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The Success Of The Follow Up: The GMT-Master 1675

February 20, 2017

BY Paul Altieri


Following up our look at the inaugural Rolex pilot’s watch, the GMT-Master ref. 6542, we now take a look at its successor, the highly popular GMT-Master ref. 1675. Rolex unveiled the ref. 1675 in 1959 with plenty of modifications over its predecessor. The GMT-Master ref. 1675 proved to be so successful that Rolex produced it for over 20 years until 1980.

Rolex GMT-Master ref. 1675 has a two-tone bezel. The blue and red combination is called the Pepsi.

Rolex GMT-Master ref. 1675 is a loveable watch, a prized timepiece for decades.

The Improvements of the GMT-Master ref. 1675

The new GMT-Master reference brought along with it some modifications over the previous GMT-Master ref. 6542, in addition to undergoing several improvements over its 21-year production period. There are several variations of the GMT-Master. The first and most obvious change to the GMT-Master ref. 1675 is the inclusion of crown guards. The first generation of crown guards were pointy in shape, almost resembling little horns, hence its nickname, “El Cornino”. These pointed crown guards (PCG) were eventually replaced with square shaped ones around 1964 followed by rounder ones later on. Naturally, because the pointed crown guards were only manufactured for a few years, they are highly coveted by vintage Rolex collectors and typically command a premium over other types of crown guards.

The Rolex GMT-Master ref. 1675 keeps a balance of style and function.

Vintage Rolex GMT-Master ref. 1675 is a popular watch that opt to since it is admired by all.

Aside from the crown guards, the GMT-Master ref. 1675 also included a new label on the dial—Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified. Powering the ref. 1675 were two different automatic movements. First it was the Rolex Caliber 1565 until 1964 and then the Rolex Caliber 1575 for the remainder of the model’s production period. In 1971, Rolex introduced the hacking feature to the ref. 1675. Hacking means that the seconds hands stops when the user pulls out the winding crown permitting more precise time setting.

The GMT-Master ref. 1675 models with the Caliber 1565 featured a black gloss dial with a smaller triangle-tipped GMT-hand, while the later versions with the Caliber 1575 had black matte dials and a larger triangle-tipped 24-hour hand.

Different Versions of the GMT-Master ref. 1675

When it first made its debut, the GMT-Master ref. 1675 sported the iconic steel body and red and blue “Pepsi” bezel look. However, different versions of the ref. 1675 were also offered. In the early 1970s, an all black version of the GMT-Master ref. 1675 was presented. So rather than the bi-color bezel where the red signified daylight hours and blue indicated nighttime hours, the bezel was in solid black.

Vintage Rolex 2 Tone GMT Master

A blacked out Vintage Rolex Two-Tone GMT Master looks far more luxurious and classy.

Also new to the GMT-Master collection were more luxurious versions in yellow gold and Rolesor yellow gold and steel. The ref. 1675/8 is the full yellow gold version of the vintage GMT-Master while the ref. 1675/3 is the two-tone version. Both the ref. 1675/8 and the ref. 1675/3 are available with either a black dial and black bezel configuration or a brown dial and brown and beige bezel combo. The brown and gold GMT-Masters are often referred to as “Root Beer” due to the similarity in colors to the popular soda. The gold and two-tone versions of the GMT-Master ref. 1675 also had “nipple dials” characterized by distinct gold hour markers. Furthermore, both versions also included Oyster and Jubilee bracelet options.

Which GMT-Master ref. 1675 Will It Be?

Whether it’s the stainless steel GMT-Master ref. 1675 in a colorful blue and red Pepsi or sleek black, or a full gold GMT-Master ref. 1675/8 with a black nipple dial or a two-tone GMT-Master ref. 1675/3 with the Root Beer bezel, there’s no denying the iconic status of this vintage Rolex reference. Since it was in production for so long, it’s actually not a difficult vintage Rolex to find. However, since there are so many different choices, half of the fun is finding that perfect ref. 1675 that has each of the details you want.

Which is your favorite GMT-Master 1675? Are you more into the steel models or the gold ones? What about bezel options? Pepsi, black, or Root Beer? We’d love to hear from you so leave us a comment below.



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