If you follow the Charleston Watch Society on any of our social media platforms than it's more than likely that you've seen one of my many post's that feature my 1985' Rolex GMT Master ref: 16750. A typical caption reads; " Enjoying my 1985' Rolex GMT Master "No-Date,"- "Dateless" GMT featuring a stunning Spider Dial.' Yep, That sounds about right...
Without fail, every time I post this watch, and write anything regarding a "No-Date" or "Dateless" GMT I receive more Direct Messages than I can handle. The majority of these messages are asking me what I mean by saying the phrase "No Date-or-'Dateless," GMT. I figured it was only fair I address everyone and answer the question at hand. TBH I really felt like writing something and knocking this one out in one fell swoop, So here goes nothing!
Rolex first introduced the OG GMT Master in 1954. The OG GMT is probably the most fucking beautiful reference they ever produced: The ref: 6542 aka Pussy Galore. (The moniker refers to a "sexy character who wore the 6542 GMT watch in a James Bond movie) With no crown guards and it's Bakelite bezel- the 6542 is not only rare, but it's become the "grail" of vintage GMT"s, and it's freaking hot and quite hard to find in decent condition.
Rolex introduced the GMT Master 1675 in 1959. The reference 1675 is most likely what you think of when you think of a vintage Rolex GMT. The 1675 is without a doubt the quintessential vintage Rolex GMT and it's definitely what the majority the world associates with as a GMT. At the time and with the help of good old PanAm it was one of the most sought after Gmt's... (Second to "Pussy Galore) and if people were'nt hopping line for it then they definitely are now. I believe it also holds the title as the longest running production "model" GMT of vintage Rolex GMT's.
Around 1981 Rolex introduced the new and improved GMT Master Ref:16750. The 16750 looked almost identical to its predecessor yet boasted a new and improved movement (The Rolex caliber 3075) which featured a quickset date, better accuracy, and a slightly better depth rating? lol.
Around the mid-1980's, C.1985 Rolex decided to make some serious changes to the watch which would heavily influence how the GMT Master looks today. In fact todays GMT's exhibit much of the same DNA as the MK2 16750's. Rolex decided to transition from matte dials to glossy dials with white gold surrounds.
Over the years as Rolex continued to adjust and tweak their watches they would add-slight bits of differentiating"Text" to their dials reflect the changes made. (I.e movements, dials, etc...) So this is the part of the story where we get to why I call my 16750 a NO DATE or DATELESS GMT. On the dial, underneath the Rolex Coronet or crown, Rolex GMT's have always read "Rolex, Oyster Perpetual." Around 1988 Rolex and their powers at be decided it was time that their GMT's exhibited the word DATE on the dial so obviously, you guessed it, Rolex added the word"DATE" to the dial text.
So... YES... technically, Any and All Rolex GMT's that were ever produced prior to 1988 are considered "Dateless" GMT's and I doubt you'll get an argument if you want to go there. But I personally feel like the reference 16750 (mark 2?) is truly the last of the "NO-Date's or Dateless GMT's, and should without doubt go down as Mr. Dateless. Apparently I am not the only one to feel this way as I stole the term from someone else who used it long before I ever did.
So There it is my friends... The reason I call my 1985' Rolex GMT a "Dateless" GMT. I really hope this clarifies something for someone out there, and hope you enjoyed it. More articles on there way so stay tuned as we roll them out.
BTW- I am not a Rolex expert so if you have anything to add, please drop me a line in the comments!