Rolex GMT Master

Rolex GMT Master

After the glitz and glam of the 1970s, when Vogue boldly declared, “There are no rules in the fashion game now,” the 1980s was like a breath of pastel-colored air.

And with the publication of The Official Preppy Handbook in 1980, one could say that the decade was the heyday of Prep. Although meant to be tongue-in-cheek, the book’s guidelines on how to cultivate a preppy lifestyle wielded great influence, particularly in the era of fashion.

In essence, preppy style was a reaction to the ripped jeans and leather jackets espoused by punk rockers like the Ramones and the Sex Pistols. Oxford shirts, double-breasted jackets, and brogues took the place of Schott Perfectos, t-shirts and Chuck Taylors. In professional wear, the silhouettes and blazers with broad shoulders and tapered waists hearkened back to the styles of the 1950s and 1960s.

And in the realm of watches, although this was the decade of the Swatch, classics like the Cartier Tank, as well as watches by Rolex, became status symbols.

Rolex, in particular, was undergoing a transition as well. The Quartz Crisis shook the industry to its core, and watch companies scrambled to meet changing tastes. Far from faltering, it was in this decade that Rolex became the luxury juggernaut that it is today.

Sports watches like the Submariner and GMT took on hints of gold to reflect their more rarefied status, from subtle touches like the gold surrounds on the hour markers (on some models) to the more overt, as on the Reference 16753 GMT seen here.

Dating from 1986, this GMT is an excellent example of what we mean by this. Although it maintains the sporting spirit of the previous versions, such as the Reference 1675 that contemporary collectors so love, the addition of gold—as well as a glossy dial—made it the perfect choice for the Preps of the 1980s. After all, nothing says success like a watch that tells two timezones at the same time.

Like the clean and classic preppy style, which is enjoying a bit of a resurgence in recent years, this GMT still resonates with the collector of today and will never go out of fashion, at least not for very long. 


SKU: AS02524

Stainless steel Oyster case is approximately 39mm (excluding crown). Reference 16753. Circa 1986.

Overall Condition: Case is in very good condition overall with signs of moderate use and wear. Bezel is in very good condition with crisp printing. Glossy black Maxi dial is in very good condition with patina to the Tritium luminescent material of the hour plots and hands. Rolex crown. Case back shows some signs of use and wear but is in otherwise very good condition.

Includes one 20mm 62523H/450 D-Link Jubilee bracelet.

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