A fine and rare yellow gold wristwatch with sweep centre seconds, date, black lacquer dial and calibrated revolving bezel

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1957
    Reference No: 6609
    Movement No: N739960
    Case No: 221'961
    Model Name: DateJust 'Thunderbird'
    Material: 18k yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, 1065, 25 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Dark Brown leather strap
    Clasp/Buckle: Gilt Rolex buckle
    Dimensions: 35 mm. diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    DateJusts fitted with the revolving 'Turn-o-graph' bezel were originally used for the U.S Air Force demonstration flying team, known as the 'Thunderbirds'. The watch eventually adopted this nickname, which endures today. The present watch, cased in solid 18k yellow gold, is fitted with a beautiful black lacquer dial and applied yellow gold spade-shaped hour markers. Examples of reference 6609 are very rare to come by, as its successor, reference 1625 appears more frequently on the market.

  • 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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1046

Rolex

Ref. 6609
A fine and rare yellow gold wristwatch with sweep centre seconds, date, black lacquer dial and calibrated revolving bezel

勞力士,精細及罕有,18K黃金自動上弦腕錶,配中心秒針、日曆顯示、黑色漆錶盤,“DateJust 'Thunderbird'”,型號6609,約1957

Circa 1957
35 mm. diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
HK$60,000 - 80,000 
€7,000-9,400
$7,500-10,000

sold for HK$81,250

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: THREE

Hong Kong Auction 29 November 2016