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.
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.
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.
Reference 16710 was available with three bezel variations:
- Red/Black aka Coke
- Blue/Red aka Pepsi
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.