GMT MK 0, MK 1 AND MK 1.5 : THE EARLY 1675 MATTE DIALS EXPLAINED
The Rolex Gmt Master is certainly one of the most beloved references by Rolex fans and aficionados.
The reason is that its iconic features like the bi-color Inlay and the Red Arrow GMT Hand make it a very unique Model in the whole Rolex production.
The collectors’ passion for this model is reflected by the number of enthusiasts who have studied the characteristics of the various models and references that were introduced by Rolex over the years.
This huge emphasis and research has recently led to the discovery of some new Matt dial Marks, which were totally unknown just few years back, even by the most avid collectors and passionate scholars.
Not so long ago the Matt Dial variation, tipically considered to be the first after the “Gilt Dials” batch, was the so called Mk 1 dial.
The Gmt Master 1675 Mk1 dial is easily recognizable because of its unique Coronet shape and also by the peculiarity in the letter “E” of Rolex : a very long middle bar.
Then, in 2012, in the worldwide famous Italian watch – forum “Orologi & Passioni”, a passionated collector named “TeneRolex” posted this interesting Matt dial he found and purchased in a watchmaker shop.
The question was quite simple, was the Dial a total fake or was it a “new” and never noticed before factory original matt Dial for GMT 1675?
The discussion was rather frantic.
Many forum users were in fact skeptical about the existence of this new Matt Dial for the 1675 reference.
However, after a quite long discussion, the dial was cleared as original thanks to the help of competent experts such as Roberto “Jatucka” and Luciano “Cortez Ramon” who, with their comparisons and experience, successfully demonstrated its originality.
As we can see looking at the following comparisons made by Roberto in 2012 we can easily notice how the graphics and alignments of this “new” Matt dial with white prints are irrefutably identical to those of a Singer 1675 Galvanic (Gilt) Dial.
Once originality was proven, this particular Matt Dial was therefore called “Mk0” or “TeneRolex Dial” in honor of the forum user who was the first who found it.
This Dial is therefore the first true successor of the Gilt Dials in the Rolex Gmt Master 1675 production.
This was the first time, in our opinion, that the so-called Mk1 – Long E was overthrown from being the first Matt Dial for the 1675 GMT MASTER production.
Successive empirical and documentary tests provided the certainty that this Dial was being mounted by Rolex quite before the MK1 in the 1675 production, at least since the beginning of 1966.
After this discovery the enthusiasm for the first Matt Dial specimens of this reference grew exponentially, especially among Italian Rolex enthusiasts.
This is the reason why someone soon realized that the MK 0 was not the only unknown Matt dial originally mounted on late 60’s GMT MASTER 1675 specimens.
The Dial just discovered was very similar to the Mk1, but not completely identical.
Who actually “discovered” this other new Matt dial for 1675 is, at least to us, still unknown.
However, this further news quickly spread among collectors who soon catalogued this new dial as MK 1.5 (or in some other area of the world as MK 0.5) because of its similarity with the Mk1 – Long E dial.
This rare variant of the classic Mk1 dial is characterized by slightly different alignments, graphics with more visible Serifs, a slightly different Coronet, and a different shaped “R” in Rolex.
This Dial can be found on a few 1675 examples produced between the end of 60s and the early 70s, making it very rare and collectible.
The idea that this Dial can be found only on a specific Serial Number and only with the GMT 24H “Small” hand in our humble opinion is not correct, as the two Dials (MK1 and MK1.5) are quite mixed at least at the beginning.
Summarizing, we can found 3 dials in the 1675 production batch between 1966 and 1971 :
MK 0 – 1966 -> 1968 CIRCA
(Courtesy HQ MILTON)
MK 1 – 1967 -> 1972
MK 1.5 / MK 0.5 – 1967 -> 1971
Here you can find a gallery showing some exceptionally preserved Gmt Master 1675 specimens coming with Mk 1 and MK 1.5 / 0.5 dials.
The last Mk1 dial FULL SET 1675 specimen shown in the gallery will be soon available for purchase on our website.
SOLD – ROLEX GMT MASTER REF. 1675 MK 1 SER. 1,952,XXX.
SOLD – ROLEX GMT MASTER REF. 1675 MK 1 SER. 1,820,XXX.
SOLD – ROLEX GMT MASTER REF. 1675 MK 1.5 SER. 2,463,XXX.
SOLD – ROLEX GMT MASTER REF. 1675 MK 1 SER. 2,035,XXX.