Rolex Fat Lady 16760 & Rolex 16710

Rolex Fat Lady Ref 16760 & Rolex Ref 16710T


After years of putting off the inevitable, I obtained a Rolex GMT reference 16760, more commonly known as the Fat Lady.  This watch was on my grail list because this particular Rolex GMT model included a number of “firsts,” that other Rolex GMTs did not have.  Rolex 16710 & 16760 Fat Lady
The Rolex GMT 16760 was the first stainless steel Rolex GMT that was fitted with a sapphire crystal being that the all-gold reference 16758 GMT possessed a sapphire crystal similar to the new Submariner and SeaDwellers of that era.  Additionally, the Rolex GMT 16760 introduced the red-black bezel insert (more commonly known as the “Coke” bezel to compliment the original red-blue “Pepsi” bezel insert found on earlier GMTs) , and introduced a new 3085 GMT movement that allowed for an independently adjustable 12 hour hand thus adding the ability to track a third timezone.  The 3085 movement also brought forward the high beat 28,800 BPM 4hz rate that was introduced by the preceding 3075 movement

The Rolex GMT 16760 was originally introduced in 1984.  This particular GMT 16760 has a 900 serial number indicating a 1988 release year. 

Rolex Fat Lady 16760

The Rolex GMT 16760 picked up the moniker “Fat Lady” or “Sophia Loren” because of the slightly larger (.5mm) case proportions as compared to  the Submariners and GMTs of that era.  The new Rolex 3085 movement is slightly thicker than the previous 3075 movement and could not fit into existing 16750 cases. 

On the right is the 16760 on top of a 16710T. Notice how the lugs of a 16760 are slightly more curved than the newer counterpart.    

Rolex Fat Lady 16760
The Rolex 16760 was only in production for five years, being replaced by the Rolex 16710 and 16700 in 1989.  The Rolex 16710 introduced a new 3185 movement that was slightly smaller, as well as the 16700 replacing the 16750 with an updated 3175 movement that introduced no new features other than having a full balance bridge Rolex Fat Lady 16760

Even though the Rolex 16760 and the Rolex 16710T look similar, there are some very discernible differences between the two models. (The "T" in the 16710T signifies the newer no-pierced lug case)

The electronic calipers found these measurement diffences below.

    16760 16710T
Weight (grams)   124.60 123.0
Lug to Lug (mm)   47.60 47.11
Width w/crown (mm)   42.06 42.19
Case Thickness (mm)   5.50 5.08
Width to crown shelf (mm)   39.14 39.00
Height (mm)   12.6 12.00

After handling both watches, it seemed that the winding crown on each felt different, wiht the winding crown on the newer 16710T feeling smaller.

I verified in the Rolex R20 parts book that both models use the exact same crown (be sure to click the image for a larger photo).

Rolex Fat Lady 16760
After examing closer, it looked like the case is slightly wider on the 16760 allowing the crown to extend beyond the bezel. The calipers found this to be true with the opposite case edge to crown seat being .14mm wider.
Another visible difference between the 16710T and 16760 is the crystal. Although the R20 parts book shows the same crystal part, the 16760 crystal rides higher (above) and has more of a bevel than the 16710T (below). Rolex Fat Lady 16760
Looking at the face of the 16710T and 16760 also shows another discernable difference. The minute hand on the 16760 (left) is slightly wider than the minute hand found on the newer 16710T (right). Rolex Fat Lady 16760

Despite these subtle differences, both are great watches. The larger proportions of the 16760 and short production run make this watch have a story of its own.

The 16710T utilizes a less rattle-prone solid end link, as well as the 3186 Parachrome hairspring and slightly redesigned movement. Be sure to read the newest GMT 116710 with ceramic bezel compared to a 16710T more traditional model.

With 30 years of adventures, no balance bridge, and a non-Parachrome hairspring, this Rolex 16760 is a testiment to the longivity of Rolex watches. Rolex Fat Lady 16760