Like any self-respecting summer, many of us love to venture into the pages of a beautiful thriller full of mysteries and intrigues, perhaps identifying with a famous English spy. Over the last few years, we, lovers of watchmaking and everything that revolves around it, have had another diversion. Thanks to the fantastic world of auctions, an almost flat season of news and events comes alive once again, for the story of a new watch that has resurfaced somewhere in the globe and its legendary owner.

If last summer it had as its undisputed protagonist the Rolex 5513 that belonged to Steve McQueen and found after a devastating fire in that of California, only to be withdrawn from the same Phillips auction house following some controversy raised by King of Cool's son. This year Phillips scores another important theatrical coup, announcing that in December the legendary ROLEX GMT-MASTER that Marlon Brando wore in "Apocalypse Now", the epic film shot by Francis Ford Coppola in 1979 will be auctioned. .

In 1995 Marlon Brando gave the watch to Petra Brando Fischer - daughter of his assistant Caroline Barret, whom he had adopted a few years earlier - on the occasion of her graduation.

“This watch is like a tank. You can do anything with it and it will continue to work. I want to give it to you so that you can remember how proud I am of you ”.

Petra Brando Fischer with Marlon Brando and her mom, Caroline Barrett on the occasion of her graduation from Brown University in 1994. Credit Petra Brando Fischer

A few years later, Petra Brando Fischer gave the watch to her husband, Russel Fischer, as a wedding gift. Mr. Fischer hid the timepiece to keep it better, but without knowing the real value of this relic.

Over the course of his long career Marlon Brandon has been spotted wearing several watches. In 1989 during the interview with Connie Chung, she wore two at the same time: a Rolex GMT-MASTER on one wrist (not the one that will be beaten by Phillips) and a HEUER Tag on the other.

The Rolex GMT-MASTER ref. 1675, produced in 1972, worn during the filming of “Apocalypse Now”, is in excellent condition and declared by Phillips as “unpolished”, ie never polished. To embellish this piece of history is the caseback, on which “M. Brando ”by the actor himself thanks to a special electric pen.

Even the less experienced will have noticed the absence of the typical rotating bezel provided for this model. While filming in the Philippines, a member of the production advised Brando not to wear the Rolex with the bezel to make the character more believable, as he played an army colonel lost in the jungle.

Marlon Brando thus decided to remove the bezel, considered too conspicuous, with these words "If the public looks at my watch, it will mean that I will not be doing my job as an actor".

The Rolex GMT-MASTER will be beaten by Phillips next December in New York, with a portion of the proceeds donated to a foundation that helps abused, disadvantaged and neglected children. If the value of a common Rolex 1675 could be around 10.000 / 15.000 euros, it is safe to bet that this example will easily reach figures of nearly one million.