The Rolex GMT-Master needs no introduction. It is perhaps the most iconic travel watch, allowing its wearer to simultaneously tell two time zones. Developed originally in the 1950s for PanAm pilots, who had then begun flying transatlantic routes more frequently, this handy tool watch was vital in order to track home and local time.
This particular example is a GMT Master Reference 16718 that was produced throughout the ’90s and 2000s. With stainless steel models in overdrive and reaching all-time highs, I do think that there is much more value in vintage gold these days. Not only that but the heft and feel of a solid gold Rolex is unrivaled. Not only is this Ref. 16718 in excellent condition, but it also comes with a rare ruby ‘Serti’ dial. The word ‘Serti’ comes from the French word ‘sertissage’, which translates into ‘gem setting’. While there have been many variations throughout different Rolex models that feature gem-set dials, the ‘Serti’ monicker is only used for the GMT-Masters and Submariners of this era. This 16718 features a beautiful sunburst gold dial with diamond hour markers and ruby markers at 6, 9, and 12 o’clock.
To travel with a GMT-Master on the wrist is certainly to travel in style, combining practicality with that mid-century cool. A genuine tool watch with some added bling, I really do feel that the GMT function is the most practical complication to have on the wrist, even today. All it takes is one look at the wrist and you will be able to tell the time at your selected timezone. For someone like me, or I am sure many of you, who travels a lot or even conducts business on the other side of the world, a GMT-Master is without a doubt, a welcome tool. It certainly is faster than fumbling around with your iPhone to find out.
I do feel that gold is making a comeback and on the wrist, it feels a lot more special than any steel rival. There is an old-school cool to vintage gold watches and the addition of this 16718’s Serti dial makes it just that much more special.