A fine and very rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with tropical dial and bracelet

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1997
    Reference No: 16520, inside caseback stamped "16500"
    Movement No: 1'105'143
    Case No: U610254
    Model Name: Cosmograph Daytona
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 4030, 31 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet stamped "503 B" and "78390" to the endlinks, max length 195mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp stamped "U9" and "78390"
    Dimensions: 40mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Sometimes, in the field of horology, it happens that what originally was a flaw over the year becomes an icon of watch collecting in virtue of rarity and particular aesthetic appeal. The most notable example of this process is represented by tropical dials: dials which over time changed color. Such is the case of the present reference 16520, which presents tropical chapter rings. Such a characteristic can be found usually on mid-1990s timepieces and it is thought to be due to some defective batches of paint delivered to the manufacturer during that time.

    Tropical dials can achieve different tonalities, in the case of Zenith Daytona ranging from strong tobacco to light cream. The present examples features an extremely appealing strong vanilla hue, aesthetically boosted by being absolutely even throughout the three counters: one would be tempted to say the watch was actually born that way. Such a charismatic dial couple with the very honest case condition renders this timepiece a very emblematic and collectible example among the 5-digit Daytona models.

  • 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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1181

Rolex

Ref. 16520, inside caseback stamped "16500"
A fine and very rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with tropical dial and bracelet

勞力士,「Cosmograph Daytona」型號16520,精細及非常罕有,精鋼自動上弦鏈帶腕錶,配計時功能和「Tropical」棕色錶盤,約1997年製

Circa 1997
40mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

Estimate
HK$160,000 - 320,000 
€18,000-36,100
$20,500-41,000

sold for HK$200,000

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

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: EIGHT

Hong Kong Auction 28 May 2019