'll have to get creative and justify a fourth GMT in the personal collection...
Personal Note: The GMT-Master 1675 is without question my favorite vintage Rolex model. Originally introduced to the iconic model by my father, who was gifted one by my mother as a wedding present, I spent a long time convincing myself I didn't need to retain one for my personal collection - after all, I would get his at some point! In this effort I failed spectacularly, ultimately collecting one of each variant, a 1675/8 Root Beer being my most recent acquisition. As anyone who has seen me in the past year will attest, it rarely leaves my wrist - this watch is so brilliant in so many ways, and for someone who not all that long ago couldn't imagine wearing a solid gold Rolex, it has been a life altering experience as much as a watch can be. Which, for a watch guy, can be a significant thing indeed! Furthermore, solid gold GMTs represent an incredible value for precious-metal sports model Rolexes when compared to 1680/8 Submariners from the same era - a discrepancy I simply don't understand, but will happily benefit from! - James Lamdin
As the legend goes, Pan-Am approached Rolex in 1953 looking for a watch specially designed for their pilots, and a partnership was quickly formed. A Submariner became the base for this new watch, and several important modifications were made to turn a Sub into the GMT-Master that we know today. Rolex 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 the rotating bezel to make tracking a second time zone incredibly simple. When the bezel’s triangle is aligned to 12 o’clock, the red arrow hand points to the time on a 24-hour military scale, which in itself is valuable as a day/night indicator (at least if you’re a cave explorer). The usefulness of the complication really shines when the wearer rotates the bezel so that the numbers around the bezel correspond the a 2nd time zone (such as Greenwich Mean Time), allowing the watch to track any two time zones in the world at once.
Five decades later, the GMT-Master and its “Pepsi” bezel has become a true icon of the watch world. Instantly recognizable and eternally stylish, the watch represents vintage Rolex at its best.
18K Gold Oyster Case is approximately 39 mm (excluding crown). Rolex Reference 1675/8. Rolex Calibre 1570 Automatic movement. Circa 1972.
Overall Condition: The case is in excellent condition throughout, with crisp brushing and no noteworthy signs of wear. Original matte brown "Nipple" dial is in nearly flawless condition with luminous material bearing a gorgeous creamy patina. Original Handset matches dial evenly. Original case back and original signed crown.
Includes selection of handmade leather straps and 20mm nylon straps by Crown & Buckle.