|Year of production (circa)
Original box & papers
Rolex GMT-Master Ref. 16700 B+P
On offer here is an absolutely amazing example of a 16700 GMT Master II in the “Pepsi” guise.
The GMT Master is the ultimate globe-trotter’s watch. Originally designed for Pan-Am pilots, it features a bidirectional bezel to indicate a second-time zone and a fourth hand to indicate military (24 hours) time.
This allows you to display the local time, plus the time for a relative abroad and one for a business partner on the other side of the globe. And when you set off on new adventures, you will track home time and local time with the rotating bezel. Adittionally, the watch comes with box and papers.
The GMT Master is similar in appearance to the famous Submariner. Same Oyster case, a similar dial, and a rotatable bezel. It is the Pepsi color scheme that truly sets this model apart.
Availability: In stock
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The Rolex GMT Master was developed on request by Pan-Am airways in 1954. It was the age of air travel and for the first time in history, it became common practice to routinely cross timezones. Pan-Am requested a watch for its crews, that would allow for easy referencing of the time while doing so. Rolex obliged with an adapted Turn-o-graph Ref. 6202. It got a different bezel and a fourth 24-hour hand. It was labeled GMT Master Ref. 6542.
Rolex fitted the GMT Master with a bakelite bezel insert, displaying 24 hours. A, now iconic, color-scheme of blue for the night and red for the day was introduced. The Pepsi Rolex was born. Since bakelite was prone to breaking, an aluminum bezel insert was introduced in 1956.
The Ref. 6542 had a relatively short production period of five years, before being replaced by the fan-favorite Ref. 1675 in 1959. The updated model was equipped with crown-guards and a hacking movement. It is the archetypal Rolex GMT Master we all know and love. It has been produced in a variety of colors, in steel, gold and two-tone variants and with different bracelet options.
In 1981, the Ref 16750 was introduced, which came with a quickset date and a higher water resistance of 100 meters over the Ref. 1675’s 50 meters. It was accompanied by the Ref. 16760 in 1983, also known as the GMT Master II. For the first time, the fourth hand could be individually set, upping the number of trackable timezones from two to three. The two versions coexisted for about five years. The Ref. 16760 featured a sapphire crystal and a slightly thicker case, earning it the nicknames “Fat Lady” and “Sophia Loren”.
The late 80’s and 90’s saw a few more updates to both the GMT Master and the GMT Master II. In 2005, the ceramic GMT Master II (the six-digit references) was launched, putting us firmly into modern GMT territory.
The GMT Master is still a watch that exudes adventure. It is all about globetrotting in style. It is both rugged and elegant, a tool and a piece of jewelry. You can opt for that iconic blue & red look, or go for an almost-Submariner-like black version. And as with all Rolex, there are loads of rare and exotic versions to be found.
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