The Rolex GMT is the jet-setting icon of the Rolex sports watch family. The history of this sophisticated, versatile style dates back to 1954 when Rolex received a request from Pan Am to create a technical pilots watch that could indicate two time zones simultaneously. As advances in aviation made transcontinental flights commercially available Pan Am needed a watch that could be issued to their crews on the long-haul international flights.
GMT stands for Greenwich Mean Time - the time zone which regulates world clocks and is required for all aviation planning and schedules. The Rolex GMT Master has a fourth 24-hour hand that directly displays the same time zone as the standard 12-hour hand but on a 24-hour scale. The addition of this GMT hand enabled crews to set the watch to GMT or another time zone, and, using the rotating 24-hour scale bezel, correct the offset to display a second time zone on the 24-hour scale.
This feature is just as useful today, allowing the modern traveler to easily keep track of his home time zone, no matter how far he may have journeyed.
Horween Shell Cordovan (Black)
CASE & BRACELET
The 18k yellow gold case of this 1988 Ref. 16718 GMT is in stunning condition, the lugs are full and fat with all of the gold hallmarks clearly visible on the underside of the lugs. The original blue insert retains the pearl at the 12 o'clock position and shows the correct MKIII font.
DIAL & HANDS
The original glossy black dial with tritium lume plots are in immaculate and original condition. The tritium hands match the lume plots and are show no lume degradation.
The watch just received a full service and comes backed by a 1-year warranty on accurate timekeeping.