A seriously cool 1989 Rolex GMT Master 1 reference 16700 complete with original inner and outer Rolex boxes and original Rolex booklets.
This wonderful GMT has one of the greatest bezel inserts, it's lovely pepsi colourway aluminium bezel insert has faded to some lovely pastel tones, the top half of the bezel is lovely and faded in a light powdery blue hue and the bottom half of the bezel has faded to a lovely, soft red, pinkish tinge. The nice original tritium dial has all it's nice original lume which has aged beautifully, developing a very cool patina that goes from bronze/orange on the metal surrounds of the plots that fades into creamy white centres. The black dial is in impeccable condition and really makes the tritium hour markers pop. The crystal is flawless and gives a great view through to that nice dial.
This fine example has a super sharp case with all it's original lines intact. Sat on it's original oyster bracelet, the piece is fully adjustable and to fit any wrist.
The piece is well serviced and keeping time very well with a fantastic power reserve. The GMT is the perfect watch for those travelling a lot, with it's ability to show two time zones with it's GMT hand. Its large diameter means you can pop it on your hotel bedside and use it as a bedside clock, safe in the knowledge that it's nice long power reserve will be keeping it in perfect time whilst away from your wrist.
Naturally being a vintage watch, in original condition you will find small signs of age and wear, but that's exactly what makes vintage watches so interesting and unique and allows for that lovely patina that we all like so much and a lovely straight case with it's original lines. So although if you comb the piece with a fine toothed comb, you will find very small scratches, you’ll be hard pressed to find a finer example.
Complete with original inner and outer Rolex boxes, plus the original 1989 GMT Master manual in Spanish, 1989-1990 Rolex calendar, translation booklet and wallet for storing them; this set is fantastic. The box, booklets, calendar and wallet are all in incredible condition.
In 1954 Rolex released the first GMT, the reference 6542 which had been developed alongside Pan-Am Airways who wanted a watch that could display multiple timezones since they were beginning to operate transcontinental flights. Rolex’s solution of course being the now iconic and seemingly simple rotating bicolour bezel which could be turned and alongside the GMT hand allowed for telling the time in several timezones simultaneously. Not only popular with Pan Am pilots, the 6542 was popular at NASA (worn by Jack Swigert on Apollo 13) and members of the US air force. The 6542 was most popular though with frequent business flyers and quickly became the must have watch of any international businessman. At 38mm diameter and with a very thick case and bezel by 50’s standards the GMT stood out on the wrist and had a utilitarian feel with a luxury design. The Bakelite bezel providing a useful tool for reading timezones, also created a bold colour way and piece of design. One that would become so iconic that one can immediately identify someone wearing a Rolex via the flash of that illustrious ‘pepsi’ or ‘coke’ bezel.
The reference 16700 forms an important part of the history of the GMT as it is the last in the line of the GMT Masters. Naturally the reference has since been continued by the GMT Master II line but this important reference was the last of the original lineage. Although Rolex released the Master II line in 1983, they continued to produce the Master I line, in fact they introduced a new and final reference the 16700 in 1988, the final of the Master series, making this reference an important one. The main difference was the movements, the 16700 being powered by the calibre 3035 in which the hour and GMT hand were linked and as such only two time zones could be displayed. Rolex continued producing the reference until 1999, swapping the Tritium dials for Luminova around 97 and then retiring the reference completely in favour of the Master II line. An often overlooked reference, the 16700 represents a highly significant part of Rolex history and great potential for appreciation. The finishing of the bezels also means you can find a plethora of interesting fading, patina and changes to the colour ways, resulting in some truly interesting and exciting pieces to wear.
Lug Width: 20mm
Box/Papers: Original Box, Rolex Manuals