The present timepiece is an exquisite example of early gold GMT-Master with a number of desirable traits that will surprise and entice the discerning collector. The most obvious is its wonderfully preserved brown/orange dial. This color is not an effect of dial tropicalization, but rather the original color Rolex envisioned for this piece. Coupled with the brown bezel, it imparts to the watch an extremely charismatic and exotic vibe. The dial is furthermore embellished by the highly attractive so-called nipple numerals and, for the pleasure of the die-hard Rolex purist, features the rare small arrow for the 24 hours indication (the famous "freccino"). Not only this configuration is much rarer than the standard one, but the freccino, with its much more discreet proportions compared to the full-sized arrow, has the effect of making the entire watch look more distinguished and refined, especially when coupled with the gold case and brown dial, without although altering or muffling the technical vibe and looks innate to the GMT-Master model.
The first GMT model, reference 6542, was launched in 1956 and was immediately recognizable by the bright acrylic or bakelite bezel insert with the twenty-four hour markings printed to 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. The dial of the first examples featured the designation "Swiss" below 6 o'clock, the numerals coated with phosphorescent (glow-in-the-dark) luminova. As of the late 1950s/early 1960s, the luminous material was changed to tritium, indicated by the "Swiss - T < 25" designation, the dial with all white print.