The difference a simple bezel can make is quite extreme. In the 1675, which enjoyed quite a long run, there was a period of a few years where early aluminum bezels were manufactured with a paint composition that would turn from red to this beautiful fuchsia tone over time. They have all been observed in mark 1 dials (which can be easily distinguished by a long E, more on that later), produced from about 1966-1972, and toward the earlier years of that run. The effect is not subtle, this bezel takes what is a relatively serious jet-set companion and gives it an air of playfulness that is rare in four digit, or indeed most, Rolex.
You all know the 1675 story by now, PanAm and the dawn of the jet age, etc. If Rolex had a greatest hits album, the 1675 would be a highlight. The watch has been sported by Fidel Castro, Daniel Craig, Roger Federer, Steve Carrell, and Marlon Brando amongst others. The appeal of a classic GMT-Master is clearly broad and deep, a symbol of status and the ability to blitz timezones. Though popularized, it is a tool watch at its core. There have been more practical GMTs and there have been more ornate GMTs, but there has never been a more iconic GMT than the early 1675.
But the ‘Pink Pather’ GMT, as these are often known, is not as straightforward as most 1675s. Aside from the fact that bezels are relatively easy to swap between watches, there are a set of details that should align. First, the dial: it must be a Mark 1. Mark 1 dials are distinguished most easily by the E of ‘ROLEX’, which has a longer middle bar than latter styles. Secondly, by a coronet with extended, stringier points. In addition, we will want to see a standard-sized GMT triangle, not the small triangle GMT hands which came in the earlier Mk0 and Mk.5. Lastly, most seem to agree that the serial range in which these bezel originated was in the range of 1.8M, marking them as from 1967-1968 production. When those details align, you have a winner on your hands. Sure, it’s just a 1675 with a slightly different hue. But who amongst us doesn’t love the way these age? Surely, that ‘defect’, only makes this travel companion a more special, more attractive proposition.
This example sports a correct Mk1 dial in a lovely state. All tritium is deep honey in tone, and perfectly matched. The GMT triangle hand is correct. Its bezel is a beautiful one, full fuchsia but with some of the upper blue tone preserved. Moreover, its case sports aggressively sharp bevels and only has light wear commensurate with age. It comes on a ‘Hecho En Mexico’ jubilee from a well-regarded retailer. No box/papers.
Find this Fuchsia 1675 here from Iconic Swiss Watch for 29000 EUR.