1675/8 Rolex GMT-Master
Opulence is often said to be distasteful by definition, but a gold nipple dial? C’mon, that’s an exemption many amongst us and I will gladly make. While the GMT-Master was made for the jet set, Rolex recognized early on that its well-heeled, travel-hungry clientelle could afford a little extra aureate. Almost as soon as the 6542 was borne, it had been realized in gold. But it was in the dial that things became particularly attractive; The gold, applied, conical ‘nipple’ indices were first realized in a GMT-Master. Collectors hunt them with fervor today.
A vintage gold GMT-Master is undoubtedly more a statement than it is a timekeeping device. That statement unequivocally used to be ‘I’ve made it’. Today, that statement still exists, on rock-solid footing. But, very frequently these days, it might also be ‘I’m a watch nerd paying serious attention in vintage Rolex’. What used to be an exclusive hallmark of success is often now also a harbinger of extreme watch addiction. Either way, it’s someone who’s going to be great conversation at a pub. In 2022, there’s also a fairly decent chance of ‘my dad died, so now I have this’, but let’s not muddy the waters.
The gold 1675/8 took over around 1960 and reigned for nearly two decades. It was available on this Jubilee or a President bracelet in matching gold. Inside the 40mm case beats 18800 vph calibre 1575, without quickset. That date wheel has a few beautiful open 6s and 9s though. I’ve said this before, but for what mass hysteria surrounds steel sport Rolex today, I simply cannot imagine a stronger antidote. You may not see yourself as a gold GMT-Master-kind-of-collector. Yet, how much more fun could life be if you challenged that perspective?
As examples go, this one’s right up there. The dial is magnificent, no damage, perfect cream tritium, all gilt printing clear and sharp. The case has been touched, but it was done well. Make of that as you will. It comes on a Jubilee from a well-regarded Dutch retailer.
Find this 1675/8 here from Timeless Vintage for 42900 EUR.