The Highly Collectible Imitation Rolex GMT Master 6542 “Bakelite”

Airplanes typically fly across different countries, and pilots fly over multiple time zones. We call this phenomenon jet lag. After the airline Pan Am understood this phenomenon, they needed a watch that could help pilots track two time zones simultaneously. Rolex then completed their task and created the GMT-Master.

Rolex GMT Master 6542

24-hour bezel

Rolex GMT Master 6542

In 1955, Rolex introduced the first dual time zone watch, the Imitation Rolex GMT Master 6542. Its purpose is to help pilots track multiple time zones simultaneously. The design of the first imitation Rolex GMT Master was inspired by Turn-O-Graph 6202. Turn-O-Graph 6202 is a watch that debuted in 1953, with a rotating bezel.GMT Master also uses this bezel, and the rotating bezel has become the most important design of this watch. The GMT-Master’s bezel 24-hour mark and an additional 24-hour hand on the dial cooperate to display the second time zone.

“Bakelite” Bezel

Rolex GMT Master 6542

The bezel of the Imitation Rolex GMT Master 6542 is made of Bakelite. The “Bakelite” bezel is similar to plastic with a shiny radium number added to the bezel. From the beginning, this imitation watch has a two-color bezel. Ref.6542 is a red and blue two-tone bezel, also known as “Pepsi”. The pilot adapted the jet lag by simply rotating the bezel. Bakelite material is very easy to crack. So, Rolex replaced it with a metal bezel in 1956.

Short Four Years

Rolex GMT Master 6542

Production of the “Bakelite” Ref.6542 lasted only about four years. In 1956, Bakelite was replaced by aluminum. Then in 1959, the legendary Ref.6542 was replaced by 1675. But Ref.6542 still has many unique characteristics. “Bakelite” distinguishes it from other GMT Master watches. Imitation Rolex GMT Master 6542 is the rarest watch. Overall, Ref.6542 is one of the most interesting and valuable Rolex watches. Although it doesn’t have any crown, and it is waterproof only 50M.

The first reason is color. In fact, few watches are more attractive in color than the GMT Master. Especially the first Ref.6542 GMT Master has a fragile but beautiful “Bakelite” bezel. The second attraction is the “tool list”. GMT Master watches are not only beautiful, but also rugged and have many practical functions.