As the flight industry began to really take off in the 1940s and 1950s, pilots began flying longer distances. Originally designed in collaboration with Pan Am Airways, the Rolex GMT Master was initially created for Pan AM, and issued by them to their crews on long-haul flights. We feel the Rolex GMT-Master is one of the most iconic travel watches. For a long time, it was a bit in the shadow of the Rolex Submariner and Daytona, but since a couple of years, the Rolex GMT-Master increased its popularity rapidly. It is a great tool watch, which we love.
The 16750, often regarded as a “transitional” reference, is popular amongst collectors, yet it is also a superb entry watch for those new to the vintage Rolex world. At 40-millimeters in diameter, this sporty Pepsi-bezel GMT is suited for every occasion.
THE DIAL : The black Luminova dial is beautiful and easy to read. Each hour marker is outlined with 18k white gold, which is highly reflective and adds depth to the dial by giving the markers a raised appearance. The dial also reads ‘Superlative Chronometer, Officially Certified’. This identifies that the watch was tested and approved as a certified chronometer by the Controle Officiel Suisse des Chronometers (COSC). This assures the buyer that the watch is accurate to -4/+6 seconds/day. My GMT has been extremely accurate. The four hands (hour, minutes, seconds, 24hr) are also outlined in 18k white gold and are easily seen against the black dial. The hands as well as the hour markers have a decent lume (glow) making time reading in the dark an easy task.
THE DATE : As with many Rolex watches the GMT-Master has a date feature, therefore the dial reads ‘Oyster Perpetual Date’ just beneath the Rolex logo. Having the date on the dial is an invaluable tool for us, as we never seem to know what day it is. The date is magnified by the acrylic Cyclopes by 21/2X. The 16750 also has the quick-set feature, which enables you to set the date without having to adjust the minutes and hour hands.
THE CRYSTAL: The GMT-Master 16750 was outfitted with an acrylic crystal. Compared to sapphire, acrylic scratches much easier. We use a polishing cloth to regularly clean the acrylic of smudges and fingerprints – this has worked quite well. We wouldn’t recommend using any other materials to clean the acrylic (eg: t-shirt, paper towel, washcloth, etc.) as these will leave fine scratches behind. We also love the raised/thick appearance of the vintage acrylic… they don’t come like this anymore!
THE 24 HOUR BEZEL: You’re probably already aware that the GMT is capable of displaying two different time zones. The 24hr bezel is easy to read and understand. It rotates both in the CW and CCW direction. One feature we really enjoy about the GMT bezel is the ability to ‘swap’ bezel inserts. Within 15 minutes you can go from a black GMT to a Pepsi (red/blue) GMT!
THE CROWN : As stated in many other GMT reviews, the crown is simply too small. Unless you have small hands unscrewing the crown is a bit inconvenient. Also, the surrounding crown-guards don’t make the task any easier. It’s certainly not a deal breaker, but it is worth mentioning.
THE BAND : My GMT 16750 came with the stainless steel (SS) Oyster band, which is my personal favorite. It’s flexible, comfortable, and very attractive. The clasp is easy to operate and feels solid/strong. It’s nice not having to worry about my ‘baby’ falling off of my wrist. The original Rolex band can be easily removed (yes, there are advantages to having open lugs) and swapped with other bands or straps.
WATER RESISTANCE : The GMT 16750 is capable of diving to 100 meters/330 feet. My GMT frequents swimming pools, lakes, and will be used occasionally for snorkeling and other ocean related play. There’s not many places we’re not willing to take this watch.
FINAL COMMENTS : Go buy this watch right now! Seriously, this is a great timepiece – a Rolex classic. We’ve been very pleased with this watch and we plan on wearing this watch for many years to come.
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