As many have pointed out, I have a soft spot for four and five digit Rolex. I could nod toward the charm, immense history, or the fact that I regret letting many go in equal measure as cause. The thing is though, I don’t have to justify it. Everyone loves the 1675, everyone past a certain familiarity with vintage Rolex. Not many watches are as unpretentious, significant, and attractive. Also, unlike 6542s, 6536/8s, or things that end in -ewman, valuations are not entirely stratospheric yet. Despite that, this is arguably among those most iconic references—responsible for propagating the GMT as a complication to the working man. Wherever the previous owner of this example clocked in, there was plenty of vitamin D.
The 1675 was in continuous production for a monumental twenty years, one of the longest single running references in all of Rolex lore. That’s for good reason: the basic, early crown-guard GMT did not need changing. Allowing its wearer to track two or two time zones simultaneously, the iconic Pepsi (split in color to mark the difference between AM and PM in the 24hr time zone, I’m always surprised how many people aren’t aware of this) GMT Master design had found a home in the minds of pilots and the jet set. Its desirability has never really faded since. It featured a 40mm case and 3075 movement with a quick-set date and 28800 vph.
A twenty year run in Rolex-land means that many details were changed between years. There are fat font bezels, long-E dials, double-signed dials, Concordes, varied handsets, and possibly even a controversial blueberry or two. I refrain from comment on that particular deviation. This one, unlike the above, was just a basic early gilt 1675. That is, until its original owner spend some time in the sun (a lifetime, by the looks of things). While inter-reference variations can effect collectability, condition is arguably even more important. Condition may more than halve or quintuple a watch’s market value. Tropical dials are not loved by all. But this one is an evenly distributed reddish-caramel tone, all original. If a deep leather-like burgundy is what you like seeing on wrist, this is your watch.
This example hails from 1961. It sports a case which is full but has a seen a polish. The dial is the star of the show, and something truly special. Its bezel is ghosted and it comes on an elastic rivet. Impressively, it comes with a full set, originally sold in Mexico at the retailer la Perla Diener Hermanos. Today, it comes from a well-regarded retailer out of Amsterdam.
Find this tropical 1675 here from Wrist Icons for 65000 EUR.