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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1957
    Reference No: 6542
    Movement No: N737’304
    Case No: 262’910, inside caseback stamped I.57
    Model Name: GMT-Master “Pussy Galore”
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1030, 25 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Jubilee bracelet, max length 185mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 38mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Rolex GMT-Master has become one of the flagship sports model of the firm since its initial introduction in the 1950s. With an illustrious heritage and historical importance to the legacy of one of the greatest Swiss manufacturers, the GMT-Master was a professional solution to one of most exciting periods of modern history, the post-war golden era of the jet age. With the boom of the American economy during the 1950s, commercial flights allowed celebrities such as Frank Sinatra and Eva Gardner to travel to exotic places inspiring a generation of middle to upper class citizens to travel abroad.

    During the time, the largest and most successful airline was Pan-Am Airways who requested Rolex to create a durable and reliable dual time wristwatch for their pilots. Accepting the request, Rolex answered in 1955 by launching the world’s first ever chronometer certified dual-time wristwatch via the GMT-Master ref. 6542. Marking an important milestone for the firm, the GMT-Master quickly gained its popularity and became the standard timepiece that most pilots would eventually want to get their hands on.

    With a distinct and iconic appeal, the ref. 6542 featured a bi-colored bezel insert in red and blue as a practical feature to heighten its legibility of the 24-hour insert composed of radium filled Bakelite. The gilt dial featured in the reference were similar to other Rolex sports models from the respective era with radium luminous indexes and hands. While early examples of the reference prior to 1957 featured a swan neck hour hand, examples produced after featured the iconic “Mercedes” hour hand. In production for only a mere four years from 1955 – 1959, the ref. 6542 nicknamed “1964 Pussy Galore” worn by Bond girl Honor Blackman in Ian Flemming’s “Goldfinger” is now one of the most sought after timepieces by collectors today due to its iconic aesthetics and rarity.

    The present example Rolex GMT-Master ref. 6542 from circa 1957 is offered in attractive overall condition boasting a nice case with thick lugs, and a well-preserved bezel as well as a handsome dial with extremely strong radium readings under a Geiger counter. Paired elegantly with a Jubilee big logo clasp bracelet, this present high quality example of the coveted ref. 6542 will surely impress lovers and enthusiasts of the beloved model.

  • 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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966

Ref. 6542
A very fine and rare stainless steel dual-time wristwatch with Bakelite bezel, roulette date and bracelet

Circa 1957
38mm diameter
Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed

Estimate
HK$650,000 - 1,000,000 
€68,300-105,000
$83,300-128,000

Sold for HK$945,000

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2031
[email protected]

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XII

Hong Kong Auctions 5-6 June 2021