Marlon Brando’s Rolex GMT from “Apocalypse Now” to be auctioned off

In what could be the watch coup of the year, Phillips auction house has uncovered the mythical Rolex GMT-Master that Marlon Brando wore during the filming of “Apocalypse Now”. And the hand-engraved watch is set to be auctioned off in December…

The movie “Apocalypse Now”, director Francis Ford Coppola’s Vietnam war epic based on the novella “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad, was released in cinemas in 1979, and it is considered a masterpiece of recent film history. For Marlon Brando, the role of insane Colonel Walter E. Kurtz, who founded his own paramilitary unit in Cambodia, was a milestone in his career. This year, the film celebrates its 40th anniversary, and watch lovers have been particularly interested in one thing: where is the Rolex GMT Master Ref. 1675 that Marlon Brando freed from her bezel and wore with a black bracelet during filming?

Watch lovers need wonder no more. The watch has reappeared, and Phillips auction house, which will be auctioning off the extraordinary Rolex in New York on 10 December, has published a whole host of other interesting information about the watch; for example, Marlon Brando had acquired the GMT back in the early 1970s, and whilst filming “Apocalypse Now”, he managed to wear it in front of the camera, but had removed the bezel and carved his name in the back. In 1995, the actor gave the watch to his daughter Petra Brando Fischer, and it has never been seen since…until now.

Photos: Phillips / Mary Ellen Mark