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The Rolex GMT-Master reference 6542

by Renko Stoof on

The Story of the Rolex Pussy Galore 

The Rolex GMT-Master reference 6542 may be a familiar sight for fans of the James Bond franchise. The watch is known for being worn by the Bond girl from the 1964 film Goldfinger ‘Pussy Galore’, played by Honor Blackman. This has had such an impact on the legacy of the watch that it’s been dubbed the Rolex GMT Master “Pussy Galore”.

The origin of the Rolex GMT

This model of Rolex watches was specifically requested by Pan-American Airlines in 1954 as they were looking for reliable wrist watches for their pilots. It was important that these watches could simultaneously display two time zones. This is how the Rolex GMT was born, GMT standing for Greenwich Mean Time. It was specifically designed to have a rotatable 24-hour bezel and an extra hour hand to make it more convenient for pilots to read the multiple time zones needed during air travel.

Rolex GMT-Master in Goldfinger

In the James Bond franchise, Pussy Galore is the personal pilot for the main antagonist ‘Goldfinger’ and the leader of a female aviator team called ‘Pussy Galore’s Flying Circus’. Of course, since she is a pilot, she wears a beautiful Rolex GMT Master with a Pepsi Bezel. Specifically the Rolex GMT-Master reference 6542. 

Pussy Galore is implied to be a ‘Lipstick Lesbian’. When James Bond first runs into her he tries seducing her. Pussy rejects him, however, by telling him she is not interested. Of course it isn’t an old James Bond film without him managing to seduce Pussy anyway and converting her from being a lesbian after which she seemingly turns against her old boss by alerting the US government about Goldfinger’s plans.

Pussy Galore’s legacy

One of the most amazing things about the portrayal of Pussy Galore by Honor Blackman is that it represents the first recorded case of a woman wearing a man’s 40MM Sport Rolex ever. After this portrayal many people started considering women wearing men’s 40mm Sport Rolexes to be very stylish and sexy. It is amazing to realise that this trend started with the incredible acting done by Honor Blackman in the 1964 James Bond film. This has also made the GMT-Master reference 6542 forever memorable with it earning the nickname Rolex GMT Master “Pussy Galore” in tribute to the extraordinary Honor Blackman.

The GMT-Master “Pussy Galore” in our collection

The GMT-Master “Pussy Galore” in our collection is almost entirely in its original condition. The bezel and the clasp are the only things that were replaced during its lifetime. 
The bezel has been replaced by, what we presume is, either an old replacement or a great old aftermarket replacement. It looks pretty much identical to the original except that it is not made of bakelite and there is no radium inside of it. Which is not a bad thing. Originally all Rolex GMT watches had bakelite bezels. This was chosen because it would reflect less and thus prevent pilots from being blinded. The downside however, is that this material is very fragile and tends to crack easily. Combine that with the radioactivity of the material and you quickly come to understand why Rolex discontinued the production of this bezel after a couple years.

The clasp has also been replaced by a 1966 alternative but the rest of the watch is all original. Rolex serviced the watch a couple years back and it has been running like new ever since. The dial has a unique look with great fading and oxidation which matches the time period perfectly. The case, crown, back and movement all look very good.
Overall this watch is a great investment since it is very sought after by collectors. Especially when the watch still has the original dial, hands, roulette date wheel, and case.

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