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

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1978
    Reference No: 1675
    Movement No: D913312
    Case No: 5'690'570
    Model Name: GMT-Master "U.A.E Quraysh Hawk"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1570, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Jubilee bracelet, end links stamped 555, max length 180mm.
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex folding deployant clasp stamped B
    Dimensions: 39mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Literature: The present watch is proudly featured in 100 Superlative Rolex Watches by John Goldberger, page 193.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Rolex wristwatches are an undisputed favorite among Sheiks, royalty and army officials in the Middle East. During the 1970s, many ruling parties commissioned the firm to create custom watches, featuring their state symbol, names or attributes. These timepieces were often presented as gifts, and bestowed to the most distinguished dignitaries and loyal servants.

    This exceedingly rare stainless steel GMT-Master features a custom dial with the UAE Quraysh Hawk. Made upon special request for Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Emir of Dubai, the present watch is part of a exceedingly rare batch of GMT-Masters produced between 1971 and 1979 for the Department of Defense. Research shows that these watches were most likely given to helicopter pilots in the Ministry of Defense.

    The successor of reference 6542, reference 1675 is most notably fitted with a steel bezel insert and crown guards. Early examples featured pointed crown guards and a black lacquer dial. Later generations, such as the present watch, featured a matte dial, large 24-hour tipped hand and non-cornino crown guards.

    Stamped on a matte black dial, the UAE emblem, or the Quraysh Hawk, is rendered in polychrome relief. Emblazoned above 6 o’clock, the symbol is situated where the "Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified" text should be. The polychrome tones are dazzling and eye catching in a way that only genuine Rolex stamps can be. Most interestingly, this example features the signature of His highness Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to the right of the eagle. In contrast, most examples feature the Wazarah Ad Difa'A department in Arabic, making this watch a particularly rare variant. Some hypothesize that the Emir's signature signifies high Highness' personal connection with the watch. It is entirely possible that these Emir-signed watches were given in the most prestigious of circumstances.

    Most striking is the steel insert, which now displays a "ghost" effect, the color having faded to a silver and fuchsia tone which is incredibly popular with collectors today.

    Furthermore, the watch is forever immortalized in John Goldberger's esteemed book, 100 Superlative Rolex Watches. An extremely intriguing watch in many ways, the present example provides a fresh and usual twist to the already-rare GMT-Master made for the UAE market.

  • 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. 1675
An extremely rare and attractive stainless steel dual time wristwatch with date and bracelet, made for the United Arab Emirates

Circa 1978
39mm. Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF70,000 - 140,000 

Sold for CHF81,250

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FIVE

Geneva Auctions 13 – 14 May 2017