A fine, extremely rare and very attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with "tropical" mocha-colored outer minute track, bracelet and box

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1969
    Reference No: 6263 inside case back stamped 6239
    Case No: 2'085'524
    Model Name: Oyster Cosmograph "Paul Newman Panda"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 727, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet, reference 7835, end links stamped 71N, max length 185 mm.
    Clasp/Buckle: Folding deployant clasp stamped 2.70
    Dimensions: 37.5mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by fitted presentation box.
    Literature: A similar example of a stainless steel reference 6263 "Panda" is illustrated in Ultimate Rolex Daytona by Pucci Papaleo, pages 348 and 349.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The reference 6263 "Paul Newman Panda" is, without a doubt, among Rolex's most recognizable wristwatches to date. The model has in recent years, propelled to new heights in collectibility and popularity. While reference 6263 was produced from 1969 until the late 1980s, it is widely accepted that the rarest variant, such as the present watch, belongs to the earliest production batch. Today, the collecting community has dubbed this watch the "Mk 1" Panda. In fact, it has been an incredibly long time since one has graced the auction market.

    The nickname "Panda" originates from the dial's exotic black and white color scheme which mimics its namesake. Due to the model's unpopularity at the time of production, only a very limited number of pieces were ever manufactured. As a result, the "Panda" is increasingly rare and sought-after today.

    As Rolex scholarship becomes increasingly widespread and transparent, the standards in quality have become incredibly rigorous. The collecting community dissects and analyzes each nuance of a watch when it appears on the market - from the spacing of the Rolex font, to the inside case back - and it is imperative that all components are correct. It comes with great surprise, and immense pleasure, when a watch such as the present example arrives in such original and complete condition

    Consigned by an important collector, this marvel bears all the correct details of a "Mk 1" Paul Newman Panda with 2.085 million serial number. The first, and most striking detail, is the "Mk 1" dial, which features thin "Rolex Oyster Cosmograph" text without any serifs. The "Paul Newman Panda" generally features three subtly different dial configurations in accordance to the serial number, and later examples display sharp serifs to the text.

    Most importantly, the dial features a beautiful outer minute track that over time, has turned from black to a rich mocha tone that contrasts wonderfully with the warm grainé surface. The white dial too, has 'turned' a beautiful ivory tone. The luminous remains round and intact.

    Other important details are the "Mk 1 millerighe” pushers, which were only fitted to the earliest 6263s. The case back, produced by C.R.S Spillman and stamped 6239, is correct, as scholarship suggests that early 6263s were fitted with the left over case backs of reference 6239 and 6241. The bracelet too, is stamped 2.70 with the correct 71N end links, confirming its originality to the rest of the watch.

    All these subtleties come together to complete the story of the "Mk 1" Paul Newman Panda. Truly a sight to behold, its absolute rarity, combined with dashing looks renders it among the most impressive "Mk 1" Paul Newmans to grace the market in the past years.

  • Maker Bio

    Rolex

    Swiss • 1905

    Founded in 1905 England by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis as Wilsdorf & Davis, it soon became known as the Rolex Watch Company in 1915, moving its headquarters to Geneva in 1919. Like no other company, the success of the wristwatch can be attributed to many of Rolex's innovations that made them one of the most respected and well-known of all luxury brands. These innovations include their famous "Oyster" case — the world's first water resistant and dustproof watch case, invented in 1926 — and their "Perpetual" — the first reliable self-winding movement for wristwatches launched in 1933. They would form the foundation for Rolex's Datejust and Day-Date, respectively introduced in 1945 and 1956, but also importantly for their sports watches, such as the Explorer, Submariner and GMT-Master launched in the mid-1950s.

    One of its most famous models is the Cosmograph Daytona. Launched in 1963, these chronographs are without any doubt amongst the most iconic and coveted of all collectible wristwatches. Other key collectible models include their most complicated vintage watches, including references 8171 and 6062 with triple calendar and moon phase, "Jean Claude Killy" triple date chronograph models and the Submariner, including early "big-crown" models and military-issued variants.

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Rolex

Ref. 6263 inside case back stamped 6239
A fine, extremely rare and very attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with "tropical" mocha-colored outer minute track, bracelet and box

1969
37.5mm. Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

Estimate
CHF350,000 - 700,000 
€324,000-648,000
$347,000-694,000

sold for CHF550,000

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FIVE

Geneva Auctions 13 – 14 May 2017