Rolex GMT Master

Rolex GMT Master

Throughout history watches have been viewed as reliable, crucial, and even life-saving tools by the people who wore them. Soldiers, pilots, and race car drivers never went “over the top,” jumped into the cockpit, or slipped behind the steering wheel without a watch strapped to their wrists. It wasn’t until thirty years ago that people began to view them as luxury items to be collected, rather than tools to be used and discarded.

It’s in watches made by Rolex that one can most keenly see that transition take place—particularly in sports models like the GMT Master.

The GMT’s storied connection to Pan Am Airlines is ranked as one of the most iconic of horological origin stories. While the airline’s passengers were members of the Jet Set—that elite subset of society who could afford to breakfast in Rome and sup in New York in the same day—the pilots who got them from place-to-place were decidedly not. Each pilot hired by Pan Am had to be able to navigate using dead reckoning and celestial navigation; additionally, in the airline’s early days, a pilot who found himself stranded without a mechanic would often be called upon to repair the airplane himself.

That kind of rough-and-ready pilot deserved a watch that was as rugged as he was, and from the GMT Master’s debut it was that kind of watch.

But as the GMT Master’s appeal transcended the limited circle of pilots for whom it was made, Rolex made some changes to its distinctive appearance.

Starting in the 1960s, Rolex made GMT Masters with flashes of gold on the sturdy Oyster case—on the crown, the bezel, on the dial itself.

The watch that we offer here is a Reference 16753, the sister reference of the Reference 1675 worn by astronauts such as Jack Swigert and Edgar Mitchell (the sixth person to walk on the Moon).

However, unlike the 1675, the bezel of this Reference 16753 is black and gold rather than the red-and-blue “Pepsi” configuration most associated with the model. The black dial is glossy, rather than matte, with white gold surrounds to the hour plots. And the Jubilee bracelet (here with a F11 date code) has gold center links.

The touches of gold on this Reference 16753 from the 1980s elevate it to a sphere of casual luxury that won't make it look out-of-place when worn with a suit. Sophisticated yet sporty, it’s the perfect compromise between casual and formal, at home on the bracelet or on a nylon strap. With gold hardware, naturally.  


SKU: AS02337

Stainless steel and gold Oyster case is approximately 40mm (excluding crown). Reference 1675/3. Circa 1980.

Overall Condition: Case is in very good condition overall with some signs of use and wear. Gloss dial is in excellent condition with crisp printing. Rolex crown.

Includes one 20mm two-tone steel and gold Rolesor Jubilee bracelet with F11 date code.

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