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Old 8 March 2016, 12:44 PM   #1
springer
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GMT Bezel Inserts, Aftermarket Inserts and Bleached Inserts

GMT-MASTER BEZEL INSERTS FOR THE 1675/16750 AND 16760/16710/16700 MODELS

There are two variations of bezel inserts for the discontinued GMT and GMT II models:

1) Acrylic model inserts (GMT 1675 & GMT 16750)
2) Sapphire model inserts (GMT 16700, GMT II 16760 and GMT II 16710)

The inner and outer diameters are different for both types of inserts. Normally, when measuring an insert, they will not measure exactly to these dimensions due to age, stretch or other factors.

1) Acrylic: 1675/16750
Inner Diameter: 30.2mm...... Outer Diameter: 37.75mm

2) Sapphire: GMT II 16760/16710 GMT 16700:
Inner Diameter: 30.7mm...... Outer Diameter: 37.63mm

If you know the subtle differences between the acrylic and sapphire inserts when viewed from the back, it becomes very apparent whether a GMT insert fits an acrylic or sapphire model.

The sapphire inserts will fit on the 1675/16750 acrylic crystal models – especially if the insert is flattened out a little with the help of a wooden dowel or other item. The bezel will spin freely when installed - even though the inner diameter is slightly less with the sapphire insert than an acrylic insert.

I have placed several photos here depicting the differences between the acrylic inserts (1675/16750) and the sapphire crystal inserts (16760/16710/16700). When viewed from the back, the acrylic inserts have a very thin ring on the outer edge. The sapphire inserts have a thicker outer ring when compared to the acrylic inserts along with a middle ring. When viewed, the sapphire insert appears to have three distinct rings on the back while the acrylic insert appears to have two distinct rings.

In the photos below, I have included a GMT 16750 that has a sapphire insert fit to the bezel and installed on the watch. It fits tight and the bezel turns freely.

AFTERMARKET BEZEL INSERTS

The most common variety of aftermarket GMT bezel inserts have a distinct identifier in one of the numerals. In examining the 2s, if you look closely at the upper top loop of the 2, you will observe that this loop hooks excessively past the base of the 2 which gives the numeral a very distinctive hook which is not like the 2s found on genuine inserts. This type of insert is referred to as the "hooked 2." There are several photos of the "hooked 2" below comparing this aftermarket insert to genuine inserts. One must also be aware that the back side of these aftermarket inserts appear very similar to genuine inserts.

The "hooked 2" inserts can be found for all varieties and colors of the GMT models. From the two-tone brown inserts, gold, black, blue, red/blue, red/black etc., there is a "hooked 2" insert being made.

I have also been made aware of some other variations of aftermarket GMT inserts being sold on ebay. These inserts are often sold by European ebayers and appear very similar to genuine inserts. Personally, I have a problem distinguishing these inserts from genuine GMT inserts. (I do not have any photos here of these inserts.)

BLEACHED BEZEL INSERTS

Artificially or chemically "bleached" inserts are a rather new phenomenon which seems to have gained prominence the past three to four years. They can usually be identified by splotchy colors or uneven fading on the insert. Additionally, from my experience, the back side of the insert is usually overly-faded too, or has splotchy coloring which is indicative of a chemically altered insert.

I have also seen inserts that were chemically altered while the insert remained in the bezel. This type of bleaching is fairly easy to identify when the back side of the insert is examined. Normally, when you examine the back side of a suspected "bleached" insert, and you observe a distinct, darker color around the outer perimeter of the insert, it was probably "bleached" while the insert remained in the bezel. Normally, from the hundreds of inserts that I have seen the past couple of decades, most inserts on the back side retain the vibrance of their original color, regardless of whether the top side of the insert has a naturally, aged color.

Additionally, I have seen inserts from the 1960s that have a nice, faded patina on top but when you examine the back side, it appears to have an uneven or splotchy colors which might lead one to believe where one might believe it was artificially faded. This appearance is quite normal on some of these decades-old inserts and no need for alarm. (I have included a couple photos in this thread depicting a super fat font GMT insert with these attributes.)
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg Img_9859sm.jpg (167.5 KB, 4461 views)
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Old 9 March 2016, 12:50 AM   #2
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Very informative post! Especially as inserts are reaching crazy prices nowadays
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Old 9 March 2016, 01:34 AM   #3
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Thanks for the write up...appreciate the effort...

