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Rolex's chronograph reference 6238 is the last chronograph model with a smooth bezel and graduated scale printed on the dial. A sporty yet elegant watch, its design is more modern compared to earlier Rolex Chronograph watches. The immediate predecessor of reference 6239, the first Cosmograph Daytona released by Rolex, it is also known amongst collectors as the "Pre-Daytona”.
The vast majority was cased in stainless steel, very few watches in 18 carat gold. The present lot, from a very small series made in 14 carat gold and exclusively reserved for the North American market, can be considered an exceptional example matching all the criteria of a discerning collector: the rarity of the model, the sublime design, the sharpness of the case and the exceptional original grené black dial with gilt graphics.
The present example, bearing the serial number 1’836’292, is dated to 1968 and is absolutely correct to be designated at the lower edge as “T-SWISS-T", indicating that tritium was used for the luminous hands and hour pointers. Black dials on gold reference 6238 are the rarest version of this reference and the present watch is presented in excellent and original overall condition.
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.
Geneva Auction 10 May 2015 6:30pm