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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1939
    Reference No: 3233
    Case No: 040'042
    Model Name: "Moneta"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex buckle
    Dimensions: 31.5mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Reference 3233 is characterized by its "hidden lugs", which are set further in the back than most chronograph examples. Launched in 1938, the watch was produced for a few years only, ceasing production in 1941.

    The present example is fitted with telemeter and tachymeter scales, and the blues and blacks contrast wonderfully against the white grené dial. The dial is preserved in excellent condition, with just a touch of patina, giving the watch a lot of character. Its condition is astounding, considering the watch is fitted with a snap-on case back with no water resistant ability. The case is furthermore preserved in excellent condition, with the case and reference number deeply stamped on the case back.

    A very unusual model, reference 3233 is completely different from Rolex's usual chronograph watches, from its indented case back, to the lack of lugs and relatively smaller case size, inspiring its nickname "Moneta", and making for an elegant and unconventional watch for the Rolex collector.

  • Artist Biography

    Rolex

    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. 3233
A rare and attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with ivory grené dial and "hidden" lugs

1939
31.5mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
CHF10,000 - 15,000 
€9,300-13,900
$9,900-14,900

Sold for CHF18,750

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FIVE

Geneva Auctions 13 – 14 May 2017