Rolex GMT Master

Rolex GMT Master

When you think of the Rolex GMT Master, particularly the Reference 1675, what do you see flickering across your eyelids when you close your eyes? Do you see it strapped to the wrist of a pilot in a Pan Am uniform? Or do you see it on the wrist of an astronaut as he explores the pockmarked surface of a crater on the Moon’s surface?

If you did, you’re seeing actual instances in the model’s long history, stepping stones in its journey to become one of the most iconic watches ever made by Rolex.

But did the watch that you saw in your mind’s eye look like this one?

Chances are, it probably didn’t, but that’s okay—that’s what we’re here for.

The notion of gold on a sports watch—any sports watch—is a new thing, relatively speaking. It wasn’t until Audemars Piguet released its Royal Oak in the 1970s that the idea of a “luxury sports watch” even existed. The pilots and astronauts who relied on the GMT Master as a reliable, crucial, even life-saving tool might have scoffed at the notion of gold on their watches.

And yet Rolex has been putting gold on their sports watches since the 1930s, in a combination they dubbed Rolesor. Starting in the 1960s, they applied the same treatment to the GMT Master, too. Even the Submariner, that stalwart sports watch, was made with flashes of gold on its sturdy Oyster case.

This particular GMT is a Reference 1675/3, the sister reference of the Reference 1675 worn by astronauts like Jack Swigert of Apollo 13 and Edgar Mitchell of Apollo 14. However, instead of the black dial found on most GMTs, the Reference 1675/3 has a brown dial with the depth and luster of a tiger’s eye.

The hour markers are different, too, with raised protuberances in the center that have given rise to the nickname “nipple dial” due to their resemblance to… well, you know.

The gold is carried through to the crown and to the center links of the Reference 7876 Oyster bracelet (here dating from 1971), giving the watch a wow factor that not many other watches made by Rolex can offer.

Even Jack Swigert wore one when he posed for his official NASA portrait taken one month after returning to Earth after the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission.

If that isn’t a ringing endorsement, we don’t know what is.


SKU: AS02328

Stainless steel and gold Oyster case is approximately 39.5mm (excluding crown). Reference 1675/3. Circa 1970.

Overall Condition: Case is in very strong condition with signs of moderate wear. Bezel shows heavy fading consistent with age. Dial is in very good condition, showing signs of past professional refinishing to hour plots and hands. Rolex crown.

Includes one 20mm 7836 Oyster bracelet with 2/71 date stamp.

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