Thursday, July 11, 2019

Marlon Brando Rolex GMT-Master From Apocalypse Now...

Marlon Brando's

'Apocalypse Now'



This is such epic news that I had to borrow Hodinkee's "Breaking News" moniker again for this story!!! I can't believe I am writing this, but at the same time I am not surprised: The GMT-Master Marlon Brando wore in "Apocalypse Now" was recently discovered and surfaced at Philipps auction house, which will offer this amazing historical watch in December!

Marlon Brando's Rolex GMT-MASTER he famously wore in the 1979 movie "Apocalypse Now" is pictured above and below.

Marlon Brando gave the watch to his adopted daughter who gave it to her husband years ago, and they just discovered it in a dresser drawer. Marlon Brando hand-etched his name on the back of the watch as seen in the photo below. 

I have written extensively about Marlon Brando and the many different Rolex watches he wore throughout his life, which you can learn far more about below:

...Profiles In Coolness...

Marlon Brando

The Wild One

The Greatest Actor In History

An Amazing Life with Rolex Keeping His Time

Marlon Brando is considered by many to be the greatest actor that ever lived. In his amazing career he won two Academy Awards. One for Best Actor in the 1954 movie "On The Waterfront" and in 1972, another for Best Actor in "The Godfather."

Not only was Marlon Brando a pioneer of cool, but he was also a lifetime Rolex wristwatch wearer. In this article we will see him wearing five different Rolex watches.

Marlon Brando's First Rolex

Marlon Brando was born in 1924, and received his first Rolex in 1943, at age 19 from his parents, and it is seen below. It was a Rolex Oyster Royalite Observatory model.

In the photo below we see Marlon Brando with his dad and notice he is wearing his Rolex Royalite which is pictured abovel.

The inscription on the back of the watch reads, "To Bud, from Mother & Dad. 1943" "Bud" was Marlon Brando's nickname his parents gave him when he was a child.

The Fugitive Kind (1960)
All The Crazy Moonphases

John Goldberger, the author of 100 Superlative Rolex Watches pointed out that in the 1960 movie, The Fugitive Kind, starring Marlon Brando and Joanne Woodward, that Marlon Brando mentions his Rolex Moonphase 6062. John also points out that he thinks the watch is a chronograph, but I can't see it well enough to tell. I definitely see the moonphase on the dial of the watch when Marlon hands it to Joanne.

John Goldberger pointed out to me in an email, "I think this is the first Rolex advertising in the movies, because I bet the original book or script by Tennessee Williams didn't mention the words Rolex Chronometer."

Update: In a follow-up email, John mentioned "Tennessee Williams wrote the script for The Fugitive Kind in 1937, at which time Rolex had NEVER made a Moonphase of any kind. This means that in 1960, the screenplay authors added the words Rolex Chronometer as well as the description for the Moonphase. Also the description is too precise for the knowledge of a film-maker, and the supreme irony is that the model was out of production in 1960!!"

Marlon Brando is pictured below in 1962 with his fellow Hollywood leading men including Rock Hudson, Cary Grant and Gregory Peck.

The Godfather (1972)
Don Vito Corleone

Marlon Brando starred in The Godfather in 1972, which is considered to be on of the best films of all time.

Last Tango In Paris (1972)

Marlon Brando starred in The Last Tango In Paris in which he wore a yellow gold Rolex Datejust as seen in the photos below.

In the next three photos, all taken in 1975 we see Marlon Brando sporting his Pepsi GMT Master on an Oyster bracelet.

The first photo below shows Marlon Brando with famous rock and roll promoter, Bill Graham.

Marlon Brando is pictured below in 1977 sporting his Rolex GMT Master.

In the photo below, Marlon Brando is pictured with his secretary, and he is wearing his Rolex GMT Master.


In 1978 Marlon Brando played Superman's father Jor-El in Superman: The Movie.

Apocalypse Now (1979)
Rolex GMT Master

In this next set of photos we see Marlon Brando wearing his Rolex GMT Master in the movie Apocalypse Now. Apocolypse Now was directed by Francis Ford Coppola, and Marlon Brando played Colonel Walter Kurtz. Notice his Rolex GMT Master is missing its bezel. The following set of photos were taken by Mary Ellen Mark from Apocalypse Now.

In this next photo, taken in 1982, we see Marlon Brando pictured with Native American activist and leader of the American Indian Movement, and Brando is wearing his Rolex GMT-Master on a Rolex Oyster Bracelet.

Connie Chung Interview

The two next photos are screen grabs from the 1989 Connie Chung interview, which can be seen below. The photos show that for some reason, Marlon Brando was wearing two watches. A Pepsi GMT as well as a Tag Heuer which I originally mistook for being a two-tone GMT, as it looked similar.

In this next photo, taken toward the end of Marlon Brando's life we see him wearing a two-tone Tag Heuer.