A very rare and unusual stainless steel wristwatch with center seconds, bracelet, red depth rating, guarantee, Bureaux Suisses de Controle Officiel de la Marche des Montres, box and hang tag

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1956
    Reference No: 6610
    Movement No: 565'747
    Case No: 113'174 inside caseback stamped I.56
    Model Name: Explorer
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1030, 25 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel, Rolex Oyster, end links stamped 64, max length 200mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel deployant clasp, stamped 2.67
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex fitted box, guarantee dated July 25, 1956, product literature, Bureaux Suisses de Controle Officiel de la Marche des Montres, no. 425484 dated December 28, 1955, and hang tag.

  • Catalogue Essay

    How often have you seen a Rolex Explorer reference 6610 with red depth rating on the dial? Not often is the correct answer.

    To the question how often have you seen a full set Rolex reference 6610 with red depth rating? One will be left scratching one’s head before coming up with an answer.

    The reason being the ultimate rarity of these watches.

    Rolex launched the reference 6610 in 1955. A new generation Explorer wristwatch, the model featured an updated movement, caliber 1030, which allowed for a flatter case back. The new Explorer thus presented a more modern and sleeker appearance compared to earlier references, which were fitted with the thicker caliber A296 that required a rounded “bubble back” type case.

    Unlike its successor, reference 1016 displayed "Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified" on the dial, while the present model, reference 6610 displayed "Officially Certified Chronometer".
    The present timepiece features the classic black, gilt dial and “3-6-9” hour numerals that characterize Rolex’s Explorer models.

    However, what sets this timepiece apart from its peers, and makes it a highly rare and collectable version, is the red depth rating on the top part of the dial, a feature rarely seen on the dial of an Explorer reference 6610.

    The galvanized black dial with gilt lettering and minute track has aged in a consistent and pleasing manner over the course of its nearly 60-year life. The watch is fitted with its rare and original, elongated gilt hour and minute hands, and gilt seconds hand.

    One of the most exciting and complete examples of this reference to appear at auction, the present Explorer includes its original box, hang tag, guarantee papers, and chronometer certification. In overall excellent condition, it is a trophy for any vintage Rolex sport watch collector.

  • 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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95

Rolex

Ref. 6610
A very rare and unusual stainless steel wristwatch with center seconds, bracelet, red depth rating, guarantee, Bureaux Suisses de Controle Officiel de la Marche des Montres, box and hang tag

1956
36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

Estimate
CHF30,000 - 60,000 
€26,400-52,800
$30,700-61,500

sold for CHF65,000

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Sale
+41 22 317 81 89
aghotbi@phillips.com

The Geneva Watch Auction: EIGHT

Geneva Auction 10-11 November 2018