The Rolex GMT-Master ref. 1675, one of the most important watches formerly owned by the legendary Marlon Brando, will be offered at Phillips New York's Game Changers sale which will take place this coming December. The watch was worn by Brando in the 1979 film "Apocalypse Now" and seen by millions on the wrist of Colonel Walter E. Kurtz, the character played by Brando.
The Rolex GMT-Master ref. 1675 owned by Marlon Brando will be on offer this December
Marlon Brando in "Apocalypse Now"
Manufactured in 1972, the present Rolex GMT-Master ref. 1675 is particularly precious due to the engraving on the caseback with "M. Brando' hand-engraved by Brando himself. This is the first time the watch is ever being shown publicly and offered for sale since having been acquired by the legendary actor in the early 1970s.
The caseback is engraved with "M. Brando"
As seen in the film, this exact Rolex GMT-Master was on Brando's wrist, fitted on a black strap with its bezel missing. During the filming in the Philippines, Brando was told that he had to remove the watch as it would steal his thunder. According to Brando's daughter Petra, Brando replied, “If they’re looking at my watch, then I’m not doing my job as an actor.” The filmmakers eventually allowed him to wear the watch but he removed the bezel.
Brando wore the watch while playing the character Colonel Walter E. Kurtz in "Apocalypse Now"
(Left to right) Marlon Brando, his daughter Petra Brando Fischer, and her husband, Russel Fischer
This one of the greatest "long-lost" watches has finally surfaced after years. In 1995, 20 years after the filming of "Apocalypse Now", Brando gifted the watch to Petra following her graduation from Brown University in 1994. In 2003, Petra gifted the watch to her husband, Russel, on their wedding night. Out of appreciation for the watch's history, Russel has never worn it. Thus, the watch is exceptionally well preserved and the hour markers and hands have aged beautifully to a shade of beige.
The watch is extremely well-preserved
As this year marks the 40th anniversary of "Apocalypse Now", Petra and Russel decided to offer this watch at Phillips. A portion of the sale proceeds will be donated to a charitable foundation established by the couple which aims to provide financial support to children who are living through abuse, neglect, poverty or disability. The sale will also include iconic collectors’ models from leading brands alongside other important timepieces with extraordinary provenance. We will provide you with more information as the sale nears.