Tropical ‘Root Beer’ 1675 Two-Tone Rolex GMT-Master
You know that feeling when you go on holiday, come back, and just feel great? Perhaps you’ve been walking around more exploring, or at the beach out in the sun. You’ve lost a bit of weight and are sporting a light tan. You’re still you, just 10% more attractive. This ‘Root Beer’ 1675 is doing the same thing, except that someone took it on many, many holidays. As a result its dial has turned from a brown-burgundy all the way through to a volcanic orange. It’s the same 1675 Root Beer we know and love, just 40% more attractive for its four decades of sunbathing. I’ve never seen a Root Beer dial tone more intense.
The 1675/3 or Root Beer is surely one of the line’s most lauded. It’s been Clint Eastwood’s personal watch for decades, appearing in multiple films on his wrist. The nickname comes for the dial tone, which at times would have been dark brown to burgundy depending on light. A more apt nickname for this one might be lava dial. The best part though? It’s also a nipple dial with applied Rolex coronet. This marks it out as an earlier 1675, where latter 16753s have printed logos. As the gilt text has lightened considerably, it’s the post prominent bit of the dial left outside its indices.
But this Root Beer is, to my sensibilities, greater than ‘just’ a two-tone 1675. It is an example emblematic of one of the aspects in watches I love most: that they are objects which may be elevated through use. Those that have lived and breathed with you show it on their metal or in their lacquer, and may be made more beautiful for it. In the same way that a Birkin bag looks better with wear, or that the metallic shift knob of a 250 TDF looks better with a few light scratches from some Italian’s bejeweled fingers. Things which get better as you use them are rare, and stand defiantly as the antithesis of planned obsolesce. That is the beauty I see in this lava tone: an object well loved, that will continue to grow more beautiful for it.
So having gotten a bit romantic there, I’ll take it back to basics on condition. The lava tone is fairly even, there’s a marginal bit of spotting toward the edges and the minute track. Its tritium is decent, though there are small spots of burn which one would expect of an example this extreme. The bezel is halfway to being ghosted, but not green in tone as some of these have gone. Its case has seen a polish or two, but does still have a bevel. It comes from a well-regarded Dutch retailer.
Find this tropical 1675 Root Beer here from Bulang & Sons for 13900 EUR.