Rolex - Geneva Watch Auction: TWO Geneva Saturday, November 7, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1959
    Reference No: 6542
    Movement No: DN903'492
    Case No: 486'487
    Model Name: GMT-Master
    Material: 18k yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal.1066, 25 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18k yellow gold, Rolex Oyster, end links stamped 80, max length 190mm.
    Clasp/Buckle: Folding deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 38mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    The first GMT model, reference 6542, was launched in 1954 and was immediately recognizable by the bright acrylic or Bakelite bezel insert with the twenty-four hour markings printed to its underside. This material was chosen to reduce reflection, which would disturb the pilots for whom the watch was originally designed.

    Predominantly made in stainless steel, examples of the early generation GMT-Master models cased in gold such as this example are exceedingly rare. As they were extremely delicate, within a few short years, Rolex discontinued the use of Bakelite for the bezels. Therefore, to find a GMT-Master fitted with its original Bakelite bezel, in such remarkable condition, is always a rare treasure. The burgundy colored dial, and matching burgundy bezel is an extremely rare combination, with only a handful having been offered publicly to date.

    The gold case, never exposed to careless polishing, retains the sharp angles and facets of the lugs and the crisp gold hallmarks on the reverse. It furthermore is fitted with a matching gold Rolex Oyster bracelet from the same period with the desirable "big logo" clasp.

    A remarkable and rare watch, which is not only striking visually, but in wonderful original condition.

  • 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 fine and rare yellow gold wristwatch with Bakelite bezel, dual time zone, date and bracelet

38mm. Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF150,000 - 250,000 

Sold for CHF209,000

Contact Specialist
Nathalie Monbaron
+41 22 317 81 83

Geneva Watch Auction: TWO

Geneva Auction 7 & 8 November 2015 6:30pm