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

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1937
    Reference No: 3627
    Movement No: 95'014
    Case No: 45'449
    Model Name: Oyster Perpetual "Bubbleback"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 9 3/4''', 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel and pink gold plated Rolex bracelet, max length 185mm.
    Clasp/Buckle: Folding deployant clasp, stamped 9
    Dimensions: 32mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by a red Rolex / Serpico y Laino presentation box

  • Catalogue Essay

    In 1932, Rolex patented the first automatic movement with a winding rotor that turned 360 degrees upon a centrally located pivot. Fixed on an existing movement with the rotor span on top, the domed caseback allowed for extra space, leading this watch to be nicknamed "Bubbleback". Fitted with a waterproof case, this timepiece was to become a huge success throughout its production period, from the early 1930s to the 1950s.

    The Rolex reference 3627 is one of the rarest and most beautiful Bubblebacks of all time. This reference is so rare that many seasoned collectors may have never seen one in the flesh. Manufactured in 1937, the present watch displays two patents, one on the caseback with the name of the country where it was registered and another on the rotor.

    The present watch furthermore impresses with its extremely attractive stainless steel and pink gold “Grain de Riz” folded bracelet. The massive bicolor hooded lugs procures a somewhat medieval touch to the watch and fantastically contrasts with the round, smooth, mirror-finished bezel. The pink dial is of the best effect and perfectly matches the pink gold plated bracelet. The dial is further signed with the name of the prestigious South American retailer Serpico y Laino. This wonderful watch exudes the most flamboyant charisma of watch designs from the 1930s.

  • 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. 3627
An extremely rare and highly attractive stainless steel and pink gold plated wristwatch with hooded lugs and bicolor rice grain bracelet, retailed by Serpico y Laino

32mm. Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for CHF68,750

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FIVE

Geneva Auctions 13 – 14 May 2017