The Tru-Beat ref. 6556 was introduced into the market in 1954, fitted with calibre 1040, a modified and more sophisticated version of the well-known calibre 1030. Aesthetically similar to a normal Oyster Perpetual, the major difference of the model was the dead beat sweep seconds hand: instead of continuously sweeping on the dial, the second hand stops at each seconds mark before jumping to the next one, performing exactly like the hands of an analogue quartz watch.
Dead beat watches were already made in the early days of watchmaking and have always been considered as the symbol for a very finely engineered watch. At the time of its introduction however, this particularity did not enjoy much success and consequently the production of the Tru-Beat was discontinued after five years.
The majority of the models cased in stainless steel (see lot 100 in this auction), examples of a genuine "Tru-Beat" in yellow gold and furthermore preserved in such excellent overall original condition as the present watch are exceedingly rare.
A Tru-Beat in stainless steel is illustrated in The Best of Time - Rolex Wristwatches by James M. Dowling & Jeffrey P. Hess, p. 202.