New-arrival Best Rolex GMT-Master 1675 Tropical Dial
Rolex watches are known for their service to deep-sea divers, mountaineers and racing drivers, and in 1954 the company designed a watch for international pilots (introduced in ’55). At the request of Pan Am, the replica Rolex GMT-Master was introduced to provide flight crews, and later business travellers, with a dual time zone watch displaying Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) with a 24-hour display – the fourth hand showing the second time zone.
GMT was used for all aviation planning, weather forecasting and scheduling – in the 1950s, inertial navigation and GPS technology had not yet been invented – so an accurate GMT source was essential for obtaining geographic positions by the relative angles of the horizon, sun and other stars when an aircraft was out of range during a transoceanic flight. A second-time zone on the watch helps the crew deal with jet lag and other transatlantic communications.
The Rolex GMT-Master ref. 1675, produced from 1959-1980, has the so-called Pepsi bezel. On the vintage Rolex GMT-Master 1675, this bezel, made of anodized aluminium that rotates in both directions, was originally red and blue (hence the “Pepsi” nickname) and could fade to the various colours you can now see on surviving examples. The Rolex Reference 1675 was also offered with an all-black bezel.
Other features of this model include a self-winding Rolex calibre 1575 with date, an acrylic crystal with Cyclops magnifying glass, a water-resistant screw-down crown, and a rotating bidirectional GMT bezel with a 24-hour scale. The 40mm case is made of stainless steel. It features a naturally faded fat-letter bezel insert that originally started in blue and red and a set of crown protection devices – a feature first introduced in the GMT-Master line with Ref. 1675.
Rolex produced the GMT-Master Ref. 1675 for over 20 years when many variants entered the market. Several different movements, including the Caliber 1565 and the newer Caliber 1575, introduced the black seconds feature to the collection in the early 1970s. The reference 1675 was also produced on a three-link Oyster bracelet or a five-link Jubilee bracelet with a pointed or square crown protector.
The Rolex GMT Master ref. 1675 is an attractive option for collectors of all levels, with prices starting at around $15,000 and going well over $30,000 depending on the design combination and condition of the watch. In addition, if these replica watches have rare components such as tropical dials and faded bezel inserts, they can be worth considerably more than the normal price range for vintage Rolex GMT-Master 1675 watches.
Tropical dial clone Rolex watches are particularly sought after for the unique way their dials fade over time, making them significantly more expensive than a GMT-Master 1675 of the same vintage without the rare tropical dial. If you are in the market for your first vintage Rolex, the GMT-Master Ref. 1675 is an option worth considering.