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Details & Cataloguing

Important Watches

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Geneva

Rolex
GMT-MASTER, REF 6542 STAINLESS STEEL DUAL TIME WRISTWATCH WITH DATE, TROPICAL DIAL AND BAKELITE BEZEL CIRCA 1957
Dial: black lacquer
Calibre: cal. 1030 automatic, 25 jewels
Movement number: N'770'650
Case: stainless steel Oyster, screw-down crown and back
Case number: 321'848
Closure: stainless steel Rolex buckle
Dimensions: 38mm
Signed: case, dial and movement
Accessories: none
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Catalogue Note

The immense popularity of the Rolex GMT-Master series to this day is a testament to the timeless design of the reference that started it all, the reference 6542. Widely considered the master of the GMT-Masters, the reference started production in 1955 and was only manufactured for 4 years, the model being discontinued in 1959.

The reference is based in the mid-century glamour of air travel, having been originally designed for Pan Am pilots during the golden age of flight. It was then lifted to further accolade adorning the wrist of Honor Blackman’s Pussy Galore in James Bond, Goldfinger released in 1964.

The watch is in and of itself an icon; the first watch to bear the now famous blue and red bezel to which it may attribute its huge collector following. The 6542 is distinguished from its predecessors by its Bakelite bezel insert. While this material was soon discovered to be impractical due to its susceptibility to cracking, it produces an incredibly alluring depth to the bezel that is lacking in later models as plastic or metal was used in its place. What is more Rolex recalled many of the original inserts due to high Radium content used as luminescence. Finding examples therefore retaining their original bezel is a rare occurrence, as they were either broken, recalled or simply replaced at service making the present lot particularly scarce and highly prized.

In addition to this, and as alluded to previously, the dial of this particular 6542 has become tropical developing a golden hue that is very attractive and provides a huge amount of presence especially put in contrast to the bezel. Each dial that changes colour does so in a different way dependent on many external and internal factors. As such the dial on this watch maybe considered completely unique. It is safe to say that this watch belongs to the upper echelon of the 'tool watch' category and the opportunity to purchase a piece such as this come few and far between.

Consigned by an important private collector, the dial of this GMT is simply spectacular. The ageing process is consistent throughout the dial, the case is nice and crisp with easy to see beveled edges. The case numbers are very crisp between the lugs and the Bakelite bezel is in extremely well preserved condition.

Important Watches

|
Geneva