The ROLEX GMT MASTER
The Rolex GMT watch has always had my fascination. There is something about the blue and red bezel that I like. But when the time was for my to get the first Rolex - the choice was more between the Explore II or a Classic sub, as I somehow felt that the blue/red bezel was a little to much color for formal wear.
But The idea to get the GMT master with the Black bezel was also a possibility - but the main reason for me to get the Explorer II (16550), was the fact that the Explorer II was available with Sapphire Glass, and the Sub and the GMT was only available with plexi. But as time moved on - I must say that the GMT master is a very nice watch - it has the functionality to have two timezones at the same time, and the rotating bezel can be used in somewhat the same functionality as the bezel on the standard submariner. I use the rotating bezel many times to check time used, parking time, appointments and whatever you can think of.
The GMT-Master was introduced for pilots needing a watch that was able to display the time in two time zones, a feature needed by transatlantic pilots or any pilot traveling from one timezone to another. The general meaning is that Rolex produced this watch on demand from the American Airline Pan-Am in 1953, if this is the case, then again Rolex decided to manufacture a special watch (like the helium value in the sea-dweller) for a special client, and almost at the same time introduce this model on the marked for the ordinary watch buyer. It has also been said that the Rolex GMT-Master was tested by NASA in the early 1960s for their Space program. As history shows, it was the Omega Speedmaster that "won" that dual.
But the GMT-Master continue to be used in the extreme events. Some of the more special advertisements shows the GMT-Master as standard equipment for the Danish Sirius Patrol in Greenland, where the use of the 24 hour hand can be handy in the summer where the sun is up all day, or in the winter where the sun is never seen. Lately the Rolex Explorer II has replaced the GMT-Master as the watch for people climbing mountain, crossing the arctic or performing any other adventure, but before this was the position of the GMT-Master.
From my point of view the Rolex GMT-Master is a piece of special watch history.
The Rolex GMT-Master was the first gmt watch - now all watch manufactures has a GMT watch in their line - but none with the history of the Rolex.
My 1675 is from 1961 (serial 8xx.xxx) with pointed crown guards but has at some stage had the dial replaced by Rolex, probably in the 1960s, and later the hands have also been replaced so that I now has a dial that is matt and down glow in the dark, but the hands glow nicely making it possible to see the time in the middle of the night. Other information of interest is that this was the watch of a danish Rolex "watchmaker" working in Australia, and he made a total "renovation" of this watch. But as he moved to London for another watch company - he decided to sell this and keep some other Rolex models in his collection. Not a very special history, but nice to know that the watch has been in good hands.
I can only recommend the Rolex GMT-Master, its a classic , made for a specific reason for pilots that changes timezones on a daily basis, and for any modern traveler - the ability to have the home time at the same time as the local time is very nice.