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Old 9 March 2016, 03:51 AM   #4
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Very informative - thanks
I wonder why the "hooked 2" and not other numerals, or why indeed.

I hope by posting all that info, you are not helping the counterfeiters get it correct!!

Thanks again
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Old 9 March 2016, 04:05 AM   #5
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[QUOTE=GLADIATOR;6525556]Very informative - thanks
I wonder why the "hooked 2" and not other numerals, or why indeed.

I hope by posting all that info, you are not helping the counterfeiters get it correct!!

Thanks again
adam[/QUOT


Adam, I don't think the "counterfeiters" really care. They've probably made hundreds of thousands of these aftermarket inserts and maybe, just maybe, they made the font different so they wouldn't be confused with genuine inserts.

Aftermarket parts have been manufactured for decades, like many aftermarket parts being made for Rolex and every other watch; to include their movement parts, crystals, bracelets etc. Aftermarket parts are a big business, whether for Rolex, Samsung, Ford or Toyota ...you name it.

These inserts are actually aftermarket, not counterfeit. They have no trademarks.

The intent here was to inform owners and potential buyers about the differences between genuine GMT acrylic and sapphire inserts and how to identify aftermarket inserts.

Thanks for the comments and concern..back to the topic at hand.
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Old 9 March 2016, 04:08 AM   #6
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That's a great point of "after market" versus "counterfeit" - its all in a name.

Of course to Rolex, they consider any after-market fitted piece making their watch "non Rolex"

Thanks for sharing your knowledge, I learned a lot
adam
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Old 9 March 2016, 05:59 AM   #7
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Excellent write-up jP and very informative!
Thanks for the effort and time!

Appreciate it!
Zoran
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Old 9 March 2016, 08:59 AM   #8
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Very useful and informative - certainly takes a very keen eye!
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Old 9 March 2016, 11:32 AM   #9
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Great post John! Thanks for taking the time.
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Old 10 March 2016, 04:30 AM   #10
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Good stuff - great reference for all, well done.

Those dodgy coat-hanger 2s are a dead give-away!
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Old 10 March 2016, 10:36 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Vincent65 View Post
Good stuff - great reference for all, well done.

Those dodgy coat-hanger 2s are a dead give-away!
Thanks Karl and to everyone else here who posted comments. I receive so many emails and PMs regarding GMT inserts, I thought it would be nice to have a reference thread for the GMT inserts.
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Old 11 March 2016, 01:08 PM   #12
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Great Post! Still new to the game but the more I read in this forum the more I not only learn but appreciate the beauty of these great machines. I bought a 1675... so Springer, I very much appreciate your efforts... Thanks!
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Old 11 March 2016, 11:44 PM   #13
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Thank you for the time and effort it took to compile all this information and share it with us.
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Old 13 March 2016, 02:29 PM   #14
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Great stuff! Thanks John
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Old 20 March 2016, 07:26 PM   #15
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Excellent info.

I've just started looking for a pepsi bezel insert myself - one type I keep seeing is as pictured below (being sold as genuine 16700/710).

Flaring to the ends of the 4s, some 2s flared, some not.

Grateful for any thoughts on whether these are legit Rolex variants or likely to be aftermarket:

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Old 20 March 2016, 09:13 PM   #16
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What an awesome and educational post for all us GMT lovers. Thank you for taking the time to put all of this together. Very much appreciated!
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Old 24 March 2016, 08:19 PM   #17
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Outstanding! Thank you!
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Old 28 March 2016, 11:11 PM   #18
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Excellent post. Great stuff for all of us GMT lovers. Thank you for taking the time to do this for everyone!
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Old 11 April 2016, 01:21 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brauner Hund View Post
Excellent info.

I've just started looking for a pepsi bezel insert myself - one type I keep seeing is as pictured below (being sold as genuine 16700/710).

Flaring to the ends of the 4s, some 2s flared, some not.

