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    Sale 2392

    Important Watches

    29 November 2007, Hong Kong

  • Lot 2882

    ROLEX. A RARE AND EARLY STAINLESS STEEL AUTOMATIC WRISTWATCH WITH BRACELET, DATE, 24 HOUR INDICATION AND BAKERLITE BEZEL

    SIGNED ROLEX, OYSTER PERPETUAL, GMT-MASTER, MOVEMENT NO. DN911258, CASE NO. 461461, REF. 6542, CIRCA 1958

    Price Realised  

    ROLEX. A RARE AND EARLY STAINLESS STEEL AUTOMATIC WRISTWATCH WITH BRACELET, DATE, 24 HOUR INDICATION AND BAKERLITE BEZEL
    SIGNED ROLEX, OYSTER PERPETUAL, GMT-MASTER, MOVEMENT NO. DN911258, CASE NO. 461461, REF. 6542, CIRCA 1958

    Cal. 1066 nickel-finished lever movement, 25 jewels, mono-metallic balance adjusted to temperature and 5 positions, the black dial with luminous dagger, baton and dot numerals, outer minute track, luminous mercedes hands, centre seconds, luminous tip to the red arrowhead 24 hour indication hand, magnified aperture for date, in tonneau-shaped water-resistant-type case with revolving blue and red bakerlite bezel, screw down no guard crown and screw back, together with a stainless steel Rolex bracelet and deployant clasp, case, dial and movement signed
    38 mm. diam.


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    US$13,000-19,000
    EUR9,200-14,000

    The present watch is a very well preserved specimen of the first examples of the GMT-Master with a number of characteristic features that set it apart from its descendents: the glossy bakerlite "Pepsi" bezel; dial with the "Swiss" designation below 6 o'clock; outer minute track printed in gilt; the "mini GMT hand"; and the crown without a guard.

    Very few examples of the early GMT-Master series have survived with the original bezel as the acrylic material used to produce the bezel has very low heat resistance and would crack in very warm environments. As a result, Rolex replaced the acrylic insert against a more resistant metal version.

    Special Notice

    Prospective buyers should be aware that the importation of Rolex watches into the United States is highly restricted. Rolex watches may not be shipped into the USA and can only be imported personally. Generally a buyer may import only one watch into the USA. For further information please contact our specialists in charge of the sale. Please note other countries may have comparable import restrictions for luxury watches.


    Pre-Lot Text

    GMT-MASTER

    In 1956, Pan American Airlines flew the first successful intercontinental jet passenger plane, the Boeing 707. By cutting the journey time in half to 7 hours, travellers suffered a new phenomenon of jet lag. One solution to help pilots adjust and maintain full awareness was to keep them on home time, while still being informed of the time at the present location. This is where Pan Am commissioned Rolex to develope the G.M.T. Master, named after the world's standard time, the Greenwich Mean Time.

    The reference 6542, produced in 1956, and only until 1959, featured a 24 hour driving wheel, four hands including a 24 hour hand and a rotating bezel made from bakelite calibrated for 24 hours allowing the wearer to always be able to tell the time on two zones. Bakelite was chosen as a material for the bezel to reduce reflection which could disturb the pilots.
    Most of the early watches produced were given to each of Pan Am's pilots, first officers and navigators.

    The 6542 was replaced in 1960 by the reference 1675, a slightly larger version with a brand new movement, metal bezel insert and protected crown.