Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: FIVE Geneva Friday, May 12, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: circa 1966
    Reference No: 6238
    Case No: 1'207'302
    Model Name: "Pre-Daytona"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 72B, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex USA C&I riveted Oyster bracelet, max length 190mm.
    Clasp/Buckle: Folding deployant clasp stamped Rolex USA C&I 7-70
    Dimensions: 36mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Literature: Similar examples of this reference are illustrated in I Cronografi Rolex La Leggenda, Pucci Papaleo Editore, pg. 278-291, as well as 100 Superlative Rolex Watches, John Goldberger, pg. 128-137

  • Catalogue Essay

    The reference 6238 is undoubtedly a milestone in Rolex's chronograph history. Launched in 1960, it is the last model to feature a plain bezel and an inner tachymeter scale. It can also be described as Rolex’s first modern chronograph, and one that would pave the way to reference 6239, the first Cosmograph Daytona ever released by Rolex. Thus the nickname “Pre-Daytona” given by collectors to reference 6238.

    Interestingly even though it is called the Pre-Daytona, the reference 6238 was produced in parallel to reference 6239 with which they share certain design elements such as the crown, the pushers, case and indexes. However, while the Cosmograph Daytona always featured a two tone dial with either black with silver subdials or vice versa, the reference 6238 was offered only with a monochrome dial. These small details make a massive difference for collectors making the Pre-Daytona a favorite amongst vintage Rolex aficionados and conoisseurs.

    The matte black, or so-called “grené” finished dial, is particularly rare, as the majority of this reference was available with a silvered dial. The present dial is part of the second generation grené dials with silver printing. 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.

    The present lot will please the discerning collector with its superb overall condition and elegant nonchalant looks, not to mention that this reference was on James Bond's (played by George Lazenby) wrist in the 1969 film, On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

  • 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 rare and attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with black dial and bracelet

circa 1966
36mm. Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF70,000 - 120,000 

Sold for CHF131,250

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FIVE

Geneva Auctions 13 – 14 May 2017