Grateful for any thoughts on whether these are legit Rolex variants or likely to be aftermarket:

Apols for being boring - the flared 4s and 2s?
Grateful for any thoughts :)
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Old 12 April 2016, 05:26 AM   #20
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Apols for being boring - the flared 4s and 2s?
Grateful for any thoughts :)
Looks legit
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Old 14 May 2016, 04:35 AM   #21
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Thanks for sharing
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Old 16 May 2016, 02:42 AM   #22
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Wow - very helpful. This really helps someone who is new answer questions on their own. Love the post. thank!
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Old 17 May 2016, 03:56 AM   #23
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informative and timely post John. With prices for faded and fat font inserts for GMT's on the rise and and an overall increase in value across the vintage GMT spectrum it's good that newcomers to the hobby know this stuff, theres a lot of bleaching and patina enhancing going on out there...
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Old 17 May 2016, 07:36 PM   #24
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very generous of you to share. RWF needs members like you.
thank you

sm
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Old 18 September 2016, 02:26 AM   #25
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ANOTHER VARIATION OF AN AFTERMARKET GMT 1675 / 16750 BEZEL INSERT - THE "FLAT NOSE 4"

Here is an update to my original post with photos regarding another aftermarket GMT 1675 / 16750 bezel insert that is absent the "hooked twos" found on the most common aftermarket inserts and identified in my first post in this thread.

The fonts on this aftermarket insert are smaller than genuine Rolex inserts and the metal used to manufacture the insert feels thinner than genuine inserts. The back of the insert appears very similar to genuine GMT 1675 / 16750 bezel inserts.

The distinguishing feature found on this aftermarket insert, which will help readily identify one, is the flat, "bull nose" area on the 4s. To further identify this area, I have attached photos below with the "bull nose" highlighted with red arrows. The 4s on this aftermarket insert are distinctively different when compared to genuine Rolex bezel inserts. I've included some photos below for comparisons of this "bull nose 4" aftermarket insert with genuine GMT 1675 / 16750 inserts.

These aftermarket inserts are very deceptive at first glance, but keep in mind that the fonts are smaller than genuine inserts and the 4s have a distinctively different shape which should help you in identifying one of these inserts.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Img_1159sm.jpg (96.7 KB, 3036 views)
File Type: jpg Img_1159.sm.fake.jpg (104.3 KB, 3032 views)
File Type: jpg BACKSIDE.sm.jpg (94.4 KB, 3021 views)
File Type: jpg Img_5642sm.jpg (85.0 KB, 3042 views)
File Type: jpg Img_5648sm.jpg (87.1 KB, 3034 views)
File Type: jpg Img_5649sm.jpg (104.3 KB, 3025 views)
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Old 18 September 2016, 02:49 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by springer View Post
GMT-MASTER BEZEL INSERTS FOR THE 1675/16750 AND 16760/16710/16700 MODELS

There are two variations of bezel inserts for the discontinued GMT and GMT II models:

1) Acrylic model inserts (GMT 1675 & GMT 16750)
2) Sapphire model inserts (GMT 16700, GMT II 16760 and GMT II 16710)

The inner and outer diameters are different for both types of inserts. Normally, when measuring an insert, they will not measure exactly to these dimensions due to age, stretch or other factors.

1) Acrylic: 1675/16750
Inner Diameter: 30.2mm...... Outer Diameter: 37.75mm

2) Sapphire: GMT II 16760/16710 GMT 16700:
Inner Diameter: 30.7mm...... Outer Diameter: 37.63mm

If you know the subtle differences between the acrylic and sapphire inserts when viewed from the back, it becomes very apparent whether a GMT insert fits an acrylic or sapphire model.

The sapphire inserts will fit on the 1675/16750 acrylic crystal models – especially if the insert is flattened out a little with the help of a wooden dowel or other item. The bezel will spin freely when installed - even though the inner diameter is slightly less with the sapphire insert than an acrylic insert.

I have placed several photos here depicting the differences between the acrylic inserts (1675/16750) and the sapphire crystal inserts (16760/16710/16700). When viewed from the back, the acrylic inserts have a very thin ring on the outer edge. The sapphire inserts have a thicker outer ring when compared to the acrylic inserts along with a middle ring. When viewed, the sapphire insert appears to have three distinct rings on the back while the acrylic insert appears to have two distinct rings.

In the photos below, I have included a GMT 16750 that has a sapphire insert fit to the bezel and installed on the watch. It fits tight and the bezel turns freely.

AFTERMARKET BEZEL INSERTS

The most common variety of aftermarket GMT bezel inserts have a distinct identifier in one of the numerals. In examining the 2s, if you look closely at the upper top loop of the 2, you will observe that this loop hooks excessively past the base of the 2 which gives the numeral a very distinctive hook which is not like the 2s found on genuine inserts. This type of insert is referred to as the "hooked 2." There are several photos of the "hooked 2" below comparing this aftermarket insert to genuine inserts. One must also be aware that the back side of these aftermarket inserts appear very similar to genuine inserts.

