Rolex - Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR Geneva Friday, November 11, 2016 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1959
    Reference No: 6542
    Movement No: 872'942
    Case No: 424'245
    Model Name: GMT-Master
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1006, 25 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Rolex 18K yellow gold bracelet stamped 65, 200mm maximum length
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold
    Dimensions: 38mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by a fitted Rolex presentation box
    Provenance: Property of the original owner

  • Provenance

    Property of the original owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    With the introduction of jet engine technology and the rise of the “jet-set”, flight distances increased beginning in the 1940s, creating a need for pilots and travelers to keep track of multiple time zones simultaneously. Recognizing this need, Rolex worked with Pan Am Airlines to develop an ingeniously simple solution leveraging the design of the ref. 6202 Turn-O-Graph Rolex introduced in 1953, and the GMT-Master was born a year later. It was immediately recognizable with its vivid Bakelite bezel insert (this material was used to reduce reflection while being worn by pilots) with luminous 24-hour numerals printed within. A newly introduced fourth hand, together with the 24-hour markings on the bezel, permitted the instantaneous indication of time in a second time zone. As the reference 6542 was considered a "tool watch" the majority were cased in stainless steel, with very few examples of the first generation models cased in gold. One of the most notable features of the present lot is its unrestored, fully intact cognac brown-colored Bakelite bezel. Interestingly the date disc is of the same pleasing cream color as the hands and luminous indexes, providing for subtle elegance and equilibrium. Offered by the original owner, the present lot offers a rare opportunity to acquire a gorgeous example of a legendary watch that has survived the passing of time with so little signs of age.

  • 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. 6542
A rare and attractively preserved yellow gold dual time wristwatch with bracelet, brown colored dial and Bakelite bezel

38mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF110,000 - 150,000 

Sold for CHF137,500

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR

Geneva Auctions 12 – 13 November 2016