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

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: circa 1941
    Reference No: 3835
    Case No: 57'495
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 13''', 17 jewels.
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Rolex pin buckle
    Dimensions: 34mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by a Rolex fitted box.

  • Catalogue Essay

    While manufactured in the 1940s, Rolex’s reference 3835 with graphic triple stepped lugs is reminiscent of the Chrysler Building's architecture and displays Art Deco exuberance.

    Extremely sensitive to polishing, the present example is superbly crisp and well preserved. The champagne dial beautifully complements the yellow gold case and the black printing boldly stands out.

    It is believed that only a very small number of these non-Oyster antimagnetic reference 3835s were ever made, the yellow gold models apparently rarer than the pink gold models. Extremely few have appeared on the international auction market in the past 15 years. The present lot is most probably one of the best examples we have seen.

    Despite its 34mm diameter, reference 3835 wears much larger due to its impressive large triple stepped lugs and its relative lack of bezel enabling a greater opening to the dial.

    Preserved in extremely crisp and excellent overall condition, the present watch is a beautiful example of a stylish non-oyster chronograph. The watch stands out by its charismatic untouched champagne dial, beautifully raised signature and scales, sharp and crisp case proportions. It is probably one of the best examples to appears on the market since decades.

  • 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. 3835
A very rare and fine yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with champagne dial and triple stepped lugs

circa 1941
34mm. Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

CHF40,000 - 70,000 

Sold for CHF52,500

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FIVE

Geneva Auctions 13 – 14 May 2017