Rolex GMT Master 1675 History

The Rolex GMT-Master 1675 is one of Rolex’s biggest hits. Considered the emblematic GMT-Master, it was produced from 1959 to 1980, enjoying one of the longest runs in Rolex’s history.

True to form with Rolex, 1675 models were given subtle, incremental changes throughout its 20-year history – meaning there is no shortage of models out there to explore. Let’s check them out.

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WHY THIS WATCH MATTERS

The 1675 is the second generation of the Rolex GMT-Master, replacing the first model, ref 6542.

Integral changes were made to the 1675 – first was the introduction of crown guards and second was replacing the fragile radium Bakelite bezel with an aluminum insert – both making the watch robust enough for daily wear.

These improvements, along with its sheer beauty, made the 1675 popular. Along the way, Rolex introduced a succession of variations in dials, hands, and other features, making the 1675 a model that’s quite fun to get lost in.

 

VARIATIONS OF THE 1675

Luckily, despite the vast number of variations among 1675 models, they are well documented and it is generally easy to place the date of your desired model if you know what you are looking for. Here are the features that make the biggest difference:

A. The Crown Guard: Pointed vs Flat

There are two crown types among 1675s. The pointed crown, often called “El Cornino” because of its resemblance to horns, can be seen in earlier models and until the mid-1960s. It was then replaced with flat edged crown guards.

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GMT Master 1675
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B. The GMT-Hand: Small vs Big

The GMT-Hand or 24-hour hand is integral to the GMT-Master; used in conjunction with the 24-hour bezel, it gives the wearer the time in a second time zone. Early models had the small arrow tipped hand, replaced by the larger hand in the late 1960s, to offer better legibility.

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GMT Master 1675
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C. The Bezels

The red-blue Pepsi bezel is the most popular of the 1675 models – in fact, the color combination debuted on the very first GMT-Master ref 6245 and in the first ever 1675 model.

Fat Font – among Pepsi 1675 models are different bezels too. Earlier models have visibly thicker 24-hour numerals, hence the name Fat Font.

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GMT Master 1675

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Throughout the years, there have also been other colors for the bezel, either launched by Rolex or as a product of age. As pictured above:

Rootbeer 1675/3 – launched in the early 70s, this marks Rolex’s introduction of the steel and gold variation to the 1675 line. With a brown and cream insert, this earned its name because of its resemblance to the soda.

Tropical Dial – this refers to originally red-blue Pepsi models that have faded to become a light blue and fuchsia bezel.

Black Bezel – all black bezel with white 24-hour numerals; also comes in a black and yellow gold combination.

Blueberry – a very rare, solid blue bezel. Rolex produced these watches exclusively for the French and UAE Air-Force, and top retailers such as Cartier and Tiffany. It remains elusive and is often counterfeited.


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D. The Dial: Matt vs Glossy

The first generation 1675 models have glossy, black dials with ‘gilt’ or warm gold text. Among the glossy dials, there are still many different variations – such as those with chapter rings and those without.

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By 1964, glossy, gilt dials were changed to matte black dials with white text.
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GMT Master 1675
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E. The Bracelet

The 1675 was available in two kinds of bracelets. First was the Jubilee, whose small center links make the watch look dressier. The second option is of course the Oyster bracelet, used in other Rolex sport watches, which no doubt makes the 1675 look more rugged and sportier.

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All these changes make the Rolex GMT-Master 1675 interesting to explore.
Which one of these do you have your sights on?
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SEE MORE OF THE WATCHES IN OUR VIDEO:

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