An exceedingly exclusive and lavish diamond and sapphire-set yellow gold chronograph wristwatch, made for the French market

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1985
    Reference No: 6269 inside case back stamped 6263 "Le Hibou Grand-Duc"
    Movement No: 14’905
    Case No: 8’397’046
    Model Name: Cosmograph
    Material: 18K yellow gold, diamonds and sapphires
    Calibre: Manual, cal.727, 17jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Alligator
    Clasp/Buckle: Gold Plated Rolex buckle
    Dimensions: 37mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed, outside case back stamped with French import marks
    Literature: For a comparable example in literature, please consult Ultimate Rolex Daytona by Pucci Papaleo Editions, pages 524 to 527.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Showcasing a bezel set with 44 brilliant diamonds and pavé dial with 240 diamonds, reference 6269 is among the most regal, glamorous and luxurious Cosmograph models ever made. Research shows that Rolex made no more than thirty pieces in total. It is considered a trophy watch for many collectors. This example is especially interesting as the outside case back is punched with French import marks and Rolex France’s logo. The owl marks are the inspiration behind the name “Le Hibou Grand-Duc”. Furthermore, the tops of the lugs are sharp, demonstrating how little if any intervention the watch has seen throughout its lifetime.

    During the 1980s, Rolex adorned tool watches with precious gems for its most exclusive and demanding clientele, ranging from Sultans in the Middle East to industry titans. Rolex in particular excels in sourcing and setting gemstones. Alongside reference 6269 and its baguette diamond sibling reference 6270, the brand also developed a ruby, diamond and sapphire- set GMT-Master, known today as the “SARU”.

    While the concept of merging gemstones with sports watches may seem obvious today, it was at the time a completely daring and maverick idea. Rolex forever changed the way we perceive and understand a tool watch, paving the way for endless possibilities and developments, such as the “Leopard” or the mythical emerald-set automatic Daytona. At the time, references 6269 or 6270 were mainly made for and worn by men. One can only imagine the debonair and well-heeled gentleman for whom Rolex specially produced this watch.

  • 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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Σ19

Rolex

Ref. 6269 inside case back stamped 6263 "Le Hibou Grand-Duc"
An exceedingly exclusive and lavish diamond and sapphire-set yellow gold chronograph wristwatch, made for the French market

Circa 1985
37mm diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed, outside case back stamped with French import marks

Estimate
CHF400,000 - 800,000 

sold for CHF606,500

Contact Specialist
Tiffany To
Head of Sale
+41 22 317 96 63
tto@phillips.com

Daytona Ultimatum

Geneva Auction 12 May 2018