Fasten your seatbelts for the story of the Rolex GMT-Master. Aviation company Pan-Am requested Rolex to create a wristwatch that would display multiple time-zones simultaneously, as their flights got longer; crossing multiple time-zones. Rolex came up with the GMT-Master (‘GMT’ stands for ‘Greenwich Mean Time’) in 1954. The watch features a date-function and an extra hour hand (with triangle) that points out the second time zone on the bi-directional turning, 24-hour bezel. Still linked to aviation and although meant for professional use, it enjoys a much wider fan base ever since it first saw light. Over the years it underwent some changes and there are so many wonderful variations of this all-time Rolex classic. Some GMT’s are great as a single purchase, others are a wonderful addition to any collection and some of them can be considered as the crowning glory.
Introduced in 1959 and with a very long production run of more than 20 years. First, it came with the ‘pointed crown guards’, which got replaced by regular rounded crown guards in 1964. The dial was adjusted a couple of times and went from glossy and gilt with a chapterring to a matte, radial dial in the end with many variations in between, like the rare ‘Exclamation Mark’, ‘Underline’ and ‘Double Swiss’. There was a change in the red GMT hand as well as it started with the small GMT-arrow and got replaced by a bigger one. The 1675 was mainly produced in steel, but was also available in 18k yellow gold or a combination of both materials. In the early ’70s it became the first professional watch from Rolex with – optional – a factory-fitted jubilee bracelet.