luxury

Marlon Brando's unique Rolex watch from 'Apocalypse Now' to be auctioned

Published 17th July 2019
Marlon Brando's unique Rolex watch from 'Apocalypse Now' to be auctioned
Written by Amy Woodyatt, CNN
Forty years after its release, Francis Ford Coppola's 1979 flim "Apocalypse Now" is considered a classic. And now another classic, the Rolex GMT-Master worn by Marlon Brando in the Vietnam War epic, is going up for sale with six-figure price estimate.
Marlon Brando wore the watch in Francis Ford Coppola's 'Apocalypse Now.'
Marlon Brando wore the watch in Francis Ford Coppola's 'Apocalypse Now.' Credit: Mary Ellen Mark
Worn by Brando in his role of Colonel Walter E. Kurtz, the watch, manufactured in 1972, is being marketed as a distinctive piece.
According to the Phillips auction house, Brando was asked to remove the watch during filming of "Apocalypse Now." He refused and instead simply removed its bezel, giving it a unique appearance.
Brando's name can be found engraved on the case back.
The Rolex GMT-Master has Brando's name engraved on its case back.
The Rolex GMT-Master has Brando's name engraved on its case back. Credit: Courtesy Phillips
The timepiece, which is being sold without the bezel and comes fitted on a rubber strap, is described as "exceptionally well preserved" by the auctioneers and comes complete with original dial, hands, case, crystal and crown.
According to Phillips, Brando gave the watch to his daughter Petra in 1995, following her graduation from Brown University.
The watch is expected to fetch sums 'in the six figures,' according to auctioneers Phillips.
The watch is expected to fetch sums 'in the six figures,' according to auctioneers Phillips. Credit: Courtesy Phillips
The double Academy Award-winning actor gave Petra the GMT-Master, telling her: "This watch is like a tank. You can do anything you want to it and it will keep on going. I want you to have it as a reminder of how proud I am of you."
Petra later gave the watch to her husband as a wedding present, and the couple are now offering it for sale.
"Marlon Brando's storied career has come to define the 20th century -- his seminal films serving as cornerstones of American culture over the course of six decades," said Paul Boutros, head of watches for Phillips in the Americas. "This Rolex GMT-Master is the holy grail of watches owned by Marlon Brando and one of the greatest 'long lost' watches to finally surface after years of speculation," he added.
The watch will be sold at auction in New York on December 10, as part of a "Game Changers" auction of watches owned people considered "game changers" in their fields. The Rolex is expected to fetch sums "in the six figures," a spokesman for Philips told CNN.