Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: XIII Geneva Saturday, May 8, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1978
    Reference No: 1675
    Movement No: D'824'059
    Case No: 5'659'673
    Model Name: GMT-Master
    Material: Stainless steel and 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1570, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel and 18K yellow gold Rolex Jubilee bracelet stamped "78363", end links stamped "J-480", max length 220mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp stamped "VC" and "14"
    Dimensions: 39.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by documentation from original owner regarding how he obtained the piece and pictures of original owner and Watches of Switzerland service receipt dated October 31st, 2000.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The GMT Master was created by Rolex in the second half of the 1950s in collaboration with Pan Am Airways and issued by the airline to its crews on long-haul flights enabling them to read a second time zone on their timepiece. Reference 1675, within the GMT family can be found both in stainless steel, yellow gold or a combination of the two like the present watch. This variant displays a stunning black dial and black bezel, giving the timepiece a striking appearance. The present example from the late 1970s distinguishes itself from the original reference 6542 with a number of improvements, most notably the crown guards. Stamped on the dial, the UAE emblem, or the Quraysh Hawk, is rendered in polychrome relief. Emblazoned above 6 o’clock, the symbol is situated where the "Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified" text should be. The polychrome tones are vibrant and eye catching in a way that only genuine Rolex stamps can be. Most interestingly, this example features the signature of His Highness Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to the right of the eagle. In contrast, most examples feature the Wazarah Ad Difa'A department in Arabic, making this watch a particularly rare variant. Some hypothesize that the Emir's signature signifies high Highness' personal connection with the watch. It is entirely possible that these Emir-signed watches were given in the most prestigious of circumstances.

    The provenance of this watch is of particular interest as it comes with documentation from its original owner, a former Special Air Service Regiment (SAS) member turned trainer for the Dubai Royal Guard Regiment paratroopers. Establishing his own military parachute school in Dubai in the 70's, the original owner went on to train the Dubai freefall parachute National team that competed around the world, successfully representing the country. On the occasion of the wedding of HRH Sheikh Mohammed with the presence of the Ruler of Dubai HRH Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, members of the Dubai parachuting National team demonstrated in honor of the special occasion. Rolexes with the Quraysh Hawk and the signature of His Highness Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum were presented to the members as a kind gesture of appreciation.

    This timepiece is preserved in overall great condition, with sharp satin finishes on the top of the lugs and crisp edges. The case back retains a strong satin finish, the watch is furthermore complemented by an attractive 18K yellow gold and stainless steel Rolex Jubilee bracelet.

  • Artist Biography


    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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Ref. 1675
A very rare and attractive stainless steel and yellow gold dual time wristwatch with sweep centre seconds, date and bracelet, made for the UAE Ministry of Defense

Circa 1978
39.5mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF40,000 - 80,000 

Sold for CHF113,400

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East

41 79 637 1724



The Geneva Watch Auction: XIII

Geneva Auction 8 - 9 May 2021