Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: SEVEN Geneva Saturday, May 12, 2018 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1959
    Reference No: 6605
    Movement No: N711'492
    Case No: 449'841
    Model Name: Datejust
    Material: 18K white gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1065, 25 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K white gold Rolex Jubilee bracelet, max length 190mm
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K white gold Rolex "Big Logo" deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Datejust model is, in its simplicity, one of the most appreciated designs ever conceived by Rolex. The unmistakable aesthetics of the Oyster case classify it even to the less trained eye as indisputably “Rolex”, definitely one of the most instantly recognizable models. The practicality of a waterproof case and date indication makes it the ideal everyday watch. The amount of variations of case material, dial styles, bracelets and size developed over the years ensure that virtually anyone can find a Datejust suitable to his or her taste. It truly can be considered one of the cornerstone of both Rolex’s current collection, and also of the historical evolution of the brand.

    The history of the Datejust begins in 1945. For the 40th anniversary of the company a new model is launched, indeed the Datejust. Since then, the model never went out of Rolex catalogues, with dozens of references created over the year.
    Technically speaking, we can divide the vintage Datejust production into three broad categories: the original cal. A.295 (and its upgrade A.296) are the first used for the model, from 1945 to 1956. Then, with the advent of references 6605 and 6604, the new calibre generation is introduced. It lasts until 1977 and features cal. 1065, 1565 and 1575. Thinner than the previous generation, it allows the new Datejust cases to be as well slimmer than the previous generation. Finally, in 1977 cal. 3035 is released, which allows for quick date setting.

    Among the most rare Datejust models, we can definitely count the present 6605. Made only for three years between 1956 and 1959 - together with sister reference 6604, with polished bezel - these two references are furthermore the only ones to feature calibre 1065: earlier reference 6305 mounts cal. A.296, and in 1959 the new calibres 1575 and 1565 will appear.

    The present reference can thus be considered among the most interesting Datejust variations both for technical and aesthetic reasons.

    This specific example, however, pushes the boundary of rarity and collectability much further, as it is one of the incredibly scarce white gold 6605s. A true unicorn, only a handful of examples have appeared on the market thus far. Furthermore, the present piece is distinguished by its superior condition, the case fully retaining its proportions and satin factory finish. Most notably, the ribbed bezel shows extremely sharp edges to the facets, an unmistakable sign that the timepiece has never been subject to careless polishing.

    The dial as well is spectacular, the luminous material evenly aged, the graphics unmarred and the honeycomb background practically flawless. An interesting twist gives even more vibrancy to the dial: the "roulette" style date which is displayed in black numerals for odd dates and red numerals for even dates.

    A final touch is given by the white gold jubilee bracelet: while already remarkably unusual in white gold, it furthermore comes with a very rare Made in Japan Rolex bracelet: the hallmark with a distinguishable “WG” is the Japanese hallmark for white gold, the top part - in this case faded - would read “K18”.

    The condition and rarity of this superb example makes the present lot a must have for the discerning Rolex collector.

  • Artist Biography


    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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Ref. 6605
An important and extremely rare white gold wristwatch with center seconds, roulette date, honeycomb dial and bracelet

Circa 1959
36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

CHF50,000 - 100,000 

Sold for CHF87,500

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Sale
+41 22 317 81 81

The Geneva Watch Auction: SEVEN

Geneva Auction 12-13 May 2018