1996 Rolex GMT-Master (Ref. 16700)
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.
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.
|Strap||Rolex Oyster 78360 Bracelet W/ 501B End Pieces|
The excellent thick case retains factory finishing and even lugs. The original black bezel insert is in excellent condition without wear or fading in color. The case back partially retains the original case back sticker. The original Rolex 78360 Oyster bracelet with 501B end pieces exhibits minimal stretch and remains unpolished.
The watch just received a full service and comes backed by a 1-year warranty on accurate timekeeping.