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

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1963
    Reference No: 6238
    Movement No: 11'843
    Case No: 966'945
    Model Name: "Pre-Daytona"
    Material: 18k yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 727, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: 18k yellow gold, signed Rolex
    Dimensions: 35mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Literature: For this model see I Cronografi Rolex - La Leggenda, Pucci Papaleo Editore, pg. 290

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Rolex Chronograph reference 6238 marks the end of an era, as it is the last chronograph model to feature a smooth bezel with a printed tachometer scale on the dial. Collectors often refer to reference 6238 as the “Pre-Daytona”, as it is the immediate predecessor of reference 6239, the first model of the now iconic Cosmograph Daytona released by Rolex.

    By design, this sporty yet classic watch is more modern compared to earlier Rolex Chronograph watches. The “T-SWISS-T” found at the dial’s lower edge by 6 o’clock indicates that Tritium was used for the luminous hands and hour markers, which is correct as the serial number 996’945 indicates that the watch can be dated to 1963.

    The vast majority was cased in stainless steel. A small series was made in 14 karat gold - exclusively reserved for the North American market. Very few reference 6238 chronographs were made in 18 karat gold. This particular 18-karat gold example is in original condition, making it a rare and exciting find.

  • 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. 6238
A very attractive and rare yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with silvered "soleil" dial

35mm. Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

CHF40,000 - 70,000 

Sold for CHF125,000

Contact Specialist
Nathalie Monbaron
+41 22 317 81 83

The Geneva Watch Auction: THREE

Geneva Auction 15 May 2016