A watch that, to many, needs no introduction, Rolex’s GMT-Master has remained a keystone offering of the brand since it was first unveiled in 1954. So the story goes, as commercial flight roared into modern life in the early 1950s, Pan American World Airways demanded a dual-time zone wristwatch fitting the needs of their pilots. Pan Am brought their request, specifically, to Rene-Paul Jeanneret, Rolex’s public relations manager, and the rest was history.
From the first iteration, the reference 6542, and continuing on for over 65 years, the GMT has long stood out thanks to an honest tool watch backbone and differentiation of color compared to other Rolex offerings. Be it a vintage or modern application, the dual time-zone complication remains incredibly usable for the average wearer. The request from Pan Am really hit Rolex at a perfect time, the oyster case had grown to a flagship piece of design thanks to Submariner and Datejust development. In a vintage watch community where tropical hues and natural color fading command extreme premiums, the GMT’s many colors— Pepsi, root beer, Coke, burgundy, blueberry, or all-black— allow examples to stand out from the busy vintage sport Rolex crowd.
The reference 16753 and other 5 digit GMT Master models from the early to late 80s represent a transitional period for the GMT model. They represent a major step forward from the previous reference 1675 generation while still retaining many of the classic GMT elements. The innovations came in the form of a new case that delivers 100 meters of water resistance compared to 50 meters in the previous generation, and an entirely new movement, calibre 3075, that featured a quick set date and a modern beat rate of 28,800 VpH. What didn’t change was the use of an acrylic crystal, tritium lume and two time zone functionality which would all see upgrades in the future generations. The idea of the 16753 being a transitional model also applies to the way that Rolex and the public viewed these watches. Prior to this era, there had been a more clear distinction between Rolex luxury or dress models and their tool watches, but in the late 70s and early 80s Rolex began to position, and the public began to view their tool watches as luxury items in and of themselves. The introduction of two tone tool models such as this piece helped Rolex make that distinction and has led to all Rolex models being considered luxury items today.
This particular example was previously sold by HQ Milton.
The Case and Bracelet
Condition of the 40mm Oyster case is very good. The lugs appear to have been polished in the past exhibiting sharp attractive bevels and period-correct brushed finish. This example is fitted with an all-black bezel insert that has aged nicely and looks to be correct and original. The caseback shows little to no signs of improper removal marks or scratches. The 62523 two tone jubilee bracelet with 18 links and 450 end links is in excellent condition. The clasp is stamped with an H8 (1983) date code.
The Dial and Hands
The black nipple dial is in very good condition. The distinguishing feature is absolutely the unique gold and tritium hour markers. The lume has developed a nice patina and is consistent across the dial and hands. There are two small areas on the hour and second hand where some of the lume has broken off. Additionally of note is a slight rub between the hour hand and the dial which has caused some light hand drag on the surface of the dial.
The automatic Rolex caliber 3075 is running and keeps time at -12 seconds per day according to a recent timegrapher test with good amplitude. The service history is unknown.
|Movement||Automatic Rolex Caliber 3075|
|Case Material||Stainless Steel and Gold|
|Band Material||Stainless Steel and Gold|