A wonderful example of the iconic Rolex GMT Master Ref. 16750. This ref 16750 is in superb condition with attractively aged lume and sharp case. This particular piece is a later example of the reference with glossy dial, white gold indexes and inclusion of "Date" on the dial.
Produced for 8 years the GMT Master Ref 16750 is often known as a transitional reference. On the one hand it introduced the Rolex Caliber 3075 with a quick set feature, but on the other early models retained the matt dial and lack of white gold surrounds on the hour markers of previous models.
An important watch in the history of the GMT Master line this stunning example will make for a welcome addition to any collection.
The Rolex GMT Master started as so many Rolex models did, as a solution to a problem. With transcontinental flights taking off in the 1950’s, pilots needed a watch that could display multiple time-zones at the same time. At the request of Pan-Am airlines Rolex would go on to produce just such a watch; the Rolex GMT Master.
The GMT Master added an extra GMT (Greenwich Meridian Time) hand that pointed to 24 hour markings on the bezel. This extra hand enabled the wearer to set the watch to GMT (or any other timezone) as the main time, then rotate the 24 hour bezel to set the second time zone.
The first GMT Master was the reference 6542, launched in 1954. It featured a luminous bakerlite bezel insert that whilst providing good luminosity suffered from cracking easily. Two years later this was resolved by replacing the bakerlite bezels with aluminium ones.
In 1959 the reference 6542 was replaced by ref.1675 featuring crown guards around the winding crown and the “Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified” designation to the dial. The production run of the reference 1675 lasted upto 1980. During its run the 1675 featured two movements, the calibre 1565 (paired with gloss dials) which featured until 1964 followed by the calibre 1575 (with corresponding matte dials) until 1980. A number of other changes took place during the life of the ref. 1675 including the move to a larger GMT hand in the late 1960’s as well as the offering of different bezels, bracelets and case materials.
1981 sees a light update with the introduction of the reference 16750 powered by the new calibre 3075 with quick-set date. The reference 16750 was only in production until 1988 until it was replaced by the reference 16760, aka “The Fat Lady” (or Sophie Loren).
The Fat Lady was powered by the calibre 3085 and featured a thicker case, crown guards and a sapphire crystal as well as the first reference to feature white gold index outlines. The 16760 was only offered with a “Coke” bezel (i.e. red and black). Production was short ending in 1989 with the introduction of the reference 16700.