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Recently rated as the world's most reputable company, the name "Rolex" speaks of aspiration and arrival: in the world of vintage watches, collectors aspire to own a Rolex, and when they finally do, they've arrived. With its roots in the jet-setting 1950s and 1960s, when the emergence of jet travel made the world seem so much smaller, owning a Rolex GMT Master (a watch that was literally designed for the Jet Set) was a way to broadcast your success. Even today, the Reference 1675 (introduced in 1960) remains, in collectors' minds, as the quintessence of the model, owned by astronauts and our company's founder alike.
But the 1675 was only produced from 1960 to 1980. A long time, to be sure, but the desirability of matte dial examples from the 1960s and 1970s has created a scarcity of them on the market. Meanwhile, at 30 to 37 years of age, examples of the Reference that Rolex produced to succeed the 1675 (the Reference 16750) are now becoming vintage.
The 16750 is what’s known as a transitional model by Rolex collectors today. Early versions boasted a matte dial, like the Reference 1675. However, after a few years Rolex transitioned to a glossy dial with white gold surrounds on the hour markers. This was the same type of dial that was carried over into the modern GMT-Master II references.
Savvy collectors gravitated to the Reference 16750 because it is virtually identical to the classic 1675 on the outside, but features a more modern and improved movement on the inside. In an effort to keep up with the competition, Rolex introduced new movements in the 1970s with higher beat rates and quick-set dates. With the upgraded Caliber 3075 movement, the 16750 had an increased beat rate of 28,800 vibrations per hour (now the modern standard), and the quick-set date was a welcome convenience for owners.
It’s not hard to understand why the 16750 GMT-Master is viewed as the Reference to own by many knowledgeable collectors. The example that we’ve sourced here features all the elements you'd want in a proper vintage Rolex sports model. The Oyster case (bedrock of Rolex sports models since the 1940s) is sharp, and the gloss dial is replete with the creamy tritium indices that give vintage Rolex sports models their character.
With a short production run (only eight years) and a cult following of its own, the Reference 16750 deserves to be considered as a classic in its own right, and not just as a more affordable alternative to the 1675.
Stainless steel Oyster case is approximately 39mm (excluding crown). Rolex Reference 16750. Rolex GMT Automatic Movement. Circa 1980s.
Overall Condition: Stainless steel case is in very good condition with sharp bevels on the lugs and no signs of over-polishing. Case does have minimal signs of wear and use in keeping with its age. Bezel insert does have some signs of wear and discoloration, particularly at 3 o'clock. Rolex Crown. Rolex case back has minor signs of use and wear in keeping with its age.
Includes one 20mm Rolex Oyster bracelet. Bracelet does have some signs of stretching but is in otherwise good condition. Also includes two 20mm nylon straps from Crown & Buckle
Analog/Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
We back each Analog/Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states. We are happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
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