An extremely rare and early chronograph wristwatch with two-tone dial and bracelet

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1940
    Reference No: 3462
    Model Name: Centregraph
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 10'''1/2, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Associated stainless steel bracelet, maximum length 255mm
    Dimensions: 29mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Centregraph occupies a very peculiar and important spot in the vintage Rolex production. An extremely rare model - with an estimated output of less than 100 pieces - it was produced in conjunction with the Zerograph, from which it differs for the bezel - the Zerograph sports revolving bezel - and the dial design. Both of them, however, share the movement which is the first in-house Rolex calibre to feature some sort of chronographic capabilities: the pusher at two activates the zero-reset of the center seconds, allowing for the tracking of the time of a specific event.

    All Rolex chronograph movements before this one are instead based on Valjoux ébauches. The historical importance of the piece is further boosted by the fact that this is the first Rolex chronograph to be housed in a waterproof case. This is nothing short of remarkable, both as a milestone for Rolex, and for the entire watchmaking industry as well: it has to be kept in mind that the production of the model began in the late 1930s, a time when even simple time-only waterproof pieces were an oddity.

    The dial of this timepiece is as enthralling as its historical and technical features: it can be considered a hybrid of many styles, borrowing elements from art deco dials (the dot minute divisions on metallic pink track), 1940s dials (the railway fifth of a second combined with Arabic five minutes divisions), and professional timepieces (the additional red 12 - 24 hour ring in the center). Such an unusual design can be deemed a first effort toward the development of a “professional” dial layout, a field into which Rolex is destined to excel in a couple of decades.

  • 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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994

Rolex

Ref. 3462
An extremely rare and early chronograph wristwatch with two-tone dial and bracelet

勞力士,「Centregraph」型號3462,早期及極度罕有,精鋼鏈帶腕錶,配計時功能和「Two-tone」錶盤,約1940年製

Circa 1940
29mm Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
HK$280,000 - 450,000 
€30,800-49,500
$35,900-57,700

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