1957 Rolex 6542 Tropical Service Gilt Chapter-Ring GMT
Description: The first words that popped into our head was “holy tropical!” We tend to lean into our first gut instinct and when we saw this 6542 we did not care this was an early service dial / insert / hands. The 6542 predates the 1675 and was the first GMT to be released by Rolex. This watch was serviced early in its life likely in the early 60’s and its original radium dial was replaced at that time with a service gloss tritium dial. These early service dials differ greatly to those that were introduced after the 60’s in that they used the same gilt gloss process but used a tritium / zinc / mixture to lessen the radiation of the lume. However this dial that was replaced through Rolex has turned into a super glossy caramel color and we think looks better than most 6542’s with their often heavily crazed or matted dial. The bakelite insert at this time were also replaced with a metal insert. Its hands were also changed to matching tritium / zinc hands that glow along with the dial and dissipate quickly. So this watch begs the question, originality vs character and soul? We know our answer.