11 Oct
2019

The Rolex GMT-Master II ‘Fat Lady’ Reference 16760

While some people refer Rolex ref. 16760 to as the ‘Fat lady’ or ‘Sophia Loren’, others call it also as ‘Coke’. Nonetheless, the Rolex GMT-Master II Reference 16760 watch marked a significant turning point for the brand’s leading pilot’s watch collection. However, the watch earned the nickname ‘Fat Lady’. Although the name may initially sound a little bit deprecating, there is indeed a reason why the original GMT reference has such an unusual moniker. Today, let’s delve into the Rolex GMT-Master II Reference 16760.

Reason Behind The Nickname ‘Fat Lady’

Rolex introduced the GMT-Master II reference 16760 in 1983. However, reference 16760 was the first GMT-Master II watch to feature a 24-hour hand that can be independently set from the conventional 12-hour hand.

Earlier, the 12-hour and 24-hour hands were incorporated to work simultaneously on GMT-Master watches. Keep in mind:

  • Rolex originally designed and developed the GMT-Master timepieces especially for Pan Am pilots who follow one universal time-zone.
  • Eventually, the pilots set the conventional 12-hour hand as their reference time.
  • However, while landing in a new time-zone, the 24-hour bezel is merely rotated for aligning the local hour with the 24-hour triangular-tipped hand.

On the contrary, Rolex has decoupled the pair of hour-hands on the GMT-Master II reference 16760, making it a ‘true GMT’ watch. So, how is an exact GMT timepiece characterised?

A ‘true GMT’ watch features an independently adjustable hour-hand that typically proceeds in one-hour jumps without influencing the reference date or time.

However, a quick-set jumping hour hand is particularly suitable for frequent globetrotters who require changing the local time regularly.

While the Rolex GMT-Master ref 16760 features independently adjustable 24-hour and 12-hour hand, the watch could also illustrate the third time-zone if the bezel is rotated to a perfect time offset. This is one of the significant characteristics that indeed set apart the GMT-Master II from the original GMT.

Now, the question is:

Why the Rolex GMT-Master ref. 16760 is nicknamed the Fat Lady?

The fact is that Rolex made a brand-new movement along with a quick-set hour hand – the Calibre 3085. Typically, the more intricate the complication, the heavier the movement is. To accommodate the all-new Calibre 3085, the manufacturer created a stainless case thicker and more substantial than its predecessors.

While the watch retains the 40mm case diameter, Rolex complemented the reference 16760 with larger crown guards and a broader bezel. Consequently, the larger appearance of the Rolex GMT-Master II ref. 16760 earned it the nickname ‘Fat Lady’.

The Rolex ‘Fat Lady’ – Notable Features

The Rolex GMT-Master II reference 16760 sports updated functionality along with other noteworthy features.

  • Rolex not only developed the first GMT-Master II model in stainless steel but also offered it with a red-and-black ‘Coke’ bezel for the first time.
  • However, the watch was available in two bracelet choices – Jubilee bracelet or an Oyster bracelet.
  • Other enhancements in the GMT-Master II 16760 watch include a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal instead of acrylic and white gold framed hour markers.

Incorporating all these updates, the first Rolex GMT-Master II indeed proved to be an authentic modern sports timepiece at that time. However, until 1988, the brand manufactured the GMT-Master II 16760, replacing it later with the GMT-Master II ref. 16710.

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Related Links:

A brief history of the Rolex GMT Master II Pepsi

Rolex ‘Root Beer’ – The History of A Quintessential Rolex GMT- Master

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