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

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1946
    Reference No: 4500
    Case No: 480'910
    Material: 18k pink gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 13'' VZ 23, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Crocodile
    Clasp/Buckle: 18k gold Rolex pin buckle
    Dimensions: 35mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by presentation box and guarantee
    Literature: Similar models are described and illustrated in I Cronografi Rolex - La Leggenda by Pucci Papaleo Editore, pages 206 to 221, and in 100 Years of Rolex by Franca and Guido Mondani

  • Catalogue Essay

    What might appear as a typical, vintage two-register Oyster chronograph model, is in fact an example of an important reference that marked a turning point for Rolex in the design of all its chronograph wristwatches. Coinciding with the end of World War II, the launch of this reference 4500 chronograph introduced an all new case style with straighter, more pointed lugs that is until today, still found on all of Rolex’s Oyster models, ranging from the Datejust, to the Day-Date, to the Daytona. Before the war, Rolex’s lugs featured a curved shape that can be described as “Calatrava”-like. In fact, it’s believed that its reference number may have been selected to highlight the year of this historical pivot point for the brand.

    The present reference 4500 in 18-karat pink gold is a remarkable example. Accompanied with its guarantee and Rolex presentation box, the watch is presented as found, free from any restorations, and exhibiting gorgeous patina throughout. The multi-scale dial features an eye-catching blue telemeter within the black tachometer scale found along its outer circumference. The case retains its original curves and well-defined lugs, with a pleasing, rainbow color oxidation on the sides of the case illustrating how the watch was sparsely worn.

  • 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. 4500
A rare and very attractive pink gold chronograph wristwatch, accompanied by presentation box and guarantee

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

CHF18,000 - 24,000 

Sold for CHF42,500

Contact Specialist
Nathalie Monbaron
+41 22 317 81 83

The Geneva Watch Auction: THREE

Geneva Auction 15 May 2016