A fine, early and very rare stainless steel automatic chronograph wristwatch with "floating Cosmograph" dial, bracelet and box

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1988
    Reference No: 16520, case back stamped "16500" to the inside
    Case No: R884382
    Model Name: Cosmograph Daytona "Floating Cosmograph"
    Material: stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 4030, 31 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet stamped "503" and "78360" to the endlinks, maximum length 200mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp stamped "011" and "78360"
    Dimensions: 40mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex International Service Guarantee issued by Rolex (Japan) Limited and dated May 27, 2009, service invoice dated May 26, 2009, fitted presentation box and outer packaging

  • Catalogue Essay

    In 1988, Rolex launched a completely new iteration of the Cosmograph Daytona, reference 16520. Unlike the precedent new models launched in the late 1960s, the new version was not an incremental upgrade of the previous references, but rather a watch of completely new conception. It features an automatic movement based on Zenith’s El Primero ébauche, heavily modified by Rolex with over 200 interventions including the removal of the date module and the incorporation of the microstella regulation. The model will remain in production throughout the nineties before being eventually replaced by reference 116520, featuring an in-house calibre.

    A subtle evolution of some distinctive traits can be noticed throughout the life cycle of the model. The present watch is one of the earliest examples made, featuring the sought-after R serial number, indicating a 1988 production year, the year the model was launched. It features the early bezel graduated to 200 units per hour, the inverted 6 in the hour subdial, and, most importantly, a Floating Cosmograph (or “Staccato” - literally “detached” - as it is known by Italian collectors) dial, characterized by a marked distance between the “Cosmograph” designation and the previous lines of text. Such a dial configuration was in production for a very short time, as soon Rolex modifies the design and closed the gap between the forth and fifth line of text, and it is now considered extremely collectible in virtue of its rarity and aesthetics.

  • 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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FROM A JAPANESE COLLECTOR

Rolex

Ref. 16520, case back stamped "16500" to the inside
A fine, early and very rare stainless steel automatic chronograph wristwatch with "floating Cosmograph" dial, bracelet and box

勞力士,「Cosmograph Daytona」型號16520,精細及罕有,精鋼自動上弦鏈帶腕錶,配計時功能及「floating Cosmograph」錶盤,約1988年製。附錶盒和保修書

Circa 1988
40mm diameter
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

Estimate
HK$160,000 - 240,000 
€17,600-26,400
$20,500-30,800

sold for HK$437,500

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