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.
Rolex Oyster 78360 Bracelet W/ 501B End Pieces
CASE & BRACELET
The unpolished case shows some wear and retains strong factory finishing. The Pepsi bezel insert shows very light wear. The Rolex 78360 Oyster bracelet with 501B end pieces remains in excellent condition, retaining 12 links and showing light wear with almost no stretch.
DIAL & HANDS
The black glossy dial with white gold surrounds remains flawless. The tritium lume has aged to a lovely creamy patina and exhibits no degradation under U.V. light inspection. The original tritium hands have aged slightly lighter than the dial which is common from this era, under U.V. light inspection the minute, GMT, and sweep-seconds hand show no degradation, the hour hand shows minor cracking.
The watch just received a full service and comes backed by a 1-year warranty on accurate timekeeping.