Rolex GMT Master 18K

Rolex GMT Master 18K

We fawn over a lot of watches here at analog/shift. After all, we truly love vintage watches, and everything we have in our inventory is something that we would happily own and wear ourselves. But due to unforseen complications in the real-world applications of alchemy, we are forced to make tough decisions about which pieces can actually stay in the personal collection in perpetuity.

While there are a vast array of watches that would be worthy of our love, there is one model that stands apart from the rest, and occupies not one, but THREE spots in our permanent collection.  The Rolex GMT-Master is easily one of our all time favorite watches, and we own one of each variation; steel, two-tone, and yes - solid 18K gold. In any configuration, the GMT Master is a watch that fits our daily life perfectly, no matter where we are in the world.  

With classic Sport Oyster case proportions that measures a few millimeters thinner than that of Submariner, the GMT wears excellently, sliding under the cuff of a shirt and jacket easily.  Off duty, the GMT is the perfect side kick.  Its iconic look oozes class and sophistication, whether a steel model with its iconic red and blue "Pepsi" bezel, the undeniably goofy-yet-classic two-tone configuration, or the king of all GMTs -the Reference 16758, finished in 18K Yellow Gold.

Which is of course what we have here.

This particular 16758 has a 7.3 million serial, dating it to around 1982. Featuring a glossy brown dial with so-called "Nipple" markers and a beautiful brown bezel insert, this configuration has been nicknamed the "Root Beer" by collectors and enthusiasts, and is easily one of the most unique and stunning models Rolex ever produced. The References 16750 (steel) and 16758 (18K) are often considered the final expression of the original Reference GMT models, featuring quickset date mechanisms, sapphire crystals, and high beat movements which give them enhanced accuracy over its predecessors. In beautiful condition inside and out, this is a fantastic find, and one we hope will find a good home on the wrist of an adoring fan.  


As the legend goes, Pan-Am approached Rolex in 1953 looking for a watch specially designed for their pilots, and a partnership was quickly formed. A Submariner became the base for this new watch, and several important modifications were made to turn a Sub into the GMT-Master that we know today. Rolex added a date function with a cyclops lens magnifier, GMT complication, and two-colored bezel to provide long-haul pilots with the info they needed as they circumnavigated the globe.

The GMT-Master’s 24-hour hand works in conjunction with the rotating bezel to make tracking a second time zone incredibly simple. When the bezel’s triangle is aligned to 12 o’clock, the red arrow hand points to the time on a 24-hour military scale, which in itself is valuable as a day/night indicator (at least if you’re a cave explorer). The usefulness of the complication really shines when the wearer rotates the bezel so that the numbers around the bezel correspond the a 2nd time zone (such as Greenwich Mean Time), allowing the watch to track any two time zones in the world at once.

Five decades later, the GMT-Master and its “Pepsi” bezel has become a true icon of the watch world. Instantly recognizable and eternally stylish, the watch represents vintage Rolex at its best.


18K Gold Oyster Case is approximately 39 mm (excluding crown). Rolex Reference 16758. Rolex Calibre 3075 Hi-Beat automatic movement. Circa 1982.

Overall Condition: The case is in excellent condition throughout, professionally refinished with crisp brushing and extremely sharp lugs. Original gloss brown "Nipple" dial is in good condition with light signs of wear and light even patination. Genuine hands have been professionally refinished and match dial coloration brilliantly. Very faint scratches on sapphire crystal. Original case back and original signed crown.

Includes brown Horween leather strap with gold tone buckle and two 20mm nylon straps by Crown & Buckle.

SKU: AS01326

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