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Rolex GMT-Master Ref. 16750 'Pepsi' - Transitional Gloss Dial Unpolished

Sale price$12,350.00 USD

The Rolex GMT-Master is one of the most historic and iconic watches the brand ever produced. Its origin dates back to a commission request by Pan American World Airways in the early 50’s for their fleet of pilots who needed access to different time zones.

These pieces would feature a similar design to another watch that Rolex was developing around that time, the Submariner, but would include a fourth hand running on 24-hr time, and a bi-colored bezel insert to represent AM/PM times. Those colors, naturally, would be the PanAm colors: Red & Blue. Thus, in 1953, the Ref. 6542 GMT-Master was born. These early pieces were ultimately, fragile arguably flawed in some ways, and were thereforsucceeded by the updated Reference 1675 in 1959.

This Reference introduced a larger case size with crown-guards and a bi-colored blue + red bezel insert made of aluminum. The Ref. 1675 underwent many small changes over its 21-year production run, with a slew of dial, bezel, bracelet, and hand variations. You know, Rolex stuff. And eventually, the 1675 would evolve into the first 5-digit GMT-Master, The Ref. 16750 that we have here. These pieces, at a glance, retain the look and feel like a 1675, but now utilize a 'quickset' date function with the Calibre 3075 movement, and are typically broken down into two difference variants, each with their own appeal. The early pieces feature matte black dials, whereas the second half of production introduced glossy black dials with the first applied Tritium-filled white gold indices.

The piece that we have here is the latter, with a glossy black dial. It dates to circa 1987 and remains in fantastic overall condition, with a thick, sharp case with strong factory finishing and normal, honest signs of wear throughout only a few small blemishes and impression present. The dial within is very nice, with a deep black color that shows faint 'stippling' typical of this era, and beautiful, deeply patinated Tritium plots within those white gold applied indices. The Tritium handset appears slightly lighter in color to the naked eye — also typical or this era — and matches under UV inspection. The bezel shows matching normal wear to the case, with a 'Pepsi' bezel insert that also shows matching, normal wear.

This is a fantastic, well-rounded example of the Reference, and it further elevated by coming fitted to a so called 'Fifty' bracelet. This is a solid-link Jubilee bracelet with a '50' engraving on the first link after the endlinks, denoting that this watch was born with this bracelet from the factory. The condition of the bracelet is fantastic and unpolished, showing matching normal wear and exhibits virtually no stretch.

Overlooked for many years, the Ref. 16750 carries over virtually everything that collectors love about its predecessor, but have that added functionality of a quickset date. And though not exceedingly rare, are certainly not common and can still be had for less than a 1675. Sounds pretty good if you ask us!

Stainless Steel 1987 Unpolished Automatic 40mm

"As collectors themselves, Oliver and Clarke are on a mission to make buying vintage watches as painless as possible."

"The company focuses on good prices for its pieces, elite customer service and full transparency."

"The appointment-only space is inviting, with comfortable seating areas and exposed brick walls."

From Rolex & Patek Philippe, to Cartier & Audemars Piguet. As collectors first, we love the small details that separate the Submariner from Daytona and Calatrava from Royal Oak. This is why you'll find our curated assortment spans decades of generations of models and brands. We believe that watches don't just tell time, they tell history - and life is too short to wear a boring watch.

Oliver & Clarke

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