Rolex GMT-Master Gilt 6542


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Rolex GMT-Master Gilt 6542

The story of the GMT Master

There is no brand that has given the world of luxury watchmaking more than Rolex. From waterproof wristwatches to date on the dial, they worked relentlessly to add improvements to the back than a simple and quite unestablished accessory called a wristwatch. But their biggest achievement ever was the creation of the GMT function, which is vastly considered the most practical complication a wristwatch can have.

It began with Pan Am commissioning Rolex to develop a watch for their pilots. Due to the increasing flying distance traveled by pilots in the 1950s, the need to keep time in multiple zones had grown in importance. And, the GMT-Master is therefore born with its typical Bakelite bezel and a fourth hand, which allowed pilots to use them to calculate a second time-zone. 

However the reference 6542 gets its nickname from the only woman in the United States known to be running an organised crime gang: “Pussy Galore” as seen in the 1964 James Bond film “Goldfinger” where she was wearing one.

The timepiece also became very popular among celebrities and prominent figures of the era. Personas like Marlon Brando or Fidel Castro, who owned several versions of the GMT Master, could be seen wearing the new collection, adding a touch of celebrity endorsement, which boosted the popularity of the line even more. The watch was also featured in several 007 movies. Thanks to that, many people started to associate it with class, luxury, and masculine gentlemanliness. 

The looks

The dial of this GMT is the earliest and rarest version of all 6542 dials. It is a Gilt dial and when you look at it with a loupe, you will see light cracks like on the old painting, also called Spider dial by collectors. This is a proof that this dial is 100% original, what I can not say about the most Rolex GMT Masters 6542 on the market. Dial of this watch is a reference of how the earliest Rolex GMT dial need to be.

Moving from the dial, our attention is captured by the beautiful red/blue bezel, which is aftermarket on this exemplar as the early bezels where too radioactieve to wear. There can be found several scratches on the bezel, particularly around the numeral 2, giving this watch a true vintage soul. The whole bezel is rotatable, serving the traveller well whenever they need to set the second timezone. 

The seconds hand on this timepiece is also very rare and is called lollipop because of the big circle of the seconds hand.

The case and bracelet are 100% original and fully restored by a professional craftsman using traditional Rolex polishing technique.

The investment value of the GMT Master 6542

The Rolex GMT-Master Gilt 6542 is a highly coveted timepiece with significant investment potential.

Due to their short period of production and relatively early place within Rolex’s history, all Reference 6542 GMT-Master watches are now considered extremely rare and valuable. This timepiece is one of the earliest from the year 1956 which is considered super rare and highly collectible.

The GMT Master 6542 is a stunning watch which quickly became the de facto choice for airline pilots. As the first GMT Master ever, the 6542 was and remains the holy grail in GMT Master collecting. For those reasons, they can be considered a good and safe investment, a true legacy timepiece which will forever be the icon of Rolex. 

How it feels on the wrist & Why I love this watch

When you hold this watch in your hand, it is very hard to comprehend the age and significance of this watch. After all, it’s the first-ever GMT model. There’s history written and engraved in this timepiece, decades of memories and experiences have been poured into it, making it a deep well of knowledge and legacy. Since 1956, this watch has been on wrists, and through the course of time, it has happened to be with me now, ready to continue on this journey that is already more than 60 years long. I will never stop being amazed by it - for me, this is a timepiece that can last another 60 years without a problem, carrying the wisdom and heritage of its wearer for future generations. 

The overall feel of the timepiece is great. It’s one of those watches you will love to look at even after years of ownership. It is a big joy and pride to be an owner of the first and one of the most earliest and honest Rolex GMT examples in the world.


Brand: Rolex

Model: GMT-Master

Gender: Men's

Reference: 6542

Year: 1956

Movement: Automatic

Case size: 38 mm

Case material: Steel

Bracelet material: Steel

Water resistance: No

Glass: Plexi

Condition: Bezel is aftermarket. Original case and original bracelet are restored.

Papers: No

Box: Yes

Guarantee: We will provide you with an invoice and a 2-year guarantee issued under your name.