The luxury replica Rolex GMT-Master ref. 1675/3 and its successor, the ref. 16753 are probably the watches with the most nicknames, from the “Root Beer” to the “Tiger’s Eye” or “Tiger Auge” in German, to the “Clint Eastwood” (or “Clint Ostwald”) in German. That last one is a joke, of course. The Root Beer is one of the coolest Rolex watches ever created.
But as Mike perfectly explained in his in-depth article about the GMT-Master ref. 16753, it’s not a watch for everyone. You have to love the look of a gold and steel watch. On top of that, the combination of the brown dial and the bicolor brown and gold bezel adds a serious dose of 70s style.
Rolex did not produce a steel and gold GMT-Master from the beginning. Until the early 1970s, the GMT-Master only came in steel or full gold. In 1970 Rolex introduced the first bicolor 40 mm Rolex GMT-Master ref. 1675/3 copy watch. This model introduced a gold bezel, crown, and hands. The characteristic gold applied indexes give the watch its “nipple dial” nickname, as it’s known amongst Rolex enthusiasts. The watch was available with either a black dial and black bezel or a very ’70s brown dial with the aforementioned bicolor brown and gold bezel. If you are a fan of the looks, you probably agree with me that the choice for the Jubilee bracelet over the Oyster bracelet is an easy one. It just fits the overall style of the watch better.
Two generations of Root Beers
Inside the 40mm Rolex ref. 1657/3 replica watch used the same Rolex Caliber 1575 GMT that was used for the Explorer II ref. 1655 we discussed earlier. The movement operates at a frequency of 19,800vph and has a power reserve of 48 hours, and features hacking seconds. The original Swiss movement copy Rolex GMT-Master “Root Beer” remained in production for a decade before being replaced by the next generation “Root Beer” ref. 16753. That model introduced the higher beat Rolex Caliber 3075 with a quick-set date. On top of that, Rolex updated the dial design and replaced the “nipple dial” with a dial that featured regular hour markers with lume plots.
Having said that, you will find transitional pieces like Mike’s in the pictures that do feature the new movement and have a nipple dial. On top of that, many of the dials have been replaced over time with service dials. So finding the newer reference with an older dial is not unlikely. Overall you can say that the original ref. 1675/3 and the ref. 16753 are the references that have that classic 1970s style that made the 1:1 copy Rolex GMT-Master “Root Beer” into today’s icon. Finding one is not that hard, but finding one in great condition with original parts is a lot tougher. Prices for a ref. 1675/3 start at roughly 10K and move up to roughly 15–16K. And that makes it more affordable than most of the steel ref. 1675 models. Realizing the levels of style you get in return, it is definitely worth considering.