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Two-time zone legend

Rolex GMT-Master

Being an absolute icon: the Rolex GMT-Master is made with displaying two different time zones to pilots and globetrotters for more than 60 years already. It was first released back in 1955 and was meant for pilots for the Pan Am Airways to let the pilots view two different time zones at the same time. The Rolex GMT-Master is still amongst us, but nowadays called the GMT-Master II in different colorways. The Rolex GMT-Master was pretty popular in movies: James Bond wore a 1964 GMT-Master but also Magnum, P.I. with a blue and red Pepsi-bezel.

It all began in 1955

The history of the Rolex GMT-Master

The history of the Rolex GMT-Master goes back to 1955 when the Pan American World Airways asked the Genevan watch maker to produce a simple timepiece that would enable their pilots to track the time back home but also on their next destination. Rolex produced the GMT-Master for 44 years with just slight adjustments to the original design from 1955. The GMT-Master comes with a bidirectional 24-hour bezel and a second hour hand which makes a full rotation every day. Just like other models from Rolex, like the Datejust, Daytona or Submariner, the four-digit reference numbers are the rarest. 

For the Rolex GMT-Master it started with the 6542, and Rolex only produced this piece from 1955 until 1959. It was featured a Bakelite bezel. This reference number is priced around €80.000 to €120.000 nowadays. The later models like the 1675 are highly sought-after by collectors making it a very cool investment since the value increased to over €25.000. The last ever GMT-Master was the reference 16700 and the 16710 which are the most affordable GMT-Masters around.

Exotic Masters

GMT-Master Rootbeer & Nipple Dial

The stainless-steel model from Rolex for the GMT-Master was the most popular back in the days. Rolex also produced some exotic models in white or yellow gold and in a two-tone design featuring stainless-steel and yellow gold. The reference 16753 is a two-tone GMT-Master with a gold bezel and a brown aluminum inlay. Gold was also used on the indices and due to its color scheme, it was called the original ‘Root Beer’. This retro GMT-Master comes with a two-tone Jubilee-bracelet which was already produced for models like the Rolex Datejust.

Another exotic model produced by Rolex was the ‘Nipple Dial’ GMT-Master. It has smaller gold indices that protrude more than other models. The bracelet and case are made of yellow gold with an aluminum bezel inlay which is black and feature golden hour markers. It’s an absolute stunner from the 80’s and will cost you around €24.000 pre-owned or vintage.

Updating the inside

Calibers on the GMT-Master

During the years, Rolex didn’t change that much on the exterior of the GMT-Master. But on the inside, they’ve changed a lot of calibers for its power. The first years of the GMT-Master, Rolex used the 1565 caliber. 

From 1979 to 1988 the 3075 caliber was fitted to the GMT-Master, making it water-resistant to 10 bar instead of 5 bar. The slightly modified caliber 3175 was found in the newer models from Rolex.

Evolved since 1982

The GMT-Master II

Nowadays we all know the Rolex GMT-Master II. It was produced in the early 80s with sapphire crystal and a red and black bezel (the Rolex GMT-Master II Coke or Pepsi). It came with an all-new caliber: 3085 making it easier to set the local time. 

In 2007 Rolex updated the GMT-Master II with a black ceramic bezel and a weightier Oyster case, but it still looks the same as the original GMT-Master from 1955. 

Prices for the Rolex GMT-Master

Just like all the other models, the vintage four-digit reference numbers from Rolex are popular amongst collectors and enthusiasts. These four-digit references like the GMT-Master 6542 will cost you around €50.000 for a vintage and pre-owned one with the Bakelite Pepsi bezel and 1030 caliber.

Whilst the 1675 used to be cheap, it will cost you around €35.000 on Wristler now, since its highly sought-after. The newer models like the 16700 or the 16710 are a bit cheaper and more affordable: you can spend between €12.000 and €19.000 for a well-maintained GMT-Master.

  • 100% Authentic watches
  • Safe delivery or pick-up
  • Warranty & easy returns