An extremely rare, highly attractive and important stainless steel triple calendar wristwatch with two-tone dial, moonphases and bracelet

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1953
    Reference No: 6062
    Movement No: N32'944 further stamped 00014
    Case No: 942'597, inside caseback stamped III.53
    Model Name: "Stelline"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 9 3/4'', 19 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex USA Jubilee bracelet, endlinks stamped 55, max length 210mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex USA deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Just a few decades ago, before becoming the luxury powerhouse it is today, Rolex had a very different brand image. The company was established in its earliest form in London in 1905 as Wilsdorf and Davis. At the time, watches were not fashion accessories in the least, but rather proper tools used for the most varied activities: from the most mundane “time telling” for the everyday user, to the most sophisticated calculations of military navigators (at sea first, in the air later). The founder Hans Wilsdorf’s vision was to provide accurate, durable and reliable timepieces which could withstand continued professional usage; the idea of providing luxury goods was still light years away.

    In fact, reference 6062 can be considered one of the earliest forays of the company into the luxury goods market. Up until the 1950s, Rolex's production consisted mostly of chronograph pieces or simple calendar (Datejust) watches. The most remarkable innovations introduced by Rolex in the first part of the past century (and, considering their impact on the field, possibly ever) were not complicated tourbillons or refined carillon repeaters. Rather, they were the rotor for automatic winding, and the waterproof Oyster case: two unfathomably ingenious, useful and equally practical inventions.

    From this point of view, reference 6062 is a momentous milestone: for the first time Rolex went out of its “comfort zone” of relatively simple pieces and tried to create a complicated dress wristwatch. This was a double effort, as at the same time also the non-waterproof reference 8171 - featuring the same set of complications - was released. The fact that these two references are now among the rarest models made by the house speaks volumes about how that experiment went: in the eyes of the public, Rolex was not yet so strongly associated with complicated watches, albeit it had already grown to being one of the most important watchmakers in the world, and the market gave the models a lukewarm reception. In fact, after this experience, Rolex focused on professional pieces (chronographs, dual-time watches, simple calendars) until the 1990s, and it would take more than half a century to issue another moon phase model, which happened last year with the Cellini ref. 50535.

    When analyzing reference 6062, one cannot help but appreciate how it truly feels like a luxury evolution of a sport’s watch. First and foremost, the Oyster case makes it a waterproof piece, which is somewhat of a contradiction for a luxury watch, especially at that time. Furthermore, it is equipped with an automatic rotor. To give a comparison, Patek Philippe produced no waterproof calendar pieces, with exception of the very rare reference 2438/1, until the late 1980s. Compounding to the “clash of souls”, reference 6062 was mostly produced in yellow gold, another oddity for a waterproof case. As a matter of fact, reference 6062 is among the very rare vintage Rolex models to feature a gold production higher than steel.

    Thus, the piece offered here not only is an example of one of the most unusual, historically important and attractive Rolex models ever made, but it is furthermore a representative of the extremely scarce steel variety of such model. While this is more than enough to conquer the heart and mind of the collector, it furthermore features an exquisitely well preserved two tone dial: fully original and without any kind of intervention, it is highlighted by the different grené finish of the outer date ring.

    It is interesting to point out how stainless steel examples of the reference appear to feature exclusively the “Semi-Explorer” dial configuration (with Arabic 3 and 9, reminiscent of the famous 3/6/9 Explorer dial) in either steel or gold color. This layout bolsters the utilitarian appeal of the piece, and when featuring gold colored markers - such as in this watch - it creates a very pleasing contrast with the steel case.

    When talking about the case of this piece, one cannot omit to mention its excellent condition: the lugs are full and their proportions intact, the pinholes for the bracelet bars are well defined and properly distanced from the edges of the lugs and the "Modèle Déposé" engraving on the case back is crisp . Even the dedicated satin finish arrived to us very well preserved. An additional layer of appeal is also granted by the very rare and extremely attractive Rolex USA Jubilee bracelet.

    In the past decade no more than ten stainless steel examples of reference 6062 have appeared at auction and the present piece is one of the best preserved and original models we have seen.

    Compounding to its rarity, condition and undeniable aesthetic appeal, the present watch is furthermore appearing for the first time on the auction market: a true gem for the most demanding of vintage Rolex collectors.

  • 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. 6062
An extremely rare, highly attractive and important stainless steel triple calendar wristwatch with two-tone dial, moonphases and bracelet

1953
36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

Estimate
CHF700,000 - 1,400,000 
€600,000-1,200,000
$741,000-1,480,000

sold for CHF1,452,500

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Sale
+41 22 317 81 81
aghotbi@phillips.com

The Geneva Watch Auction: SEVEN

Geneva Auction 12-13 May 2018