A fine and rare white gold tonneau-shaped wristwatch with sweep centre seconds, date and bracelet

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1972
    Reference No: 5100
    Case No: No. 184
    Model Name: Beta 21
    Material: 18K white gold
    Calibre: Quartz Beta 21
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K white gold Rolex bracelet, max. length 170mm
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K white gold Rolex deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 39mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Beta 21 quartz movement was a collaborative effort amongst some of the top Swiss brands to keep up with the winds of change as the 1960s saw the emergence of smaller efficient quartz movements,. These brands created the Centre Electronique Horloger in Neuchâtel in 1962. By 1966 their first prototype the Beta 1 had been produced and one year later a more accurate Beta-2 quartz movement had won first prize at the Concours Chronométrique International de l'Observatoire de Neuchâtel. The group released the Beta 21 in 1969, and it was agreed that 6000 movements would be manufactured. From this batch Rolex took 1000 and created a wonderfully large and impressive quartz wristwatch with date and center seconds, the reference 5100. They produced them in both yellow and white gold, and while the exact production numbers are not know, the white gold version like the present watch is more limited.

    The present example features a large heavy case, enhanced by its white gold bracelet and fluted bezel. Today, it is in lovely preserved condition for a watch that is approximately 45 years old. The case remains unpolished with sharp case and lug edges, along with a strong hallmark. While there is wear to the watch, it has a masculine appearance on the wristwatch. This is rare opportunity to own a wonderful example of one of early examples of quartz horology.

  • 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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1017

Rolex

Ref. 5100
A fine and rare white gold tonneau-shaped wristwatch with sweep centre seconds, date and bracelet

勞力士,「Beta 21」型號5100,精細及罕有,18K白金石英鏈帶腕錶,配日期顯示,約1972年製

Circa 1972
39mm diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
HK$300,000 - 500,000 
€33,000-55,000
$38,500-64,100

Contact Specialist
Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2030
thomasperazzi@phillips.com

Ziyong Ho
Specialist
+852 9386 2032
ziyongho@phillips.com

Jill Chen
Specialist
+852 2318 2033
jillchen@phillips.com

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: SIX

Hong Kong Auction 29 May 2018