A very rare and exceptionally well-preserved yellow gold dual time wristwatch with bronze color dial, Bakelite bezel, and bracelet

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1958
    Reference No: 6542
    Movement No: N754'726
    Case No: 367'392
    Model Name: GMT-Master
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1065, 25 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K yellow gold riveted Rolex Oyster bracelet, end links stamped 65, max length 210mm
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Rolex deployant clasp, stamped 2.58, inscribed "Louis A. Peacock"
    Dimensions: 38mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, and clasp signed.
    Accessories: Accompanied with photograph of the original owner wearing the watch at The Roosevelt, New Orleans, along with accompanying biographical documents.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Rolex’s GMT-Master is one of the brand’s most iconic and well-known tool watches, so much so that nearly 65 years since its launch in 1954, it still remains in production, with even contemporary models being extremely sought after. Developed in partnership with Pan American airlines, the watch incorporated a simple and ingenious way for long distance pilots to keep track of multiple time zones simultaneously. The model featured a fourth central hand used in conjunction with a rotating Bakelite bezel, with luminous 24-hour indication, in order for pilots to keep track of both home time and local time. The reference 6542 was the brand’s first dual time zone wristwatch and has become one of the most desirable timepieces available on the market today. While the luminous Bakelite bezel was an innovative design feature, it proved to be unpractical due to the fragile nature of the Bakelite and therefore, with the next generation of the GMT-Master, the reference 1675 introduced in 1960, the bezel was replaced with a metal version, and crown guards were introduced to reduce the accidental risk of damaging the winding crown.

    The present example is one of the finest and best-preserved examples of a gold reference 6542 to be offered at auction in recent years. The majority of the reference 6542 were manufactured in stainless steel, with very few examples produced in yellow gold. This metal rarity, along with its exceptional condition, makes this timepiece a must have for connoisseurs of mid-20th century tool watches. It is made even more impressive as it is totally fresh-to-market, consigned by the grandson of the original owner - Louis Arledge Peacock (1895-1972). Peacock was an accomplished marine civil engineer who spent his lifetime working on marine construction projects around the globe. A University of Georgia engineering student, Louis withdrew from school to fight in World War I, where he enlisted in the First Florida Infantry and saw action in France with the 31st Division. Upon his release on July 22, 1919, he returned to the United States and began an extraordinary career in marine construction. First with the St. Paul firm Seims-Helmers Inc, he was construction supervisor for the famed cantilevered Huey P. Long bridge in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, opening in December 1935. He also worked on other well-known projects like the Rickenbacker Causeway in Miami, and the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Bridge, which since 1969 has been noted as the longest bridge over water in the world. Throughout his lifetime Louis worked on numerous large-scale construction projects including work on new oil rig types in the oil fields of Lake Maracaibo Venezuela, and projects in the Dominican Republic. In the 1940s, he was employed by Morrison Knudsen General Contractors of Boise Idaho, and by 1994 he was named Vice President and General Manager of an M-K subsidiary Portland Tug & Barge Company and Marine Contractors.

    It is not known when Mr. Peacock purchased the present watch, however it dates to 1958, and a 1963 image of Louis, his wife Helen and daughter Mattie Lou, shows him wearing the watch for a formal awards-ceremony event at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans. In exceptionally well-preserved condition, this reference 6542 is a collectors dream – all original and unpolished, with crisp 18K yellow gold case, original riveted Oyster bracelet, and Bakelite bezel. The watch has a stunning light bronze color dial, which is flawless and original. The taut bracelet features the “Big Rolex” logo on its folding blades, adding to the collectability of the timepiece. The GMT-Master is a watch that over the years has become an icon of the horological world, offering practicality, durability, wearability and a classic aesthetic perfectly matched for both business and casual wear. This watch offers a unique perspective into the world of Rolex tool watches, as well as the life and times of an accomplished American engineer and war veteran who clearly treasured his fine timepiece.

  • Maker Bio

    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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Rolex

Ref. 6542
A very rare and exceptionally well-preserved yellow gold dual time wristwatch with bronze color dial, Bakelite bezel, and bracelet

1958
38mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement, and clasp signed.

Estimate
$100,000 - 200,000 
CHF99,700-199,000
€86,900-174,000
HK$784,000-1,570,000

sold for $137,500

Contact Specialist
Paul Boutros
Head of Watches, Americas
+1 212 940 1293
pboutros@phillips.com

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