With Rolex period green presentation box and outer packaging.
The present watch is a fine example of the exceedingly rare early generation GMT-Master model reference 6542. It is distinguished by the very crisp case, the black gloss dial with the gilt printing and the attractively discoloured luminous indexes, the original bakelite bezel, correct hands and crown and magnified lens for the date.
Due to the extraordinary success of the Rolex Sports models in the 1950s, it came as no surprise when the world's largest airline Pan Am commissioned a specially designed watch allowing their pilots to keep track of time in two locations.
With the beginning of transatlantic flights with jet aircrafts in 1956, travellers appreciated the fact that the journey times were reduced from 13 hours to 7 but suffered from new phenomena, jet lag. Worried about the possible effects on their pilots, and after research, Pan Am management advised them to keep on "home" time while away from base. As at the same time they needed to know the local time, a joint Pan Am and Rolex task force was assigned. The team devised a watch with an additional hour hand, which revolved once every 24 hours, and a rotating bezel marked with those same 24 hours. The model was named "G.M.T.-Master" after the world's standard time, the Greenwich Mean Time.
The first GMT model, reference 6542, was launched in 1954 and was immediately recognizable by the bright acrylic or bakelite bezel insert with the twenty-four hour markings printed on its underside. This material was chosen to reduce reflection which would disturb the pilots. The bezel ring was also made of acrylic and coated in an alloy to resemble metal. It then turned out that the flexibility of this material could cause the bezel insert to break and that in very warm environments the printing would often flake off. Consequently, Rolex decided to replace the acrylic insert against a more resistant metal version.