A Vintage Rolex GMT Master's Journey Through Time

Updated: Apr 4, 2020

The GMT Master has been my trusted and elegant technical companion for the past 42 years. There is surely something special about wearing a timepiece as iconic as this one. The GMT Master was Rolex’s solution to Pan American Airlines’ request for a pilot watch that would meet the needs of its aircrews flying transcontinental routes crossing multiple time zones.

As for this specific beauty, you will note that the bezel and Oyster bracelet are relatively new as they were replaced in 2010 in Geneva, Switzerland. The Lume has not been replaced and after 42 years, amazingly enough, there has been no discernible degradation. The Rolex brand speaks for itself, so there is no need to go deeper into the technical aspects of this watch.

From a personal perspective, this timepiece remains a treasure, as it was a gift from a very special person. She realized at the time that in 1979 I was to begin a multi-decade journey of international travel and it was her opinion that there was no better companion to have than the GMT Master.

No doubt, the GMT is elegant and “shines” whether one is in a casual setting or at a diplomatic event in a European capital. I do believe that Rolex makes its mark when it comes to durability and I would argue it would stack up against any competitor. This watch, for example, has been put through its paces over the years. It has survived the pressure of being worn while conducting numerous live-fire exercises in the US Army’s main battle tank. It has been to the Zugspitze - Germany’s highest mountain and swam in the crystal-clear water off the island of Pula in Croatia, always on time, as my trusted and elegant companion.

There is also no doubt that the Master is recognizable to the discerning eye; the subtle second glance when meeting someone for the first time says it all. So, if you are searching for a beautiful watch with a GMT function - look no further than the Rolex GMT Master or Rolex GMT Master II – you will never regret it.

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