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What a Rolex Used To Be

1027 Views 11 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  I_Like_ em_BIG ! !
I have a Rolex GMT Master that I bought new in about 1968 for circa $350 from the authorized dealer in Berkeley, CA. Back then the Rolex was considered a higher end but affordable watch that you bought if you wanted reliability and a waterproof and rugged watch. The GMT Master at the time had a plastic crystal, a folded sheet stainless steel links Oyster bracelet and the rotating bezel was strictly friction fitted so could rotate either direction. Quite a number of enlisted personnel on ships I was on wore Rolexs, typically the Submariner.. Definitely not rich men's toys. The one I bought was a window display and the blue and red 24 hour bezel was sun faded. Later I had it replaced by the Rolex factory service center in San Francisco along with a upgraded machined links factory bracelet when I had it serviced. Typically the crystal was also replaced as part of the standard service.

The body is about 39.5mm in diameter and 12.5mm thick, not counting the date magnifier. Only one extended crown position so setting the date can be a PITA and take a lot of stem rotating if many days off. With the current heavier machined links Rolex bracelet the watch weighs 3.9 ounces per my digital scale, light by current standards. As a quite valuable collectors item it now it lives in a wall safe most of the time. When originally bought this was a pretty simple watch except for the rotating bezel and the GMT time hand.
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... of course, sending it in to Rolex, ruined it!
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