Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: THREE Geneva Saturday, May 14, 2016 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1934
    Reference No: 2021
    Case No: 12'010
    Material: 18k yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 14'''1/2, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Pin buckle
    Dimensions: 39mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Literature: For similar versions see "I Cronografi Rolex - La Leggenda", Pucci Papaleo Editore, pp. 68-71

  • Catalogue Essay

    Reference 2021 is one of Rolex’s earliest chronograph models, first launched in the 1920s, featuring a hinged caseback and an olive-shaped chronograph pusher. Its most impressive feature, however is its lovely, multi-scale enamel dial, featuring a telemeter scale printed on the periphery of the dial and a snail-shaped tachometer scale printer on the dial’s center.

    Even though this model dates from the 1930s, it comes in a surprisingly large case making it look contemporary - perfect for modern tastes. Its enamel dial is in absolutely fantastic condition with black printing for its time telling and chronograph indications and bold, red printing for the telemeter and tachometer scales. The combination creates a wonderful contrast against the blued hands, showcasing Rolex’s design mastery even in these early days.

    Considering the non-waterproof case - Rolex started using the Oyster cases subsequently in the 1930s - the present timepiece is in exceptional condition, making it an extraordinary find for a wristwatch that is approximately 80 years old.

  • 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. 2021
A very attractive and unusually large yellow gold single-button chronograph wristwatch with hinged case, enamel dial and telemeter and tachometer scales

39mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF25,000 - 40,000 

Sold for CHF43,750

Contact Specialist
Nathalie Monbaron
+41 22 317 81 83

The Geneva Watch Auction: THREE

Geneva Auction 15 May 2016