Two is Better Than One: The Two Tone GMT-Master
Similar to many Rolex collections, the GMT-Master line is a varied one with several metal choices. One option is the elegant combination of stainless steel and yellow gold — dubbed as Rolesor by the Swiss watchmaker. Join us as we delve into the four-part story of the two tone GMT-Master.
GMT-Master ref. 1675/3
The very first two tone GMT-Master was the ref. 1675/3, which made its debut in the 1970s and featured both 14k yellow gold as well as stainless steel.
In terms of variety, the GMT-Master ref. 1675/3 had two different bezel options. There’s the black version, in addition to the bicolor bronze and brown version. The latter of the two is also known as the “Root Beer” bezel—following suit from the “Pepsi” and “Coke” soda nicknames.
Along with bezel selection, the GMT-Master ref. 1675/3 also offers a choice between the sporty Oyster bracelet or the dressier Jubilee bracelet. Of course, this being a Rolesor GMT-Master, the center links of each bracelet are fashioned in yellow gold.
A distinct trait of the vintage two tone GMT-Master ref. 1675/3 is its “nipple” dial named so for its gold faceted round hour markers. The black bezel model comes with a black dial, while the bicolor “Root Beer” bezel pairs with a rich brown dial.
GMT-Master ref. 16753
In the 1980s, Rolex introduced the mens Rolex GMT-Master ref. 16753. This time, the gold portion of the two metals was 18k rather than 14k. Also, the then-new movement, the Caliber 3075, included the quickset date function. This means you can now set the date independently from the hour hand, therefore, making it much easier to keep the correct date!
Just like its predecessor, there are two bezel options (black and Root Beer) in addition to two bracelet alternatives (Oyster and Jubilee). Furthermore, early models sport the nipple style dial while later GMT-Master ref. 16753 versions house the flat lume plots.
GMT-Master II ref. 16713
The first Rolex GMT-Master II mens two-tone, steel and gold was the ref. 16713, which came onto the scene in the 1990s. Thanks to the Caliber 3185 (and subsequent Caliber 3186), the GMT-Master II can indicate three time zones rather than just the two of the GMT-Master series.
Aesthetically, Rolex carried on a similar look with the black bezel and black dial pairing and the bicolor brown bezel and brown dial combo. However, there are also the lavish Serti dials with rubies and diamonds for indexes.
GMT-Master II ref. 116713
At Baselworld 2006, Rolex unveiled the latest generation of the mens Rolex GMT-Master II ref. 116713 two tone timepiece. A completely revamped model, this is actually the current Rolesor GMT-Master II available from Rolex.
Among its long list of enhancements, the GMT-Master II ref. 116713 includes the Cerachrom ceramic bezel, bulkier case, improved bracelet clasp, and Triplock winding crown. There are also improvements to the Caliber 3186, including the Parachrom hairspring for better resistance and thus, reliability.
Although Rolex offers many enrichments, they’ve limited its variety. In fact, there’s only one version of the GMT-Master II ref. 116713: black bezel, black dial, green 24-hour hand, and steel and gold Oyster bracelet with polished center links.
The above four versions of the two tone Rolex pilot’s watch clearly shows the evolution of the GMT-Master watch that balances both the ruggedness of steel and luxuriousness of yellow gold. Sometimes, two (tones) is indeed better than one!