Released in 1954, the Rolex GMT-Master resulted from a collaboration between now-extinct airline Pan Am and Rolex on a watch that would display the time across two time zones at once. Thanks to the popularisation of commercial air travel, planes were becoming more advanced and traveling longer distances. This resulted in pilots crossing time zones during flights more frequently, and thus a need for uniformity across the aviation industry was highlighted. To eliminate errors caused by time confusion, the industry adopted a standard time-zone, Greenwich Mean Time. As such, the GMT-Master's fourth hand, its 2nd hour hand, was used to constantly display Greenwich Mean Time, as its model name implies, while its regular hour hand displayed local time. While the aviation industry's standard time-zone switched to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) in 1972, the name of the legendary GMT-Master was far too long in use for Rolex to change it. Today, the GMT-Master has become one of Rolex's most iconic models, with very few pilot's watches, if any, rivaling its level of fame, popularity, or signature design – and it certainly looks like it will stay that way.
Derived from the ref. 1675 which replaced the ref. 6542 in 1959, the Rolex GMT Master ref. 16750 was released in 1980 and continued where its predecessor left off. Featuring the crown guards and "Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified" inscription that the ref. 1675 introduced to the collection, the new ref. 16750 also introduced the cal. 3075 movement to the collection which featured the not-yet-seen quickset feature, and 100m water resistance - double the previous models, and still the collection's standard to this day. Exiting production around 1988, the ref. 16750 is one of the rarer GMT variants, with some enjoying over 20 years of production. Combined with its short 7-year production run and given that it is the very last of the acrylic crystal GMT-Master references, the ref. 16750 is a highly sought-after timepiece with an iconic heritage and some of watchmaking's modern superstar timepieces existing as its descendants.
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Original Double Boxes and Booklets (No Guarantee)
Est. value range
$15,000 – $20,000
The watch is in 'like new' condition overall. Dial appears to be untouched, and has rich matching patina on the markers and hands. Hands have oxidized as shown, and there are minor scratches on the original acrylic crystal. Case and bracelet are mint with no signs of use, save for some scratches around the lug holes due to improper removal of the bracelet. Watch retains the full original caseback sticker from Rolex Japan. Bracelet is sized to fit a 7.5" wrist but can be adjusted. There are 13 links in total.
A time capsule similar to the Sea-Dweller 1665 we sold at launch, this example is as close to new as you can get for a watch that is nearly 40 years old. Designed to be worn hard and worn often, this is a unique opportunity to acquire a truly remarkable matte dial 16750.