Rolex GMT-Master 6542
- SKU 7469
- Bezel material
- Case Dimensions
- Case Material
The aviation industry used to be a lot more stylish, but also dangerous; not talking about the risks of crashing but the preferred pilots watch from the fifties is highly radioactive.
Therefore Rolex issued a recall, regarding the bezel specifically. As a result, most were replaced by an aluminium replacement, making the original Bakelite inserts very scarce. Adding to the rarity, due to the fragility of the bakelite, even fewer are still uncracked, let alone in pristine condition like the one we have on hand here. The panic beeping from the Geiger counter might scare most off, but for the seasoned Rolex collector it sounds like music to their ears.
Whilst the bezel with luminescent numerals (caused by Strontium 90) is a characteristic and important feature of this first ever GMT reference, it isn't the only part that is debatable in terms of health risks as the dial and hands feature Radium. Oftentimes this causes a chemical reaction to the lacquer of the dial, possibly with a rather messed up surface as a result. Luckily this hasn't been the case for this "gilt" dial that remains very glossy and we appreciate the absence of any damage caused by watchmaker malpractice or misuse of the watch. The only sign of ageing can be found on the date wheel with some brown spots here and there.
It only makes sense to have this gorgeous dial and quintessential bezel in combination with a razor sharp case. Both the case and the expandable riveted Oyster bracelet (ref. 6636 with 80 end-links) are dated 1959. The clasp proudly sports a "Big Logo" and displays a strong coronet on the lock.
Without a shadow of a doubt this historically important tool watch is a significant find, moreover because of the condition and originality. 6 And a half decades ago this watch was sold for 240 Dollar, todays equivalent would be 10x that amount, the current value -logically- is exponentially higher. But for a true connoisseur it is worth every penny.