Rolex GMT-Master
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Rolex GMT-Master

We recently caught up with an old friend that we hadn’t seen since the days before analog/shift over some nice single malts. Naturally, the conversation turned towards watches, and our non-watch-guy friend posed us a question: “What’s the perfect one watch for someone like me?”

We polished off the dram of Laphroig, ordered another round, and started to think. Our friend’s an active guy, plays a little baseball on the weekends, wrenches his vintage Porsche, frequently travels around the world for work and pleasure. Dress watches were out. Nothing delicate, gold, or fussy would do. It had to be a sports watch, but nothing too big or chunky, and since it was to be his only watch, it had to go as well with a suit as with jeans.

As the list of requirements became clear over the next round, we presented our friend with some options. The chronographs were nixed, as were the strap-only watches. We wound our way to the Submariner, and while it was a popular choice among our friend’s colleagues, he was never one to follow the crowd. In ever other way the Rolex met his demanding list of requirements, so we finally arrived at the perfect conclusions: the GMT Master.

Persuaded by its perfect “Goldilocks” case size, decades of proven quality, timeless looks, ease of switching between a bracelet and strap and splash of color, the GMT hit all the right notes. A few weeks after meeting for drinks, our friend was back in New York and a second rendezvous was arranged at an old favorite watering hole, but this time the purpose wasn’t just to reminisce. We presented our friend with a beautiful reference 1675, and we’ll surely see it on his wrist every time that we have the chance up, hopefully along with some nice Scotch.

History

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.

Details

Steel Oyster Case is approximately 40mm (excluding the crown). Rolex Reference 1675. Circa 1977.

Overall Condition: Case is in excellent condition over all, showing light signs of wear consistent with age and use and not over-polished.  Original matte dial shows light even patina. Original handset with matching patina. Original black bezel has faded to a beautiful deep gray.  Original case back and signed crown.

Includes brown leather strap and two 20mm nylon straps by Crown & Buckle.

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