Yesterday I decided to have a cup of espresso with a close watchlifestyler and friend of mine and talk about his GMT with black bezel insert. As most of us know, the GMT Master ref. 1675 was traditionally sold with two options of bezel inserts. The now called pepsi—blue and red— and the black one. While the black insert is less coveted among most savvy vintage Rolex watch collectors, we believe that a vintage GMT sporting one of this black bezel inserts is not only less common and rarely seen in the wild but also makes the watch look more sophisticated and easier to wear with any outfit or any occasion.
This beautiful specimen is a mid 70's watch with a great creamy patina, silver date wheel with open nines and sixes, original oyster bracelet and a sharp solid black bezel insert. After 35 years of life, this watch is still very accurate and losing only 2 seconds a day. The dial is what experts consider to be a MK IV tritium dial correct for the time period with no visible blemishes or unstable lume. The tritium does not glow any more and the hands are in perfect condition with no corrosion or pitting. This watch has only seen two different owners in over 35 years that have kept it in great condition, regardless of being a daily wearer.
After close review of the watch, we can say that the black bezel insert is definitely more visually appealing to me than the classic coveted pepsi insert. When it comes to the GMT Master with black insert, we have seen that most collectors would prefer a faded black bezel—usually referred to as ghost insert— over one that is scratch-free or free of fading or discoloration. We actually prefer the solid jet black look of this one.
Now, are you a pepsi, black or ghost insert type of watchlifestyler?