A rare and well-preserved silver rectangular wristwatch with flared lugs and two-tone dial with subsidiary seconds.

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1930
    Reference No: 1490
    Movement No: 73’204
    Case No: 07’662
    Model Name: Prince Brancard
    Material: Silver
    Calibre: Manual, 15 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel
    Dimensions: 23.5mm width and 43mm length

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Art Deco movement of the early 20th century has been associated with luxury, glamour, exuberance, and modernity. It was an international design movement impacting all walks of life, from architecture and furniture, to jewelry and timepieces. The movement featured bold colorful geometric designs, taking cues from Cubism and Fauvism, and focused on exquisite craftsmanship, using exotic materials like ebony and ivory, and inspiration from far away destinations like China, India, and Persia. It was from this period that the present Rolex Prince Brancard, with its bold style, was designed. Today, Rolex’s Prince, advertised as ‘The Watch for Men of Distinction’, is an icon. Launched by Rolex in 1928, the present example features a rectangular case with flared sides, or ‘brancards’, that, nearly 90 years later, looks as modern today as it did back then. Unlike anything seen before within the world of horology, the case allowed for a larger dial, with an oversized subsidiary seconds dial, making it ideal for measuring a patient’s pulse rate, earning the Prince the nickname, ‘Doctor’s watch’. The exceptional silver example illustrated here retains its original factory finish, and is in lovely condition, with sharp edges, and well-defined bevels throughout. The two-tone dial impresses with its mirror-polished, geometric borders and inner 5-minute track. The Art Deco period was one of exuberance and luxury, and this Rolex Prince is a vibrant example of this wonderfully creative era.

  • 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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Rolex

Ref. 1490
A rare and well-preserved silver rectangular wristwatch with flared lugs and two-tone dial with subsidiary seconds.

Circa 1930
Case, dial and movement signed
23.5mm width and 43mm length

Estimate
$15,000 - 30,000 
CHF14,600-29,200
€12,800-25,600
HK$117,000-234,000

sold for $30,000

Contact Specialist
Paul Boutros
Head of Watches, Americas
+1 212 940 1293
pboutros@phillips.com

WINNING ICONS – Legendary Watches of the 20th Century

New York Auction 26 October 2017