The "hooked 2" inserts can be found for all varieties and colors of the GMT models. From the two-tone brown inserts, gold, black, blue, red/blue, red/black etc., there is a "hooked 2" insert being made.

I have also been made aware of some other variations of aftermarket GMT inserts being sold on ebay. These inserts are often sold by European ebayers and appear very similar to genuine inserts. Personally, I have a problem distinguishing these inserts from genuine GMT inserts. (I do not have any photos here of these inserts.)

BLEACHED BEZEL INSERTS

Artificially or chemically "bleached" inserts are a rather new phenomenon which seems to have gained prominence the past three to four years. They can usually be identified by splotchy colors or uneven fading on the insert. Additionally, from my experience, the back side of the insert is usually overly-faded too, or has splotchy coloring which is indicative of a chemically altered insert.

I have also seen inserts that were chemically altered while the insert remained in the bezel. This type of bleaching is fairly easy to identify when the back side of the insert is examined. Normally, when you examine the back side of a suspected "bleached" insert, and you observe a distinct, darker color around the outer perimeter of the insert, it was probably "bleached" while the insert remained in the bezel. Normally, from the hundreds of inserts that I have seen the past couple of decades, most inserts on the back side retain the vibrance of their original color, regardless of whether the top side of the insert has a naturally, aged color.

Additionally, I have seen inserts from the 1960s that have a nice, faded patina on top but when you examine the back side, it appears to have an uneven or splotchy colors which might lead one to believe where one might believe it was artificially faded. This appearance is quite normal on some of these decades-old inserts and no need for alarm. (I have included a couple photos in this thread depicting a super fat font GMT insert with these attributes.)
ANOTHER VARIATION OF AN AFTERMARKET GMT 1675 / 16750 BEZEL INSERT - THE "FLAT NOSE 4"

Here is an update to my original post with photos regarding another aftermarket GMT 1675 / 16750 bezel insert that is absent the "hooked twos" found on the most common aftermarket inserts and identified in my first post in this thread.

The fonts on this aftermarket insert are smaller than genuine Rolex inserts and the metal used to manufacture the insert feels thinner than genuine inserts. The back of the insert appears very similar to genuine GMT 1675 / 16750 bezel inserts.

The distinguishing feature found on this aftermarket insert, which will help readily identify one, is the flat or "bull nose" area on the 4s. To further identify this area, I have attached photos below with the "bull nose" highlighted with red arrows. The 4s on this aftermarket insert are distinctively different when compared to genuine Rolex bezel inserts. I've included some photos below for comparisons of this "flat nose 4" aftermarket insert with genuine GMT 1675 / 16750 inserts.

These aftermarket inserts are very deceptive at first glance, but keep in mind that the fonts are smaller than genuine inserts and the 4s have a distinctively different shape which should help you in identifying one of these inserts.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Img_1159.sm.fake.jpg (104.3 KB, 3007 views)
File Type: jpg Img_1159sm.jpg (96.7 KB, 3021 views)
File Type: jpg BACKSIDE.sm.jpg (94.4 KB, 3004 views)
File Type: jpg Img_5642sm.jpg (85.0 KB, 3010 views)
File Type: jpg Img_5648sm.jpg (87.1 KB, 3011 views)
File Type: jpg Img_5649sm.jpg (104.3 KB, 3013 views)
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Old 18 September 2016, 03:01 AM   #27
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Uh-oh. Is this a small font, "bull nose 4"?


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Old 18 September 2016, 03:11 AM   #28
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Uh-oh. Is this a small font, "bull nose 4"?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
The info here is not for GMT II models with the sapphire crystal - but for the acrylic crystal model inserts found on the GMT 1675 and 16750. Your insert looks fine based on the pic, which, to me, looks like a later GMT 16710 insert.

The crystal is aftermarket...sorry. . . but, many of the watches have aftermarket crystals.
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Old 24 September 2016, 04:19 AM   #29
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I feel like I'm back in school. A student learning a new subject. Great job!
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Old 3 December 2016, 12:25 AM   #30
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As a new 16760 owner it's great information here especially as I want to source out other bezel inserts for my born Coke.
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