Rolex GMT-Master II 16760 'Fat-Lady, Non-Date'
You may have heard of the monikers ‘Fat Lady’ or ‘Sophia Loren’.
Rolex GMT-MasterFasten 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.
You may have heard of the monikers ‘Fat Lady’ or ‘Sophia Loren’. They refer to the same thing: the very first GMT-Master II that was characterized by a thicker and curvier case, more substantial crownguards, and a wider bezel with a new black and red colorway. As the GMT was nearing its thirtieth birthday, Rolex decided it was time to give it a major upgrade. The most significant change was the introduction of an all new movement with a quickset GMT function. As a result, the new GMT-Master II was capable of tracking three time zones simultaneously instead of the original dual-timezone function. As the complexity of the movement increased, so did the size and movement, which, in turn, necessitated a larger case. The GMT-Master II is thicker than its predecessor but also sports a wider bezel and more substantial crownguards. These visual characteristics quickly earned the ref. 16760 the moniker ‘Fat Lady’ (after the traditionally buxom opera sopranos) or the more appropriate nickname ‘Sophia Loren’ (after the famous curvy Italian actress).Another important change that was introduced with the ref. 16760 was an all new black and red bezel inlay, lovingly referred to by collectors as the ‘Coke’ bezel after the soda manufacturer’s iconic corporate colors. The earliest 16760s, like this one, come with a ‘misprint’ bezel inlay that features a thicker font than usual that are highly sought after by collectors due to their rarity.The ref. 16760 was also the first GMT-Master to use a sturdy and scratch resistant sapphire crystal. Underneath the crystal, the 16760 features a glossy black dial with 18k white gold applied hour markers—another change compared to the earlier matte dials with painted markers. The dial on this piece has patinated to a beautiful tropical brown color with even speckles and features lovely orange tritium lume-filled markers and hands. Another important detail is that the dial is an all-original ‘non-date dial’. No, that doesn’t mean that the watch doesn’t have a date function but rather that the upper half of the dial reads “Oyster Perpetual” instead of the traditional “Oyster Perpetual Date”.This beauty was produced in 1984, just a year after the introduction of the ref. 16760. It runs on the caliber 3085 automatic movement with the convenient option to independently adjust the 12-hour hand in one-hour increments in addition to a quickset date function. The watch is in great condition with a thick case, tight Oyster bracelet, and an all-original bezel with moderate wear.
Rolex GMT-MasterFasten 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!