The last instalment of our GMT story ended with the first of the new generation: the GMT-Master II. The birth of the GMT-Master II in 1983 heralded a number of new innovations to the line that still stand today, 35 years later. The first and arguably most important was the introduction of a 24-hour hand that could be set independently. This enabled the wearer to quickly move the 24-hour hand forwards or backwards (via jump hours) independently of the hour hand. In conjunction with the rotating bezel this actually meant that the watch could track time in three time-zones. The first using the regular hour and minutes hands and the second by monitoring the independent 24-hour hand. If you wanted to monitor a third, it could be done by rotating the bezel and monitoring a third time-zone against the bezel markings.

The GMT-Master II (GMT II) story begins with ref. 16760, powered by the new Calibre 3085, which was based on the Calibre 3035. It was the first GMT-Master to have a sapphire crystal and where other sports references had received sapphire crystals during their transitional models, the transitional GMT-Master (ref. 16750) had an acrylic crystal. Sapphire crystals were, by this time, fitted to the Explorer II also, as they were much more hard wearing and helped with waterproofing qualities. Interestingly, the Explorer (ref. 1016) and Submariner non-date (ref. 5513) continued to use acrylic until the late-1980s. The ref. 16760 was housed in


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