Rolex - START-STOP-RESET: 88 Epic Stainless Steel Chronographs Geneva Friday, May 13, 2016 | Phillips

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1942
    Movement No: 4113
    Case No: 051’314
    Model Name: Antimagnetique
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 55 VBR 17 2/3’’’, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex buckle
    Dimensions: 44mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Literature: For a similar watch see 100 Superlative Rolex Watches, John Goldberger, pg. 62-63 and I Cronografi Rolex - La Leggenda, Pucci Papaleo Editore, pg. 144-147.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Whenever the Rolex stainless steel reference 4113 split-seconds chronograph has appeared at auction it has always been a sensational horological event. The last two appearances have both resulted in a then new world record for a Rolex watch selling publicly.

    Scholarship tells us only twelve examples of reference 4113 were manufactured, and all were encased in stainless steel. From extensive research, three of the twelve examples have unknown whereabouts. All of the examples carry case numbers that range from 051’313 to 051’324, which means the present example was the second one made.

    The present watch bearing the serial 051’314 has been offered at auction twice, first at Christie’s New York in 1996 and the second time at Christie’s Geneva in 2013. Now in the “START-STOP-RESET” sale, this “crowned” gem graces the cover of this sale, and to many remains to be the most important Rolex wristwatch ever made by the firm.

    Interestingly, Rolex never offered this model directly to the public for sale. At the time, Rolex was active in sponsoring racing events, and our understanding is that this rare timepiece was presented to a select group of racing teams and their drivers.

    Some watches of the 4113 series have found their way to auction from descendants of team managers and racing drivers. In fact, one example surfaced at Christie’s London in 1991 from the original owner’s family. During his career he worked for a racing team with strong ties to the motorcar industry. Rolex was also closely associated with motor sports, and even sponsored Sir Malcolm Campbell, who made history while wearing a Rolex on his wrist during a competition.

    To collectors, reference 4113 is considered the ultimate top-of-the-line Rolex. In terms of originality and quality, this watch is presented in impressive overall condition and has remained virtually untouched since its last appearance at auction.

    It’s simply mesmerizing to stare at such a charismatic dial and think how impressive it is to have survived over seven decades with only a few signs of ageing to the surface. The dial is fitted with raised pink gold-colored Arabic and baton hour markers, and the surface has formed a subtle, elegant patina. The large, gentlemanly proportioned 44mm case is in remarkable condition, and retains the original satin finish throughout the side and back of the case. The bezel and raised portion of the lugs, however, displays a mirror-polished finish, which contrasts nicely with the rest of the case. It is clear upon closer examination that the watch is free of corrosion or restorations. Remarkably, reference 4113 has the largest diameter any Rolex wristwatch has ever received.

    To an educated and passionate collector of vintage Rolex wristwatches, the present reference 4113 epitomizes an opportunity not to be missed. All of the pieces that are accounted for of this extraordinary series are now in the hands of the world’s most prestigious and sophisticated private collections. The offering of this spectacular, coveted Rolex split-seconds chronograph is an event by itself, and a trophy that the most demanding collectors of vintage wristwatches should not miss.

  • 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.

    View More Works


An extremely rare, oversized and important stainless steel split-seconds chronograph wristwatch with silvered matte dial, pink gold raised Arabic and baton hour markers, outer blue telemeter and black tachometer scales.

44mm diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

CHF800,000 - 1,600,000 

Sold for CHF2,405,000

Contact Specialist
Livia Russo
+41 22 317 81 86

START-STOP-RESET: 88 Epic Stainless Steel Chronographs

Geneva Auction 14 May 2016