Reference point for the Rolex GMT-Master
Unpack the world's most famous travel swiss watch replica.
One of the greatest human achievements of the last century has been the mastery of flight. When the Wright brothers launched their flyers in the seaside breeze in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, a door opened to possibilities previously only imagined in myths or dreams. The first scheduled commercial flight took place more than 100 years ago in Florida, from St. Petersburg to neighboring Tampa. The subsequent popularity of commercial air travel in the 1950s and 1960s allowed civilians to get to places faster than the previous generation. But while the possibility of reaching another continent in just a few hours is sure to be a game-changer, it also presents problems, especially with regard to retention and adaptation times.
It's no longer just time. Instead, there is a time when one is there and a time when one is going. This is a daily concern for commercial pilots across the world's time zones in the emerging commercial aviation industry. One of the greatest American companies of the last century, Pan Am World Airways, teamed up with a Swiss watch brand called Rolex to see if it could make them a watch that could tell the time in multiple places. It was from this prelude that one of the most collectible, historical and iconic Rolex sports watches of today was born: the GMT-Master.
GMT-Master is not without merit. We can go back to other classic Rolex sports watches, perhaps starting with the circa 1937 Rolex Zerographe reference 3346 with a rotating bezel, but continuing with the Submariner and Turn-O-Graph models introduced by Rolex in 1953. These watches feature a rotating aluminum bezel for chronograph minutes, and they are the platform masters that Rolex developed the first GMT- . Today, if you think of a watch made to keep track of time in multiple places, the blue-red bezel Rolex GMT-Master 24-hour scale is likely to be in the eye of your soul. What started out as a tool for pilots has transcended that role, becoming a totem of cosmopolitan, refined and traveled life. As such, it is worn not only by pilots and navigators, but also by famous actors, entertainers, artists, thinkers and musicians - whose personalities and styles influence us every day.Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master
The watch collecting community continues to show great interest in the vintage reference of the GMT-Master. The current GMT-Master II collection is some of the most sought-after watches in retail. In its many forms, the Rolex GMT-Master is simply the most famous travel watch in the world.
Where possible, I have provided production dates for references in this article. It's crucial to understand what the numbers on the inner caseback tell us about the production of the case, but watches are often not assembled until a year later, and sometimes years later. In the mid-1970s, Rolex stopped printing the case production date on the inside of the caseback. For those watches, the serial number printed on the case between the lugs gives the best idea of when the watch was made, but it's also an imprecise science.
It's been 65 years since Rolex introduced the first GMT-Master, and if you consider all the gem-setting examples and different strap/bracelet configurations, a lot has changed in that time. It might be impossible to show you every single one of them, so we decided to focus on the watches we believe tell the story of the world's most famous travel watch, from 1955 to the present.replica Ulysse Nardin Diver Watches
Ref 6542:1955 – 1959 This is where it all started. Reference 6542 was the first ever GMT-Master, a tool watch to assist commercial pilots in their work. More than 60 years later, its design is strikingly similar to that of the modern Pepsi GMT-Master II. One can see the design of the GMT-Master, as Rolex has done, subtly dividing the day into day and night and a 24-hour hand, has influenced watchmakers over the years and helped create a category itself. Many will remember that Honor Blackman wore this watch when she played Pussy Galore in the James Bond film Goldfinger.
While the 6542's Bakelite bezel has been called the defining feature of the reference, it has proven problematic for two reasons. First, it was prone to cracking, so it was replaced with a non-luminous metal insert at the end of the 6542 run. Second, the radioactivity of the bezel was a source of controversy in the United States, where in 1961 a U.S. Navy officer and his family sued Rolex, claiming that the luminous bezel of his 6542 caused cancer.
Rolex recalled these bezels and replaced them with anodized metal bezels. Due to these factors, examples of the 6542 with the original bakelite bezel are extremely rare.Best replica watches
During its five-year production run from 1955 to 1959, the 6542 used a 38mm Oyster case and three different automatic GMT-Master movements. First, there is cal. 1036, then 1065, and finally 1066.
The earliest example of reference. 6542 "GMT-Master" written in pink is very rare, with at least one example showing the depth rating "50m = 165ft" in red on a red dial above the pink GMT-Master writing. Very early examples may also have a long-necked Mercedes hour hand, similar to the Submariner reference 6200, which was also from that period.
The 6542 steel case has undergone some changes over the years, some have narrow chamfered edges/bevels and some have very wide chamfered edges/bevels. The position of red and blue on the bezel is also different. For the steel 6542, there are also examples where the tips of the GMT hands and others are fully lumen, like those in this story, with lumen inside a small triangle.
Reference 6542 (18 ct yellow gold, burgundy brown bakelite bezel, Alpha hands): 1958-59 In the 6542 we see examples of gold being part of the mix from the early days of the GMT-Master, making it the first Rolex sports watch to be made in gold (although some pre-Daytona chronographs were made of gold). It seems that the burgeoning world of international commercial aviation is more suited to precious metal tool watches than the SCUBA environment that spawned the Rolex Submariner a few years ago.replica Tudor Pelagos 39 M25407N
Like the steel version, the yellow gold 6542 has a 38mm case. The original gold 6542 bezel was also bakelite, but instead of a two-tone blue and red, it was a burgundy brown. The gold 6542 has two dials. The version we have here has a lighter champagne dial, but there is also a gold 6542 version with a darker tan dial with a tone closer to a burgundy brown bezel insert.
This is also the first instance of a recurring theme in the golden GMT-Masters (nipple markings of the hours). The nipple markers will be the hallmark of the golden GMT-Master for several years, until a transitional reference. 16758. Our example here is an original gold oyster bracelet. The case is fitted with a Twinlock crown, also in gold, identified by a line beneath the five-pointed Rolex crown, making it an “underlined” crown.