Then there were three…
In the next chapter of our look at the Rolex GMT-Master collection we will explore the GMT-Master ref. 16750—the infamous “Pepsi Rolex.” Considered a transitional reference, this reference was in production for less than a decade until about 1988. While it was very similar in style to its predecessor, the ref. 16750 did offer some technical improvements.
Read about these other bespoke Rolex GMT-Master watches ref. 6542 and ref. 1675.
Table of Contents:
Key Takeaways About The Pepsi Rolex
About the GMT-Master ref. 16750
The GMT-Master ref. 16750 GMT-Master 16750 is a vintage watch that was produced from the late 1970s to the late 1980s. The dual-color blue and red bezel quickly earned the nickname “Pepsi Rolex” and propelled its popularity among watch enthusiasts.
It is a successor to the GMT-Master model, which was introduced in 1954 and was designed for pilots to track multiple time zones. The GMT-Master 16750 is similar to the original GMT-Master, but it has a number of updates and upgrades that set it apart.
One of the main differences between the GMT-Master 16750 and the original GMT-Master is the movement. The 16750 has a caliber 3075 movement, which was a significant improvement over the caliber 1575 movement used in the earlier model. The 3075 movement has a quickset date function and a hacking seconds feature, which allows the watch to be set to the exact second.
Other notable features of the GMT-Master 16750 include a sapphire crystal, which is more durable and scratch-resistant than the acrylic crystal used on the earlier model, and a bezel that is available in several colors, including black, red and blue. The 16750 also has a case that is slightly larger than the original GMT-Master, measuring 40mm in diameter.
The Rolex Caliber 3075
The then-new GMT-Master ref. 16750 was equipped with the Rolex Caliber 3075. This automatic mechanical movement – beating at 28,800 vibrations per hour – introduced the quickset feature to the famous Rolex pilot watch collection. The quickset date feature allows setting the date independent of the hour hand.
Therefore, the wearer adjusts the date by simply turning the crown rather than continuously turning the center hands around the dial until you get to the right date. This is a particularly practical function that saves plenty of time and effort. The availability of the quickset changed the order of the center hands where the GMT-hand now came before the hour hand. The GMT-hand of course, along with the 24-hour marked rotating bezel, is what permits the GMT-Master to indicate two time zones simultaneously.
Similar to the previous ref. 1675, the Caliber 3075 of the ref. 16750 also has a hacking feature whereby the seconds hand stops when the winding crown is pulled out. This translates to a more precise time setting.
Yet another benefit of the GMT-Master ref. 16750 is its water resistance – 330 feet (100 meters), which is double to that of previous GMT-Master models.
Dial Variations of the GMT-Master ref. 16750
During its eight years of production, the Rolex GMT-Master ref. 16750 had two distinct dial variations within its steel case. The first generation had matte black dials with hour markers without white gold surrounds, while the later ones had glossy black dials with indexes that included the white gold surrounds.
A vintage GMT-Master ref. 16750 with the matte dials are actually very difficult to come by since they were often replaced with glossy ones during servicing. And naturally, because the matte dials lacking the white gold surrounds are rarer, they are indeed more coveted among the two versions.
The two bezel choices of the stainless steel GMT-Master ref. 16750 were the iconic bi-color red and blue Rolex Pepsi bezel, in addition to the black bezel option.
Gold Variations of the GMT-Master ref. 16750
Just like the GMT-Master ref. 1675, Rolex also offered more luxurious models of the stainless steel ref. 16750. The GMT-Master ref. 16758 is the full yellow-gold GMT version, while the ref. 16753 is the two-tone Rolesor yellow gold and steel model.
An interesting dial variation of the yellow gold GMT-Master ref. 16758 is the Serti dial. Derived from the French word “sertir” meaning “to set” in jewelry, Serti dials in the world of vintage Rolex collecting refer to distinct gem dials found on some Submariner and GMT-Master models. These dials have diamond hour markers accompanied by either ruby or sapphire indexes at 6, 9, and 12 o’clock and make for very lavish versions of the GMT-Master.
A great reference from the GMT-Master line, the ref. 16750 offers Rolex collectors the style of a vintage GMT-Master with the practically of a more modern feature like the quickset function. What do you think? Would you add the GMT-Master ref. 16750 to your personal collection? Leave us a comment below and tell us why or why not.
Also, stay tuned for our next installment where we delve into the first GMT-Master II model, the ref. 16760, the GMT Master has rich history and should be read if you’re a collector.
Considerations When Buying a Rolex 16750
Here are some things to consider when buying a GMT-Master 16750:
- Condition: As with any vintage watch, the condition of the GMT-Master 16750 is an important factor to consider when buying. Look for a watch that is in good overall condition, with a clean and legible dial, and no major signs of wear or damage.
- Authenticity: Make sure the GMT-Master 16750 you are considering is authentic and not a counterfeit. It’s a good idea to buy from a reputable dealer or seller who can provide documentation or a certificate of authenticity.
- Box and papers: It can be helpful to have the original box and papers that came with the GMT-Master 16750. These can add value to the watch and help confirm its authenticity.
- Bezel: The bezel of the GMT-Master 16750 is available in several colors, including black, red and blue, and some models have a two-tone bezel. Consider which bezel color you prefer and whether you want a solid-color or two-tone bezel.
- Price: The price of a GMT-Master 16750 can vary widely depending on its condition, rarity, and other factors. Do some research to get a sense of the market value for the watch you are considering, and be prepared to negotiate if necessary.
Overall, it’s important to do your research and be patient when looking for a GMT-Master 16750. With a little bit of effort, you can find a great example of this classic Rolex timepiece.
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