Rolex GMT-Master II

Weekly Watch Photo – Rolex GMT-Master II

Our Weekly Watch Photo is not only a perfectly good reason to show you beautiful photos of beautiful timepieces, it is also a perfect excuse to tell you more about a specific watch. A few weeks ago we focused on the Rolex GMT-Master, this week we’ll move on to the next in the model in line, being the Rolex GMT-Master II.

The Rolex GMT-Master ref. 1675 – Rolex’s watch that indicates a second timezone that was introduced in 19XX – was followed by two other references. In 1981 the ref. 1675 was followed by the new ref. 16750 adding a the hi-beat movement caliber 3075 with that also meant the addition of a quick-set date. This also implied that the hand-stacking changed from GMT/hour/minute/second (on the ref. 1675) to hour/GMT/minute/second on the newer ref. 16750. In 1988 ref. 16700 was introduced and that also meant the introduction of another movement: caliber 3175. This new and last version of the GMT-Master also meant that the plexi crystal, used on previous models, was finally replaced by a sapphire crystal. Reference 16700 was produced until 1999, when the GMT-Master line ended.

Rolex GMT-Master II

In the mean time Rolex had already launched a newer, and more expensive, version of their “dual time zone” watch. In 1983 the GMT-Master II saw the light of day and that meant an important improvement. Now the hour hand could be adjusted independently, which meant adjusting the hour hand – while traveling through times zones – without stopping the seconds, disturbing the minute hand or 24-hour hand. The convenience of adjusting the hour hand to the time zones one travels to, while the 24-hour hand remains indicating the correct home time, was immediately welcomed by travelers.

Rolex Gmt-Master-II 16710

The first GMT-Master II – ref. 16760 – was nicknamed Fat Lady, by collectors, because of the the ticker case. This reference featured a new movement, caliber 3035, that made the new independently adjustable hour hand possible. Like the GMT-Master, the GMT-Master II was also water proof to a depth of 100 meters / 330 feet. It was also delivered on either an Oyster bracelet ref. 78360 or on a Jubilee bracelet ref. 62510. While the GMT-Master had to wait until 1988 before it was equipped with a sapphire crystal, the GMT-Master II was fitted with a sapphire crystal right from the beginning in 1983.

In 1989 the GMT-Master II was updated with slightly slimmer case again; this was reference 16710 that was available until 2007. There have been some variations in luminescent material on the markers and some other minor variations, but in general the GMT-Master remained the same until 2007 when it was replaced by ref. 116710.

Rolex Gmt-Master-II

Reference 16710 was available with three bezel variations:

  • Red/Black aka Coke
  • Blue/Red aka Pepsi
  • Black

Other variants include the steel/gold ref. 16713 aka Tigerauge (Eye of the Tiger) and the full gold ref. 16718. Please look at the website GMT-Master History for more detailed information.

Photo credits:

Frank Geelen

Frank Geelen is an expert on Haute Horlogerie and his horological heart beats faster from beautiful hand-finished mechanical movements. He loves to explain all technical details of complications like tourbillons, minute repeaters, constant force escapements and column-wheel chronographs and he has been doing that for more than seven years. Besides publishing daily here at Monochrome Watches, Frank also writes for several other publications, both online and offline.

View all articles by Frank Geelen

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