Rolex GMT Master

Rolex GMT Master

We can’t deny it: there’s something to be said about the unique looks and timeless appeal of the Rolex GMT Master Reference 16753.

What it is we can’t quite put into words. We’ve had a handful of these during our time in the vintage watch world, and each one elicits an exclamation of awe. If we had to distill it into a few words, though, they would be: damn, the dial!

One thing you have to say about Rolex is that it’s consistent. Each product that has come out of its is dependable, reliable, and carries with it the quality that we’ve come to expect from the Crown. This carries over into the looks of the watches as well, resulting in a kind of uniformity—a universal sameness that, while certainly being a winning formula, could make collectors wish for some… color.

That’s where the “Root Beer” Reference 16753 GMT comes in.

For decades, the GMT Master was only made in stainless steel or 18k yellow gold—not both. That all changed when the Reference 16753 came out in the 1980s. The combination of the two metals is visually arresting, making the watch appear to vibrate to a 1980s synth-pop beat, a beat that somehow feels apropos today.

But some versions of 16753 were fitted with a dial that inspired some… well, inspired… nicknames.

We mean the variant known as “root beer,” “tiger eye,” “nipple dial,” and “Clint Eastwood” (after its most famous aficionado). Instead of a black dial that the GMT has had since the very beginning, this particular reference of GMT boasts a brown sunburst dial that is absolutely stunning. Capping it all off are hour indices with distinctive raised markers in the center.

Clint Eastwood simply loved his and wore it in a string of films starting with the 1982 classic Firefox, in which he played (what else?) a pilot.

Ours dates from 1985 and comes complete with its 78363/480 Oyster bracelet. A recent trip to the spa, complete with careful ultrasonic cleaning, really brings out the luster of the steel and gold Oyster case. So channel your inner Eastwood and take to the skies (or whatever mode of transport suits you) knowing that this tiger’s eye is sure to capture attention wherever you go.


SKU: AS02553

Stainless steel and gold Oyster case is approximately 39mm (excluding crown). Reference 16753. Circa 1985.

Overall Condition: Case is in very good condition overall, with some signs of use and wear in keeping with age. Case has been ultrasonically cleaned. Bezel is in very good condition with crisp printing. Brown sunburst 'nipple' dial is in very good condition with patina to the luminescent elements of the hour markers and hands. Rolex crown. Case back has some signs of wear but is in otherwise very good condition.

Includes one 20mm 78363/480 Rolex Braclet with signed clasp.

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