A rare and attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with black lacquer dial and bracelet

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  • Condition Report

  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1942
    Reference No: 3525
    Case No: 181'227
    Model Name: Oyster Chronograph "Barilotto"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 23, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel riveted Rolex Oyster bracelet, max length 195mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp stamped 3.69
    Dimensions: 35mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Reference 3525 was launched in 1939. An important breakthrough model for the firm, the reference featured one of Rolex’s most important technological advancements. It was Rolex's very first chronograph wristwatch to be housed in an Oyster case, and equipped with a water resistant screw down caseback along with screw down crown.

    Displaying a crisp and sharp case, this reference 3525 is fitted with a black lacquer dial and luminous hands and numerals. The model is affectionately called "Barilotto" as the case is similar to that of a barrel. Legible and deep, the case number and reference number are particularly sharp on the outside caseback and would have disappeared with continuous polishing over the years. It is interesting to note that there are three stars stamped just above the case number which can also be found on other reference 3525s, the meaning of which is still unclear.

    This watch most interestingly displays very similar design specifications to the reference 3525 "Prisoner of War" watches that Rolex supplied to detained British army officers in WWII German war camps. These watches were often fitted with a black dial, gold graphics and luminous hands.

  • 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. 3525
A rare and attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with black lacquer dial and bracelet

Circa 1942
35mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

Estimate
CHF25,000 - 50,000 
€22,300-44,500
$25,200-50,400

Place Advance Bid

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Sale
+ 41 79 637 1724
aghotbi@phillips.com

The Geneva Watch Auction: NINE

Geneva Auction 11-12 May 2019