Please connect

Forgot your password?

Create an account

Paris - Lyon - Lille - Bordeaux
Aix en provence - Cannes - Luxembourg

Your cart is empty

Free pick-up in store

CHECKOUT

SEARCH FOR
Watches

The Watches GMT-Master

Set Ascending Direction

Discover more than 600 prestigious Swiss brands of watches such as Rolex, Jaeger-LeCoultre, IWC, Patek ... Cresus guarantees the authenticity and traceability of second hand watches at the best price.

 

Rolex

Omega

Breitling

Tag Heuer

Jaeger-Lecoultre

Panerai

Baume & Mercier

Cartier

Iwc

Zenith

New
ROLEX GMT-Master II

Perfect condition

Available

Store
Paris

Read more

ROLEX GMT-Master II

Perfect condition

Available

Store
Paris

Read more

New
article Reserved ROLEX GMT-Master II Céramique

Perfect condition

Reserved

Store
Lyon - Watches

Read more

article Reserved ROLEX GMT-Master II

Perfect condition

Reserved

Store
Paris

Read more

Pre-owned Rolex GMT-Master - Cresus

Discovering the Rolex GMT-Master, the frequent traveler’s watch

Invented for an airline during the fifties, the Rolex GMT-Master watch quickly sets itself apart from all other watches. Thanks to an innovative system combining a 24-hour graduated bezel and an additional hand, this pilot watch is one of the first watches to provide a simultaneous two-time zone reading functionality. Even though it has disappeared in the late 1990s, it left its footprint in the world of watchmaking. Replaced by it’s younger sister, the Rolex GMT-Master II watch, this timepiece has left behind a wonderful story and thus, many sought-after pre-owned models.

Rolex GMT-Master, a pilot watch

During the fifties, the American airline Pan American World Airways, also known as Pan AM, made a special request to Rolex. The aircraft group wanted to equip each airline pilot with a wristwatch that would help during transcontinental flights. For this reason, the watch had to feature a very specific functionality: a second-time-zone allowing pilots to read the clock from both the departure continent and the destination continent.


In 1954, the manufacturer publicly introduced the first Rolex GMT-Master watches. It quickly became the official watch of the Pan Am airline company when pilots and crew members received a model equipped with a black dial, whereas the ground staff was offered a model with a white dial. In order to meet the requirements of Pan Am, this chronograph was able to read two-time zones thanks to an additional hand performing a 24-hour rotation, combined with a 24-hour graduated bezel. However, the history of Rolex GMT-Master watches really began a few years earlier. During the forties, a prototype was developed 10 years before the GMT-Master was marketed. On October 4th, 1947, this first sketch was even worn by the American pilot Chuck Yeager when he passed the sound barrier for the first time in world history.

Initially, the first Rolex GMT-Master watches featured a plastic bezel covered of bakelite. Considering that bakelite was quickly replaced by aluminium for resistance matters, these pre-owned Rolex GMT-Master are both rare and highly sought-after by collectors. At the time, this chronograph didn’t possess a crown guard, just like the Submariner at its release. It’s well-known Cyclops lens, allowing to read the date easier, was an optional feature. Designed to endure high pressures, this pilot watch was also waterproof up to 50 meters.

Rolex GMT-Master, short but intense lifetime

Since 1960, the first GMT-Master collection disappeared to provide space for a whole new generation of timepieces. These models are easily recognizable for their more imposing bezels and their brand-new crown guard. Labeled 1675, this range was replaced in 1981 by the model 16750. Behind this new launch, Rolex ceases the opportunity in order to release a more sophisticated calibre, labelled as the 3075, that also replaced movements 1565 and 1575.

Solely produced for about 7 years, this pre-owned Rolex GMT-Master watch is particularly sought-after by collectors and watchmaking enthusiasts. At the same time, the Swiss manufacturer stopped using Plexiglas on GMT-Master models and replaced it with a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. The pilot’s watch experienced a last substantial change: the Super-LumiNova became the luminescent material used by Rolex in the late 1990s, hence replacing the Tritium. A few years later, the Swiss watchmaker announced the end of GMT-Master watches merchandising. Henceforth, Rolex was focusing on its successor, the GMT-Master II.


Despite its short lifetime, the GMT-Master left a legacy in our society. Loved among pilots, aviators and businessmen, it became renowned thanks to its multiple cinematographic appearances. The most significant one was certainly in 1964 when this watch appeared on screen among one of the many James Bond’s adventures, named Goldfinger. Many celebrities have worn a Rolex GMT-Master watch like Tom Selleck, the main actor of the TV show Magnum or the famous jazzman Dizzy Gillespie.

GMT-Master II, the worthy heir of the Rolex GMT-Master

Before production was stopped, Rolex GMT-Master watches experienced multiple variations. Beyond the several calibres that took turns, this pilot watch was marketed in multiple materials, such as steel, white gold, yellow gold as well as a blend of gold and steel.

Nevertheless, if you want to own a recent GMT-Master, you will have to choose its younger sister, the Rolex GMT-Master II. Launched during the eighties, it took the essence that made its predecessor successful: an additional hand and a 24-hour graduated bezel displaying a second-time-zone. Even if it’s overall design is largely inspired by the original GMT-Master, it still introduces a lot of innovations. As proof, it possesses a 40-mm case, made in 904L steel. This material, often used in both aeronautics and chemistry, is renowned for its high resistance. Since 2007, this pilot watch 2.0 also features a scratch-resistant ceramic Cerachrom bezel. If the sapphire glass and the Cyclops lens are still present, the Rolex GMT-Master II watches are now equipped with the Oysterlock clasp and it’s Easylink extension. As for the movement, the watch introduced the calibre of manufacture 3186, certified by the COSCorganization (Official Swiss controller for chronometer) that brings a 48-hour power reserve. Concerning waterproofness, this latest generation chronograph broke its predecessor’s performance since it can go up to 100 meters down.


Choosing between a second-hand Rolex GMT-Master watch and its refreshed version still remains difficult. Whereas collectors, nostalgics and timepiece lovers for strong-history watches will undoubtedly go for the first generation of GMT-Master, the GMT-Master II may please after all. Advancing more technical and technological features, it preserved the main stylistic attributes of its predecessor. In conclusion, choosing between a pre-owned Rolex GMT-Master and a second-hand Rolex GMT-Master II watch is deciding who between the heart or head, will have the final word.



Also discover similar Rolex watches: pre-owned Submariner and pre-owned Sea Dweller.

Search

Follow us on:

Subscribe to our newsletter:

Product authenticity
and traceability

One-year minimum warranty

Payments in several installements with
no additionnal fees

Free Pick-up
in store

Quick and secure
delivery

Reliable and responsive
Customer Service

 
MENU