We wanted to give you a little GMT history - flashback. Pan-Am was looking for a watch to display multiple time zones during transatlantic flights. Rolex discovered a solution with the GMT Master tool watch! With the capability to show multiple time zones. The GMT was a popular choice not only among commercial pilots, but also NASA and the US Air Force as well. Additionally, enthusiastic travelers began wearing them as well to be able to read home and local time zones which (interesting fact) has been proven to have a positive mental effect on fighting jet lags. Thus, the GMT was released and grew exponentially in popularity.
Since people didn’t have smart phones to rely upon to tell the time and update with different time zones, the GMT Master 16700 continued to be produced and sold alongside the GMT Master 2. The GMT 16700 was produced from 1988 - 1999. The GMT Master 2 16710 introduced at the same time was the more expensive of the two options. Despite it being in production for over a decade, it was only produced in small numbers, causing it to be highly sought after by collectors. Multiple new features were released with this model including the crystal and the new case.
The 16700 included a new stainless steel case and a sapphire crystal. The most popular bezel featured the “Pepsi” design, but it was available in black as well. The model also had a Tritium luminous dial until 1997 which then was changed to Swiss Luminova dial in 1998 (both featured white gold indexes). The date window numbers had open 6s and 9s prior to 1992.
Encased in the 16700 is the Calibre 3175 which has a non-independent hour hand. It also featured a beautiful double balance-wheel bridge. There is a quick set date option. But unlike the GMT Master 2, the hour hand and the GMT hand are fixed or locked together. So, you tell the different time zones by turning the bezel. On the GMT Master 2, you set the hour hand independently, so you can tell up to 3 time zones.
The bracelets offered were both an Oyster bracelet (reference 78360) as well as a Jubilee (62510). In 1989, the GMT 16700’s Oyster bracelet reference 78790 featured Rolex’s patented Oysterlock technology which was designed to prevent accidental opening of the clasp. Everest offers an extensive line of Swiss-Made rubber and leather watch bands that will perfectly fit the GMT 16700 case and incorporate the Oysterlock deployant technology as well.
The GMT Master 16700 model was built around strength, security, high quality and precision. It was a timepiece that had to meet high expectations and provide an industry solution. GMT Masters I and II have since celebrated this history and tradition of this timeless timepiece. If your headed on a new adventure sometime soon, add a GMT 16700 to your collection and create your own eye-popping wrist combo with Everest Bands.