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Hands-On: Rolex GMT 1675

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Today we have an in-depth macro look at the Rolex 1675. A watch as iconic as a Rolex GMT can get. For a detailed video look which we recorded a while back, have a look here.

Lore has it that this watch was created specifically for Pan American Airlines, allowing their Pilots to see not only the time at whichever remote location they may be, but also see just what time it was at home. The GMT function, was in this case a comfort feature, so to speak. And the 1675 is then of course also, a Pilot watch pur sang. The version we’re looking at is a 1675 with aluminium bezel, 40mm diameter, the ‘new’ non-pointy crownguards (the earlier iterations of the 1675 had pointy ‘horns’) and a matte dial – as you will see shortly. In principle the 1675 comes on a bracelet (oyster or jubilee).

Note that the 1675 was in production for quite a long time and a lot of legit variations of this watch exist. Make sure to do your research should you be looking into acquiring one of these, especially since the prices for the 1675’s have been going sky high as of late.

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The markers are resolute oldschool. No white gold, just functional markers with lume. Markers are white, dial is matte black. The markers and applied lume is much less ‘perfect’ than the current GMT models being produced at Rolex, giving this a bit of extra charm in my book:

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As mentioned, the dial, is a matte dial with white markings (ignoring the lovely patina). Early iterations of the 1675 however have glossy black gilt dials. The gilt dials came in two versions, with or without a chapter ring. As is the case for the Rolex Explorer (detailed here) and the Rolex Submariners (detailed here), the gilt dials command a higher price.

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Looking at the hands, this particular model has the ‘long’ GMT hand. The earliest iterations had a shorter GMT hand:

1675gmthand

The Minute hand:

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The mercedes hour hand, which from normal viewing distance looks absolutely pristine, is showing signs of age when looked at from up close:

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That typical Rolex seconds hand:

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Swiss-T <25 meaning Swiss made andΒ containing tritium (lume) that emits less than 25 millicurie (Β a unit of radioactivity):

1675dial

Reminder: Superlative Chronometer.

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The 1675 also has a date window with that typical Rolex cyclops. painful truth: The 1675 does not have a quick-set date function, thus setting the date can be considered either a (minor) hassle or a good excuse to spend extra time with your watch…

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The crystal is impressively thick and the cyclops can not be ignored at a side angle:

1675crystalcyclops

While we are here, check out the signed crown:

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The lugs are drilled, those were the good days for the strap-addicts in the crowd:

1675drilledlugs

In principle the below markings are hidden by the bracelet, however just for you, in plain sight:

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Note that the rehaut has no rehaut engraving (ROLEX ROLEX ROLEX ROLEX…) which all modern Rolex watches tend to have:

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Finally, a shot of the bezel. Note that to rotate these bezels, one doesn’t simply rotate them: You need to press down on the bezel, at which point you can then rotate it in both directions.

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One last shot of the Rolex 1675 in all its glory:

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A fine sportswatch indeed, definitely worth a closer look.

Special note for the detail oriented viewer: This watch has been used and serviced throughout its life (as it should). The hands were at one point in time replaced (you can see the difference in lume color). The dial has since its lume touched up (the tritium started to crumble). Case was gently polished at some point as well. A watch with a story.

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6 replies »

    • Thanks man! Returned it to its rightful owner this past weekend. Had it for nearly one year 🎩 I miss it 😬

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