The watch also made an appearance in the film Apocalypse Now. A great many people around the world were interested in acquiring the watch, his carved inscription added to the value and demand for the piece. After about 15 minutes of bidding, Lot 30 sold for $1.61 million, translating to $1.952 million with fees.
Quipping that the watch could make records for being the longest bid-on piece of the night — Aurel Bacs of Phillips, in Association with Bacs & Russo, called this one of the greatest Rolex GMT Master watches, worn by one of the greater actors of all time.
The Game Changers auction had a lot of hype around it. The watches being sold — 75 lots — were all part of game-changing events in history or had belonged to game-changing people. Watches expected to fetch the highest amount were Marlon’s watch as well as Jack Nicklaus Rolex, along with a few others.
The Marlon Rolex was actually purchased by Brando in the 1970’s. He opted to wear it in his role as Colonel Walter E. Kurtz, former Green Beret who went rogue during the Vietnam War. The filmmakers wanted him to remove the watch in the movie, which Brando did not want to do, he compromised and removed just the bezel, giving it an unusual look. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the legendary film.
Brando gifted the watch to his daughter in 1995. This was the first time the watch has gone up for auction.
The watch, sold as it was originally worn in the movie (without the bezel) will also benefit charity. Brandon’s daughter, Petra, and her husband, are donating a portion of the proceeds to assist children living in difficult circumstances.
The 39 mm Rolex GMT-Master Superlative Chronometer with date (with cyclops magnifying window) is created in steel with luminous markers. Circa 1972, the Ref. 1675 is in well-preserved state. It was sold with two signed provenance letters from Petra Brando Fischer and Caroline Barrett, along with two additional custom “M B” straps designed by Attila Aszodi.
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