Rolex - START-STOP-RESET: 88 Epic Stainless Steel Chronographs Geneva Friday, May 13, 2016 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1936
    Reference No: 2508
    Case No: 026’362
    Model Name: Anti Magnetic
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. Valjoux 22, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex buckle
    Dimensions: 37.2mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Literature: For a comparable example, but with a white dial see 100 Superlative Rolex Watches, John Goldberger, pg 64-65.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Rolex reference 2508 was first launched in the mid 1930s. Sporting a large, masculine case with a classic “Calatrava” design, it’s amongst the most attractive chronograph models by any brand from this formative era of wristwatch design. Fitted with an ultra-exclusive black dial, the present lot is an exceptional example of the reference. Black dials are highly uncommon, with only a few examples ever appearing at auction. Unusually, the dial features raised baton hour markers, whereas nearly all others seen to date have a combination of Arabic and baton markers or solely Arabic markers. Further enhancing its beauty, the multi-scale dial is adorned with tachometer and telemeter scales printed in silver gilt that provide stunning contrast. This unusual configuration adds to the extreme rarity of the timepiece.

    Reference 2508 can be categorized into two different generations, the first one boasting a large 37.2mm case fitted with oval pushers – as found on the present example. The second generation was slightly smaller measuring at 35.2mm and was fitted with rectangular pushers.
    The 2mm difference in diameter may appear humble, but the impact on the wrist is impressive. Scholarship tells us that only a very small number of these first generation watches were made, and when paired with a stunning black lacquer dial its rarity is unmatched. It is amazing to see how a precisely 80-year-old chronograph wristwatch can be as timeless and contemporary today as it was when first launched. This striking impact is achieved thanks to its smooth case lines and highly symmetrical and architectural dial design.

    Preserved in very original condition, the watch should be considered a special opportunity, as we understand that this very watch has never been shown or offered publicly. A sporty, yet elegant gentleman’s watch, its design is more modern compared to earlier Rolex chronograph watches. It would certainly take on a prominent position in any collection of Rolex watches.

  • Artist Biography


    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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Ref. 2508
An extremely rare, highly attractive and large stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with black lacquer dial, tachometer and telemeter scales.

37.2mm diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF200,000 - 400,000 

Sold for CHF413,000

Contact Specialist
Livia Russo
+41 22 317 81 86

START-STOP-RESET: 88 Epic Stainless Steel Chronographs

Geneva Auction 14 May 2016