The Rolex "6556" Tru-Beat

A beautiful piece of watch technology with an incredible complication; a deadbeat second hand. 

With an automatic timepiece we are used to sweeping seconds, with the second hand floating over the dial. But there is an exception, such as the Rolex Tru-Beat.

We are talking about Rolex's mechanical highlight. The Rolex Tru-Beat reference 6556 was introduced in 1954, 15 years before the introduction of the quartz watch. The Rolex 6556 was only produced for a short period of time and was not very popular. The watch was launched as a tool watch for doctors and people working in healthcare.

The Rolex "6556" Tru-Beat - Trophies Watches

In the Rolex 6556 the caliber 1040 was used, this was actually a modified version of the caliber 1030. By adding an extra wheel, Rolex was able to provide the ticking second hand. During service the movement was often rebuilt to a 1030, the reason? The costs for a service of 1040's are extremely high compared to the 1030. That is why very few well-functioning Rolex Tru-Beats are available at the moment. The majority of what is offered is often not working properly. It is estimated that only 50 well-functioning copies are in circulation. 

The Rolex Tru-Beat below with a unique TIFFANY & CO. dial was auctioned at Phillips for 37,500 CHF in 2015.

The Rolex "6556" Tru-Beat - Trophies Watches

Today, many other haute watch brands such as, A. Lange & Söhne have produced watches with deadbeat seconds watches. Although Rolex was not the only one (Omega Synchrobeat also had a deadbeat second complication), this remains a fantastic and unique timepiece made by Rolex.

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"My Rolex is a continual pleasure, and works admirably."

- Sir Winston Churchill -