Sunday, May 20, 2018

1949 Rolex GMT? Rolex Patent Application




1949 Rolex GMT?

Rolex 'Universal Watch' Patent Application


WTCF!?!! This new find is rather shocking as it adds a previously undocumented piece of history to the Rolex GMT-Master history puzzle. Notice the application date is August 29, 1949. This is profound in that Rolex did not launch the Rolex GMT-Master until 1955.





I really don't even know where to begin with this Rolex patent application as is appears to have come out of left field. The fact that it predates the GMT-Master by 6 years is one thing, but the fact it has two dials with one that includes international cities including Geneve, Berlin, New York, and Panama make it even more interesting as it appears to be a hybrid GMT/World-Timer of sorts...



One interesting detail is that the Rolex 'Universal Watch' pictured above features a dedicated 24 hour hand (5) which we see just above the 2 O'clock position. This means that Rolex had the GMT-Hand design complete at least 6 years earlier than anybody ever documented. Clearly, this Rolex watch model never made it to market, but this patented design really illustrates that Rolex was swinging for the fences in watch design...

It is obvious to note the design of this 'universal watch' by Rolex is opposite of a GMT-Master in the sense a GMT has the 24-hour rotating bezel on the outside, whereas this design features it on the inside...



The photo above shows an original 1955 Rolex Pepsi GMT-Master, which is featured below in the 1955 Rolex ad.

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