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With its 36mm case diameter, the famed Rolex “Ovettone” is the largest Bubbleback-type, time-only watch produced by the brand, and is therefore highly desirable amongst collectors.
This very attractive watch is encased in yellow gold with a stunning black galvanic finished dial, further enhanced by its rare hour markers. The “Stelline” style-dial features star-shaped hour markers and dagger hour markers at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. Typically seen on full calendar wristwatches with moon phases produced by Rolex, such as the 6062 (seen in lot 253), it is amongst the most exclusive dials made by the brand.
Coming from one of the most important private Rolex collections, where it has been for nearly a decade, the present "Ovettone" is blessed with another very unusual feature: its large copper-colored gilt movement, and it is our understanding that many of the reference 6098 had such movement coatings. An identical watch illustrated in John Goldberger's 100 Superlative Rolex Watches features the same movement finish as the watch offered for sale.
This combination may lead to numerous speculations, including the possibility that this watch was not intended for sale, but possibly rather for exhibitions, including the Basel Fair. Reference 6098 produced in 1953, has remained in superb condition over 60 years later, and remains to be one of the most sought after time-only references ever produced by 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.
Geneva Auction 7 & 8 November 2015 6:30pm