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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: circa 1938
    Reference No: 3372
    Movement No: N40'550
    Case No: 46'122
    Model Name: Bubbleback
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 9 3⁄4’’’, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K yellow gold riveted expandable Oyster bracelet, max length 190mm.
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K deployant buckle
    Dimensions: 33mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Rolex Bubbleback reference 3372 was introduced to the market in the early 1930. At the time its appearance was rather unusual yet striking with its now famous chased and engraved bezel featuring baton and dot hour markers.

    Rolex’s Oyster Perpetual "Bubbleback” is one of the most iconic and recognizable wristwatches ever produced. The Bubbleback has earned a prominent place in horological history for the innovative self-winding movement it was fitted with. Rolex perfected automatic winding and cemented its pivotal role in the success of the wristwatch. The convex shape of the case back used to house the new automatic winding system gave the watch its nickname.

    Cased in an array of metals and fitted with a variety of dials, "bubble back" watches were in production for over 22 years, from the early Thirties to the mid Fifties. For many years, the "Bubbleback" wristwatch was Rolex’s best selling model.

    Despite its rather compact diameter of 33mm, the "Bubbleback" has a masculine presence on the wrist and offers the same satisfaction that larger and more costly collector’s watches are known for.

  • 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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185

Ref. 3372
A fine and attractive yellow gold wristwatch with black dial and bracelet

circa 1938
33mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
CHF3,000 - 5,000 
€2,800-4,600
$3,000-5,000

Sold for CHF4,000

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FIVE

Geneva Auctions 13 – 14 May 2017