Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces

Monaco, Jul 25, 2023

LOT 102


EUR 120,000 - 180,000

USD 132,000 - 196,000 / HKD 1,030,000 - 1,540,000 / CHF 118,000 - 178,000

A fine and extremely rare 18k yellow gold wristwatch with bakelite bezel. Two time zone, date and central second. With a rare 18k yellow gold Rolex bracelet

Grading System
Case: 3-8


Slightly scratched

Movement: 2*

Very good

Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 2-01

Very good

HANDS Original

Brand Rolex, Switzerland

Model GMT-Master

Reference 6542

Year 1959

Movement No. N837332

Case No. 486415

Material 18k yellow gold

Bracelet Yellow gold Rolex brick link bracelet with folding clasp, 160 mm. (approx.)

Diameter 38 mm.

Caliber 1030, 25 jewels

Weight 119.6 gr. (approx.)

Signature dial, case and movement


** This lot might need a passeport and/or licence of exportationfor which will apply on your behalf to the French Ministry of Culture. Note, it may take 1 to 3 month(s) to obtain this license or passport. Antiquorum cannot be held responsible for any delays in the application process.

The Pan American World Airways, "PAN AM", one of the largest airlines founded in 1926, might have been one of Rolex's first major clients. Therefore, in 1954, probably at the request of the "PAN AM", Rolex designed a new pilot's wristwatch, the GMT. An additional hand and a blue and red, so-called "Pepsi", bi-directional bezel, allows an instant reading of a second time zone. A watchmaking complication essential to the advent of long-haul flights, and therefore an essential tool for travelers.

The ref. 6542 is the first reference produced and is based on a Turn-O-Graph Ref. 6202. The very first examples, like the model we are presenting, are immediately recognizable by the absence of a guards around the crown, the dial signed "Swiss" at 6 o'clock and the bezel in bakelite.

Alongside the standard “Pepsi” version in stainless steel, with only 6 years of production, a very small number of 6542 were made in 18k yellow gold with matching brown dial and bezel combination. Here this is a "nipple dial" style, with the domed gold hour markers filled with the luminous material, bars at 6 and 9, and the triangle marker at 12.