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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1958
    Reference No: 6542
    Movement No: N675'746
    Case No: 356'037
    Model Name: GMT-Master
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1030, 25 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster 190mm. max. length
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel deployant clasp stamped 7.62
    Dimensions: 38mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Literature: For another example of a reference 6542 with bakelite bezel see 100 Superlative Rolex Watches by John Goldberger, page 192.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The first version of Rolex’s iconic GMT-Master, the reference 6542 was made famous when seen on the wrist of “Pussy Galore” in the 1964 James Bond movie "Goldfinger", leading to its amusing nickname in the collector community.

    The GMT-Master's history began with Pan Am commissioning Rolex to develop a watch for their pilots. Due to the increasing flying distance traveled by pilots in the 1940s and 1950s, the need to keep time in multiple zones had grown in importance. And, the GMT-Master is therefore born with its typical Bakelite bezel and a fourth hand, which allowed pilots to use them in conjunction to calculate a second time-zone.

    The present watch is a charismatic and rare example of the reference 6542. The watch is furthermore preserved in overall attractive original condition. It retains the original Bakelite bezel in good condition, a wonderfully preserved original black lacquer dial with gilt printing whose numerals and hands have aged consistently and present the beholder with a very warm cream hue and the expandable Oyster bracelet from the same period. Furthermore, the original bracelet is fitted with the desirable "big logo" clasp that correctly matches the era of the watch.

  • Artist Biography

    Rolex

    Swiss • 1905

    Founded in 1905 England by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis as Wilsdorf & Davis, it soon became known as the Rolex Watch Company in 1915, moving its headquarters to Geneva in 1919. Like no other company, the success of the wristwatch can be attributed to many of Rolex's innovations that made them one of the most respected and well-known of all luxury brands. These innovations include their famous "Oyster" case — the world's first water resistant and dustproof watch case, invented in 1926 — and their "Perpetual" — the first reliable self-winding movement for wristwatches launched in 1933. They would form the foundation for Rolex's Datejust and Day-Date, respectively introduced in 1945 and 1956, but also importantly for their sports watches, such as the Explorer, Submariner and GMT-Master launched in the mid-1950s.

    One of its most famous models is the Cosmograph Daytona. Launched in 1963, these chronographs are without any doubt amongst the most iconic and coveted of all collectible wristwatches. Other key collectible models include their most complicated vintage watches, including references 8171 and 6062 with triple calendar and moon phase, "Jean Claude Killy" triple date chronograph models and the Submariner, including early "big-crown" models and military-issued variants.

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176

Ref. 6542
A rare and attractive stainless steel wristwatch with bracelet, centre seconds, dual time and bakelite bezel

1958
38mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
CHF30,000 - 50,000 
€27,800-46,300
$29,700-49,500

Sold for CHF56,250

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FIVE

Geneva Auctions 13 – 14 May 2017