This week on Vintage Watch Fridays we have an absolute classic for you, a Rolex GMT-Master Ref. 1675 from 1963 with a faded Pepsi bezel and an extremely rare gilt underline dial.
The Rolex GMT-Master
The Rolex GMT-Master with Pepsi bezel is a timeless classic. So much so that Rolex just introduced a brand new GMT-Master II last week at Baselworld in white gold. Unlike the watch we are showing you today though, the new model is fitted with a hi-tech Cerachrom bezel insert that will never fade.
There’s no denying this new model looks superb but there’s something kind of romantic about knowing your watch is going to age graciously with you, instead of staying exactly the same as you get older. The Rolex GMT-Master Ref. 1675 we have today is a great example of this.
Manufactured in 1963, there are a number of little touches that make this particular Rolex quite rare and therefore collectible. First and foremost is the gilt underline dial, which has aged beautifully over the last 50 years or so.
For those are not familiar with the term, a ‘gilt dial’ generally means all the markings on the dial are coated in gold, although sometimes a single line may be left in white. As the dial fades over time it takes on its own unique character, in this case giving the GMT-Master pictured a very classic feel.
It’s that ‘underline’ part in particular though that makes this dial just that little bit more special. If you look just above 6 o’clock you will notice a small horizontal line. The purpose of this seemingly innocuous line was to notify customs officials that deadly radioactive radium was no longer being used in the dials for luminescence, instead being replaced by much safer tritium.
If you cast your eyes to the right of the dial you will notice this GMT-Master also features pointed crown guards, or ‘cornino’ as the Italians call them, meaning ‘little horns’. In later models these were subsequently changed to rounder crown guards, making the pointy versions all the more sought after by collectors.
The watch is presented on the original rivet bracelet and as you can see, looks absolutely stunning on the wrist.
Make It Yours
Available for sale right now from Christie’s Private Watch sales, this Rolex GMT-Master Ref. 1675 with Pepsi bezel and Gilt Underline dial can be yours for US$25,000.
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