Fellows of Birmingham, UK, is holding another of its Secondhand Jewellery & Watches auctions this Thursday, October 7. Among the shiny collectibles on offer at a (relatively) affordable price is this stainless steel Rolex....
The gentleman's GMT Master stainless steel wristwatch was originally launched in 1954 and designed by Rolex in collaboration with the airline Pan Am. The piece was intended for use by its pilots on transcontinental long-haul flights (the GMT stands for Greenwich Mean Time).
In the days before Inertial Navigation and GPS, transoceanic flights were out of range of normal radio navigation beacons which made an accurate and trustworthy GMT time source particularly essential.
This updated version, the Rolex GMT Master II, appeared in the 1980s - although production of the original continued - and was manufactured until the late 1990s.
Although outwardly almost identical to its predecessor, the Master II features a movement that has an additional quickset hour hand. It can be adjusted to local time without stopping the seconds, or disturbing the minutes and 24 hour GMT hand.
A fascinating document of what happened when the world's leading watchmaking and aviation minds came together, Fellows has given this historic Rolex GMT Master II a pre-sale estimate of £2,500-3,500.
It's for sale with its box and original papers.