1982 Rolex GMT-Master 16750
Case: Stainless steel, screwback
Dial: Tritium "T Swiss T 25" matte black dial
Dimensions: 40 mm excluding crown
Caliber: 3075 'Quickset'
Accessories: Handmade strap
This vintage, steel Rolex GMT-Master (ref. 16750), from the early 1980s represents a distinct class of travellers' watches. It has its original, matte black dial with beautifully aged tritium hour markers. It also has its original, iconic “Pepsi” bezel.
The Rolex GMT-Master ref. 16750 debuted in 1981, following the success of Rolex’s longer-running production reference GMT, the 1675. Considered a transitional reference, the GMT-Master 16750 was in production for less than a decade, before manufacturing ceased around 1988. This particular case dates to 1982 (serial 732XXXX); an early example of a rare watch.
During its eight years of production, the Rolex GMT-Master 16750 had two distinct dial variations. The first generation, displayed a matte black dial with tritium hour markers (much like the reference 1675). These original matte dials were frequently replaced with later gloss dials when sent for servicing, making matte dials that much rarer. Interestingly, one characteristic that the matte 16750s share is an exceptionally tall, elongated coronet. The later, second variation incorporated a glossy black dial with the indexes surrounded by white gold, typically associated with modern iterations of the Rolex GMT.
The dial is in exceptionally good condition, has a matte black finish with classic 'ROLEX’ and ‘OYSTER PERPETUAL - GMT-MASTER' text referenced on it. Further to this, the tritium hour markers and GMT baton handset have aged to a beautiful yellow patina. It also has its Rolex crown and comes equipped with its original Rolex Oyster bracelet and clasp.
Inside the watch, it houses Rolex’s calibre 3075 ‘Officially Certified Superlative Chronometer’ grade automatic movement. The bi-directional winding mechanism features a lever escapement, 27 jewels, Breguet hairspring and KIF shock-absorber, beating at a rate of 28,800 A/h. The calibre 3075 additionally features a GMT function (dual time zone) and quickset date feature; the latter making its GMT debut in the 16750, adding a significant improvement in convenience over the reference 1675. The 16750 also has an increased depth rating of 100 meters water resistance, up from 50m on the 1675. The two references share a unique symmetry, but can be separately identified by the stack of their respective handsets; the 16750 placing the GMT above the hour hand, as opposed to being closest to the dial, as displayed on the 1675.
As with any design, there is a “sweet spot”; this watch hits that perfectly. The matt dial, plexi-glass and lightly faded bezel gives this example the vintage feel which is so desirable in today’s demanding market place.