1989 Rolex GMT-Master (Ref. 16700) W/ Box & Papers
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 pilot's 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 long-haul international flights.
GMT stands for Greenwich Mean Time - the time zone that 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.
The reference 16700 GMT-Master started production in 1988 as the improved upon version of it's predecessor, the 16750. Featuring the updated 3175 movement and sapphire crystal. Rolex offered the 16700 GMT-Master as a more affordable "GMT" option alongside the more upgraded GMT-Master II, and production went on for a surprising 11 years when it ceased production in 1999. Interesting enough though, the 16700 had notably fewer production numbers to its big brother the 16710 making for an overall harder watch to obtain and in result to that, a favored "modern-vintage" piece among collectors today.
|Dial||Black Glossy W/ WG Surround Markers|
|Strap||Rolex 78360 Oyster Bracelet W/ 501B End Pieces|
The excellent case appears to have only been gently polished in the past and retains strong and symmetrical lugs that retain chamfers down the lugs with honest signs of light use. The original "fat serif font" black bezel insert has achieved a gorgeous fade while showing almost no signs of use. The original Rolex 78360 Oyster bracelet with 501B end pieces retains 12 links that show minimal stretch from use and will fit up to a 7 3/4 inch wrist.
The glossy black dial with white gold surround markers is in excellent overall condition. The tritium lume plots are a bright ivory color that exhibit no degradation when inspected under U.V. light. The original tritium hands coordinate with the dial perfectly with the minute hand showing slight darkening at its base, under U.V. light inspection one section of the Mercedes hour hand displays very minor cracking and remains stable, the rest of the lume in the hands shows no degradation.
The watch comes complete with its original box, Rolex guarantee paper, serialized hangtag, and chronometer seal hangtag. The watch was recently serviced and is keeping time perfectly, backed by a 1-year warranty on accurate timekeeping.