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

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1941
    Reference No: 2764
    Movement No: 91'390
    Case No: 107'118
    Model Name: Oyster Perpetual "Bubbleback"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 9 3/4''', 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster expandable bracelet, max length 200mm.
    Clasp/Buckle: Folding deployant clasp, further stamped S.A.R.
    Dimensions: 31mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Literature: The present watch is prominently illustrated in 100 Superlative Rolex Watches, John Goldberger, pg.28-29

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present stainless steel reference 2764 is one of the most interesting and well-preserved examples of the famous Rolex Bubbleback to appear at auction. The multi-tone off-white dial, with three copper-colored Arabic numerals further highlighted by an outside minute track gives this watch a very distinctive look.

    A closer look at this special dial shows that all of its indications – the hour markers and minute track - are embossed, and the relief is painted in copper color, giving the dial a wonderful sense of depth. The case and original bracelet are in virtually perfect condition and show no traces of polishing. The expandable bracelet is still very tight and presents the original satin finish. The original S.A.R. engraving on the clasp and the early Rolex logo on the case back are crisp and perfect, as it left the factory nearly eight decades ago. The domed crystal has crackled, which is very common with this type of material, but appears to be the original one. Despite its rather compact diameter of 31mm, the "Bubbleback" has a masculine presence on the wrist and offers the same satisfaction that larger and more costly collector’s watches are known for.

  • 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. 2764
A very rare and most attractive stainless steel wristwatch with two-tone off-white dial, raised gold numerals and expandable bracelet

31mm. Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF15,000 - 25,000 

Sold for CHF31,250

Contact Specialist
Nathalie Monbaron
+41 22 317 81 83

The Geneva Watch Auction: THREE

Geneva Auction 15 May 2016