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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1940
    Reference No: 3695
    Case No: 54'107
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Gold plated Rolex buckle
    Dimensions: 36mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Reference 3695 is a very elusive reference. Hardly published in literature, the watch rarely ever appears on the market. A cursory search on the internet hardly yields results, further attesting to its mystique. Fitted with a snap-on case back the watch has decidedly "vintage" appearance with two square pushers.

    Yet, further investigative research concludes that the reference was made for a very short period only, from 1940 to 191. Experts and scholars are of the opinion that reference 3695 is amongst the rarest and largest Rolex chronograph watches ever produced.

    The present example is preserved in astounding condition, especially when one considers the age of the watch. Featuring a champagne dial, the watch is designed with an outer tachymeter printed in blue, and two subsidiary registers that are slightly sunken. The dial is furthermore free of visible spotting or tarnishing.

    Most impressive is the case, which features a sharp coronet to the case back and incredibly crisp case and reference numbers. Its 36 millimeter diameter is furthermore very large and unusual for the period, attesting to Rolex's foresight and ingenuity. One can conclude the watch has hardly been touched in its 77 year life span, enabling the viewer to admire its different finishes.

  • 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. 3695
An extremely rare, well preserved and attractive yellow gold anti-magnetic chronograph wristwatch with champagne dial

Circa 1940
36mm. Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

Estimate
CHF60,000 - 90,000 
€55,600-83,400
$59,500-89,200

Sold for CHF71,875

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FIVE

Geneva Auctions 13 – 14 May 2017