Rolex GMT is another watch with a rich aviation history. The abbreviation GMT stands for Greenwich Mean Time and is used by pilots and military to navigate across time zones. The GMT time standard was adopted when the flight distances increased and began to transcend continents. The concept of GMT, is based on solar time which is determined by observing the sun’s passage in the sky. There are two types of solar time: apparent solar time - or the time that is determined by the use of a sundial and mean solar time - which refers to the solar time shown by a mechanical device (a clock). GMT is based on the mean solar time and was used as a global time standard until 1972 at which point it was replaced by Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). GMT is still used today but mostly by the services and branches of military that are connected to the United Kingdom. Although Rolex GMT bares the name that refers to the Greenwich Mean Time, it can be set to the UTC and is widely used by the pilots of all industries today and some military branches.


The original Rolex GMT was produced in conjunction with Pan Am to provide support for the pilots and the crew during transoceanic flights. During the 1940’s and 1950’s, as global positioning systems were still a distant dream, and communications across long distances were sparse at best. An aircraft that was on a transoceanic flights could be out of reach of communication beacons and towers for hours. A standard in global time was needed in order to accurately calculate weather patters, bearing, and time until destination. Rolex saw an opportunity to continue its rich history in aviation watches and was quick to develop an irreplaceable tool for pilots across the globe.


Rolex GMT is an extremely accurate watch that features a rotatable, 24 hour bezel that can be set to calculate UTC or GMT, a set of luminescent, Mercedes hands and dot markers that are easy to read in the dark on an oversized dial. The original release of the GMT was intended to be a practical tool watch that was only produced in stainless steel. However, as the demand for a more luxury version of the watch grew, Rolex began to produce their GMT model in a variety of metal alloys starting in 1970’s. In the early 1980’s Rolex introduced a Rolex GMT- Master II Ref.16710, a watch that was basically identical to its predecessor except it had the ability to keep track of three time zones independently. Rolex GMT Ref.16700 and GMT-Master II Ref.16710 were produced alongside each other until the mid 1990’s at which point the production of Rolex GMT has been halted. In 2008 Rolex has updated the GMT Master II Ref.116710 equipping the new design with a triple lock crown, a larger case, a hardened ceramic bezel that prevents scratching and fading, a dressier bracelet that incorporates steel as well as precious metals, and a more durable hairspring that is made out of a Rolex patented Parachrom material that was fully produced in house and took years of research. Ref.116710 was born.


The installation of the Parachrom hairspring is one of the crowning achievements of watchmaking in the last few years. Rolex realized that in order to make a more accurate watch that could withstand temperature fluctuations and magnetic disturbances with zero changes in its accuracy, they need to come up with a different metal alloy that will not contract and expand or respond to magnetism. It took Rolex a better part of the 2000’s to come up with a winning combination of niobium- zirconium-oxygen that is now known as Parachrom. Parachrom hairspring is extremely stable adding extra durability to an already extremely durable tool watch.


Although the internal working of the Rolex GMT line has changed and some minor cosmetic modifications were made to the case, the watch is still as recognizable as it was in the 1940’s. In many ways, Rolex understands the importance of a classically iconic watch and the attraction to a slightly more updated vintage look. So, if you are looking for a true Pan Am vintage or prefer something from this century, Rolex GMT can provide that for you.

Ermitage Jewelers has multiple Rolex GMT watches that range from modern to vintage in our collection. Our commitment to quality shows in every watch that we buy and sell. All of our watches were carefully inspected by our master watchmaker and went through our rigorous, time tested quality assurance process. We are so sure that you will be satisfied with your purchase at Ermitage Jewelers that we offer a 10 day money back guarantee as well as a 1 year limited time warranty. Come by our location today or shop online for the wonderful Rolex GMT or a Rolex GMT Master II.

Available models:
1675, 16700, 16750, 16760, 16710, 116710, 116710BLNR, 126710BLRO