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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1959
    Reference No: 6542, repeated on the caseback
    Case No: 424’269
    Model Name: GMT-Master
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1065, 25 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K yellow gold Rolex Jubilee bracelet, max length 190 mm
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Rolex deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 38 mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    The GMT-Master series is by all means an epitome of the manufacturer’s progressive and ground-breaking method to watchmaking. First launched in 1954, the GMT-Master reference 6542, with its dual-time movement, was designed for airplane pilots to use in their line of work.

    The present lot is one of the very rare 18K gold examples of the celebrated GMT-Master reference 6542 and stands out by its attractive Bakelite bezel. This ingenious design features an instantaneously recognizable bakelite bezel with the twenty-four hour luminous numerals painted on the underside, made to glow in any weather condition. Bakelite was Rolex's material of choice, due to its high legibility and low reflectivity. The additional luminous 24-hour tipped hand allowed the viewer to immediately track an additional time zone.

    Yet, Rolex also manufactured a very limited number of watches cased in yellow gold, and fitted with a brown bakelite bezel. Due to the immense fragility of these watches, examples fitted with a bakelite insert are extremely rare.

  • 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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1050

Ref. 6542, repeated on the caseback
A fine and rare yellow gold dual time wristwatch with Bakelite bezel, brown dial, sweep center seconds and bracelet

Circa 1959
38 mm. Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

Estimate
HK$850,000 - 1,300,000 
€93,900-144,000
$109,000-167,000

Sold for HK$1,375,000

Contact Specialist
Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2030
[email protected]

Ziyong Ho
Specialist
+852 9386 2032
[email protected]

Jill Chen
Specialist
+852 2318 2033
[email protected]

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: SEVEN

Hong Kong Auction 27 November 2018