1956 Rolex Oyster-Perpetual Tru-Beat (Ref. 6556) "Crosshair Dial"

Amongst the most niche watches produced by The Crown, which the brand had a habit of producing in its heyday, one stands out as being more misunderstood than the rest. The Rolex Oyster-Perpetual Tru-Beat features one of the most complex, yet visually simple movements produced at the time with the Rolex patented Cal. 1040

While the signature ticking of the ref. 6556 may seem commonplace today with the popularization of quartz movements, the dead-seconds mechanism of the Tru-Beat pre-dates quartz watches by over a decade and does so with a fully mechanical movement. The cal. 1040 employs an additional "swinging anchor" gear train that specifically interacts with the second's hand to give it that signature tick.

Essentially, every aesthetic and mechanical aspect of the Tru-Beat is based on its functionality. The purpose of this movement was to aid medical professionals as the tick of the second's hands was much easier to track with a patient's heart rate or pulse than the more common-at-the-time sweeping second's hand. This is also why the dial features a crosshair to split the dial into 4 sectors and the second's hand was even made a vibrant red color at the factory, to help visually aid the reading of the watch at a glance.

Although it's apparent every aspect of the ref. 6556 Tru-Beat was considered and executed for its intended application, it was, unfortunately, a commercial failure. Because of that and its extremely niche design, the watch was only produced for a very short period and in minuscule numbers. Today, the Tru-Beat has become a true enthusiast's grail, not only for its whimsical attributes, but the watch represents a time when the pursuit of Rolex was to create purely functional tools for the professional with the primary concern being the best possible timepiece as opposed to mainstream success. Though don't be mistaken, a Tru-Beat ref. 6556 in original and excellent condition like the example we're proud to present here are devilishly handsome.


Stock # RLXTRU6556
Brand Rolex
Style Tru-Beat
Model 6556
Serial 13XXXX
Size Men's
Material Stainless Steel
Dial Silver "Crosshair"
Millimeters 34
Bracelet Rolex 7205 Oyster Bracelet W/ 57 End Pieces


The impressive case displays minimal signs of previous polishing and boasts very thick and symmetrical lugs that show minimal signs of previous use. The smooth stainless steel bezel is in excellent condition with almost no signs of use present. The unique flat-top case back is very well-preserved with only light signs of previous polishing and gentle signs of use. The era-correct but later Rolex 7205 Oyster rivet bracelet with 57 end pieces dates to 1966 and retains 12 links that exhibit minimal stretch and will fit up to a 7 1/2-inch wrist.


The silver dial with crosshair printing and concentric brushing is original to the watch and in exceptionally well-preserved condition, featuring a tasteful warm patina that features subtle speckling but no actual damage. The radium lume plots have handsome tan coloration that features some dark elements which is commonplace in lume from this era, under U.V. light inspection all the lume plots remain present, though some of the lume plots display very minor degradation which is expected. The original dauphine hands match the dial almost perfectly but are a shade lighter and display no degradation when inspected under U.V. light. The "ticking" center red seconds hand is original to the watch as well.


None. This watch is keeping time within COSC timing spec, and functioning correctly. Due to the scarcity of parts for this specific movement, we can only guarantee the timekeeping of this movement to the best of our ability, however, we cannot guarantee the ability to fix it should a component catastrophically fail.