Rolex GMT ref. 16700 with Original Faded Bezel

Additional images


Year of issue: 1997

Reference number: 16700

Serial number: U825xxx

Condition: hardly worn

Status: sold

Dealer country: United States

Price in US $: n/a

Watch details

This model represents an important transitional example to GMT collectors, as it would have been among the last pieces of this version produced by Rolex before the GMT II became exclusively available. The ref. #16700 has a rapid set date feature, allowing the date to be adjusted without moving the 24 hour hand. Possessing a vintage aesthetic, with holes in the case and the classic metal bezel insert, yet also the robustness of a modern watch, the interest in such pieces is augmented with every amount of time passed since Rolex discontinued this handsome icon. This watch is noted for being in mint condition and boasts a handsome faded bezel. Original bracelet #78790 with #501B end pieces. 40 mm. Stock 37997


Joshua Bonifas


The GMT-Master was developed to meet the specific needs of airline pilots. It became the official watch of several airlines, among them the famous Pan American World Airways, better known as Pan Am. Its most distinguishing visual feature was the two-tone bezel which marked daytime from nighttime hours.


As intercontinental travel developed in the 1950s, airliners began to fly swiftly across several successive time zones. For the first time it became important to know the time in various places in the world, simultaneously. It was the dawn of the jet age, and Rolex responded with a watch to match the spirit of the times.