Recognising Watch Icons: Rolex GMT-Master 1675

Recognising Watch Icons: Rolex GMT-Master 1675

A few weeks ago we began the “Recognising Watch Icons” series with the famous Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. Today’s “cheat sheet” is on another watchmaking superstar, the Rolex GMT-Master référence 1675 (French video with English subtitles).

Rolex GMT-Master 6542Rolex GMT-Master 6542 & Pussy Galore in Goldfinger

Rolex GMT-Master reference 1675: History

Called “Pepsi” by Rolex aficionados, the enthusiasm for the GMT-Master is undeniable. The reference, with its legendary red and blue insert, has become a universal symbol of investment and object of desire.

The first GMT-Master, reference 6542, was produced in 1954. Equipped with a 24-hour setting and second time zone, the model satisfied a rising demand by pilots and other frequent travellers at the time.

An extra red hand was created to go around the dial, marked with 24 hours. This model would make a Hollywood appearance in the Bond movie Goldfinger (1964) on the glamorous wrist of Pussy Galore no less.

Although destined to be a pilot’s watch, the model is pressure proof to 50m/165ft and originally paired with the sporty 3-link Oyster bracelet.

Rolex GMT-Master reference 1675: Distinctive Features

Throughout the years, the reference 1675 would undergo several updates and enhancements. A great number of other inserts and dials were made to accommodate different tastes, but the red and blue “Pepsi” insert would remain a popular favorite.

Given the number of changes, there exists many versions of the reference 1675, but certain features have remained the same.



Rolex GMT-Master 1675 focus
The Bi-directional 24-Hour Bezel

Whether it’s a bezel made with Bakelite or anodized aluminum, in red & blue, bronze, black gilt, or other, the 1675 has a rotating fluted bezel marked with 24 hours.

The GMT Hand

The size of the arrowhead may vary, and the colors as well, but the GMT hand’s shape is another feature that has resisted the test of Time.

The Crown Protection

From the 1960’s, shoulder protection equips the reference 1675.

The Tritium Hour Markers

Some models will have circled markers, gilt ones, or simple ones, but their shape has remained intact. A triangle pointing down at noon, rectangles at 6 and 9 o’clock, and circles for the rest.

Date Window

And last but not least, the date window at 3 o’clock hasn’t moved an inch.


To go a bit further, here is a brief video on the history of the Rolex GMT-Master reference 1675 (French with English subtitles) on “La Minute de l’Expert“, a series created by “La Minute de l’Expert“, une série créée par Les Rhabilleurs and expert watch professional Romain Réa. Finally, an initiative to simplify watchmaking for those who would like to take interest without having to spend hours doing it.

If this is your case, click play:

Our straps for the ROLEX GMT-Master 1675

Porte-Cartes en Cuir Pigskin Noir
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