Rolex GMT Master

Rolex GMT Master

Why We Love It

Some Rolexes have become bigger even than themselves, more myth and story than actual watch. Without a doubt, early 'Big Crown' Submariners and other Mil-spec pieces get attention for more than the crown they wear.  Submariners too, with their connection to Cousteau and the rise of SCUBA, are greater than the sum of their parts.  

Reference 1675 GMT-Masters are surprisingly often overlooked by enthusiasts who are on the hunt for something special, something that will set them apart.  But inside collectors' circles, the GMT-Master has a lore all its own and should be on everyone's must-have list. 

And with its history, the “Pepsi” bezel GMT-Master is one of those rare cases when the watch is truly deserving the moniker icon

But finding great examples is tricky. Too many get polished or over-restored. Still more have been mucked with, becoming composites of various after-market parts. That's why this example is so exciting. 

With a strong steel case, a 'Long E' Mark I dial, original date wheel and a beautifully-aged red-back insert, this GMT is stunning example of one of our favorite Rolex sport models. And, coming on a later 62510H Jubilee bracelet with 555B endlinks, this icon is ready for some serious wrist time. 

The Story

The advent of transcontinental and transatlantic jet travel made it possible for a person to sip an espresso in a cafe in Rome in the morning and still make an 8:00PM reservation in New York City that same evening. But despite this revolutionary development, it was merely the result of old technologies being adapted to suit the unprecedented proliferation and relative ease of global travel.

After all, the Trans-Siberian Railway had been ferrying passengers across eight timezones since 1916. To meet the demands prompted by the establishment of railway time in the 1860s, watch manufacturers such as Hamilton and Elgin developed railroad pocket chronometers that had a third hand to indicate an additional timezone. But since a journey from Moscow to Vladivostok on the Rossiya could take six days—roughly the same as a transatlantic crossing on the Queen Mary—passengers could merely set their watches to the local time upon arrival, thus rendering the GMT or world time pocket watches expensive and whimsical.

However, the sheer immediacy of jet travel—and the frequency at which these transatlantic and transcontinental flights occurred— made it necessary for travelers, and more importantly pilots, to have a type of wristwatch that could display two timezones at once.

It was Pan American Airlines that approached Rolex with that conundrum, and Rolex came up with the solution--the GMT Master. The pilots of Pan Am adopted the GMT Master as the official wristwatch, and the airline even commissioned a white dial for its ground crew. Other airlines soon followed, making the GMT Master synonymous with aviation. According to Skeet & Uhrl's Vintage Rolex Sports Models, a Rolex advertisement from 1960 stated that the GMT Master was the preferred timepiece of "twenty out of twenty-one aircraft navigators."

In 1960 Rolex released a new reference of GMT Master, the Reference 1675. The 1675 featured crown guards and was powered by the Caliber 1565 movement, and later, the Caliber 1575. Still the preferred favorite of pilots, the GMT Master also attracted the attention and appreciation of astronauts.


SKU: AS02761

Stainless steel Oyster case is approximately 39mm (excluding crown). Rolex Reference 1675. Rolex Automatic GMT Movement. Circa 1970.

Overall Condition: The watch is in excellent condition over all, with light signs of wear consistent with age. Steel Oyster case is in excellent condition despite evidence of light polishing. Mark I 'Long E' Dial is in excellent condition with an even patina to Tritium hour plots. Rolex date wheel with open 6s and 9s. Rolex luminous Mercedes hands. Rolex screw case back shows signs of polishing; Rolex crown.

Includes one 20mm 62510H Jubilee bracelet with 555B endlinks.

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