Phillips Watches recently announced that on 10 December 2019, at the Game Changers Thematic Watch Auction, yet another iconic and long-lost watch will go under the hammer: the famous bezel-less Rolex GMT Master worn by Marlon Brando playing Colonel Walter E. Kurtz in Francis Ford Coppola’s film, Apocalypse Now. But this isn’t the only watch belonging to the actor that has been missing in action for years…
The whereabouts of the Rolex GMT were unknown until now. It has been held in safekeeping by Brando’s daughter, Petra Brando Fischer, who received the watch as a gift from Brando after graduating from Brown University in 1994.
The watch comes exactly the way it was worn by Brando in the film, with its bezel missing – which completely changes the appearance of the watch. It is worn on its original rubber strap and we also discover that the caseback is engraved M. Brando, done by the actor’s own hand. A portion of the Brando watch proceeds will go to a charitable foundation for abused children.
This story of the Rolex GMT is now known and clear… But that’s not the only watch that Marlon Brando was wearing. In fact, we just found that the famous actor was also spotted on several (private and public) occasions wearing another iconic timepiece, this time from Omega.
Marlon Brando’s (possibly lost) Omega Seamaster 300
Since the GMT Master has been rediscovered, I wonder where another timepiece of Marlon Brando’s may be lurking, and will we ever see it? In 1963, Brando appeared on NBC News with Hugh Downs and the familiar sight of an Omega stainless steel bracelet and bezel could be seen peeking out from his cuff, but identifying the watch was too difficult.
In another shot of Brando arriving in Paris a couple of days before appearing on NBC News, the bracelet is visible on his wrist. Clearly, it was his personal watch.
In the same year, Brando shot scenes for the film Bedtime Story, which was released in 1964. Lo and behold, he was wearing the Omega in the film! This photo of Brando relaxing on set with co-stars David Niven and Shirley Jones shows an Omega Seamaster 300 on Marlon Brando’s wrist.
The timing bezel, the Arabic numerals at 12, 3, 6 and 9 are clearly visible, along with the words Seamaster 300 at the 6 o’clock position on the dial. During the film, you can see it peeking out from under his uniform. My educated guess is the watch is a 1961 or 1962 model, most probably a reference CK 14755, as seen below (recognizable thanks to the arrow at the tip of the minute hand):
It would be another awesome discovery… but Marlon Brando’s Omega Seamaster has yet to be found!