Marlon Brando’s Missing Rolex Resurfaces, and It’s Heading to Auction
Just in time for the 40th anniversary of the classic film Apocalypse Now, the Rolex watch that legendary actor Marlon Brando donned in the blockbuster will hit the auction block.
Since the Vietnam War epic hit theaters in 1979, the Rolex GMT-Master, which has “M. Brando” inscribed on its case, hasn’t been seen in public. The Academy Award winner had given the timepiece to his adopted daughter, Petra Brando Fischer, the daughter of his assistant Caroline Barrett.
Had it not been for the blockbuster 2017 sale of Paul Newman’s famed Rolex Daytona, Brando’s watch may never have resurfaced. “I just feel like it’s lost in our drawer at home,” Fischer told the New York Times. As she began searching her London home, she eventually came across the relic in a dresser.
Manufactured in 1972 and still in near-mint condition, the Rolex features an unpolished case and an a black aftermarket rubber strap but is missing its bezel. (Brando removed it at the behest of one of the film’s crew members, who thought it may be distracting to viewers.) The hand engraving on the back was done by Brando himself, according to Paul Boutros, the head of watches at Phillips, which is auctioning off the accessory in December.
Without a link to the famous actor, who died in 2004, the watch would have fetched around $20,000. But with this kind of star-studded provenance, the piece, according to Boutros, is “expected to be offered with a starting bid in the six figures.”