A fine and very rare automatic chronograph wristwatch with tropical dial, bracelet, Garantie and box

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1996
    Reference No: 16520, case back stamped "16500" to the inside
    Case No: T131771
    Model Name: Cosmograph Daytona
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 4030, 31 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet stamped "78390" and "503 B" to the endlinks, maximum length 205mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp stamped "78390" and "V4"
    Dimensions: 40mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex punched Garantie stamped by Hong Kong retailer Emperor Watch and Jewellery Co., LTD and dated September 27, 1996, warranty translation booklet, leather cardholder, fitted presentation box and outer packaging

  • Catalogue Essay

    Possibly the most visually striking variation, and of course one of the most collectible, is represented by the present example with tropical chapter rings. Tropical dials are the result of a "stealth" production defect, namely the paint does not properly resist to the action of UV light and oxygen and changes color. Given the dramatic looks tropicalization imparts to timepieces, such a defect has come to be a sough-after particularity of the models. While in previous references tropicalization does not occur within a very specific time range, in the case of reference 16520 it appears that only batches of paint made during a certain time can present tropicalization, namely the ones used for timepieces produced between 1993 and 1996 (S, N, T and W serials). As it is an uncontrolled process, it can have different outcomes in terms of color achieved and uniformity. The present example can be considered without a doubt an extremely successfully tropicalized specimen, with a very even and elegant tobacco tonality throughout all three counters. Furthermore, the luminous material has aged to a light ivory tone, which perfectly complements the tropical subdials. The presence of the original guarantee and box, and its provenance from one of the most important private collections in Asia further propel the timepiece to new heights of desirability.

  • 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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1020

THE PROPERTY OF AN IMPORTANT ASIAN COLLECTOR

Rolex

Ref. 16520, case back stamped "16500" to the inside
A fine and very rare automatic chronograph wristwatch with tropical dial, bracelet, Garantie and box

勞力士,「Oyster Cosmograph」型號16520,精細及非常罕有,精鋼鏈帶自動上弦腕錶,配計時功能和「Tropical」棕色子錶盤,約1996年製。附錶盒、保證書。來源:亞洲重要私人收藏

Circa 1996
40mm diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
HK$240,000 - 400,000 
€26,400-44,000
$30,800-51,300

sold for HK$375,000

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