Rolex GMT-Master 16713 'Sultan, Ruby Serti'Sold
Rolex GMT-Master 16713 'Sultan, Ruby Serti'
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From a purists’ point of view the combination of a toolwatch with gem-setting is an odd pairing. Yet, the extra touch of luxury feels oh so right on this jet-setting pilot’s watch.
This two-tone ref. 16713 from 1990 is executed in a svelte stainless steel Oyster case and comes on a stainless steel Oyster bracelet with polished 18K yellow-gold center links. The 18K yellow gold rotating bezel features a black anodized aluminium inlay with charming yellow Arabic numerals.
The classic champagne-colored dial features beautiful round diamond-set hour markers interspersed with baguette-cut sapphire markers on the 6 and 9 positions as well as a triangular sapphire at 12. This configuration is sometimes known as a ‘Sultan dial’, although the term ‘Serti dial’ is more commonly used by Rolex as well as collectors. Serti derives from the French sertissage, meaning gem-setting. So, technically, all Rolex watches with gem-set dials feature sertissage. However, among collectors, Serti refers specifically to Submariners, GMTs, and Yachtmasters with factory-set diamond, ruby, and sapphire indices.
While the eye is immediately drawn to the gem-setting, there is another important detail to be found on this dial. As Rolex shifted from using the radioactive tritium luminous compound to the safer (non-radioactive) Luminova compound, it briefly marked these new dials with “SWISS” at the six o’clock position. After one to two years a new mark (“SWISS MADE”) was introduced. As a result, these ‘Swiss only’ dials are quite uncommon and therefore collectible as well.
This 16713 GMT-Master II runs on the upgraded caliber 3185 automatic movement with the convenient option to separately adjust the 24-hour GMT hand in addition to a quickset date function. The watch is in excellent condition with a thick case, sharp lines, tight bracelet, and near mint bezel inlay.
Fasten your seatbelts for the story of the inimitable Rolex GMT-Master! As civil aviation took off after World War II, airlines began to fly over longer distances. As a result, pilots required accurate watches that could display multiple time zones simultaneously. In the early 1950s, Pan American Airways (Pan-Am) requested Rolex to develop a watch for this very purpose. The GMT-Master (‘GMT’ standing for ‘Greenwich Mean Time’) was introduced in 1954. It featured a 24-hour hand alongside the regular 12-hour hand. In combination with a bidirectional 24-hour bezel, this GMT hand could be used to read the home time zone while the 12-hour hand displayed the ‘local’ time. Despite its close links to aviation and its professional purpose, the Rolex GMT enjoys a fanbase far beyond the pilots it was originally intended for. Over the years Rolex has introduced many wonderful variations of the GMT: take your pick!