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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1942
    Reference No: 3525
    Case No: 150'742
    Model Name: Oyster Chronograph “Bariletto”
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Mechanical, 13’’’, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex buckle
    Dimensions: 35mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Literature: Another similar example of a reference 3525 is illustrated in 100 Superlative Rolex Watches by John Goldberger, page 84.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Introduced to the market in 1938, reference 3525 was available in pink gold, yellow gold, stainless steel or steel and gold combinations. An important breakthrough model for the firm, the reference displays one of Rolex’s most important technological advancements. It was the very first chronograph wristwatch to be housed in an Oyster case, and equipped with a water resistant screw down case back along with screw down crown.

    The present example is a first generation example, as the case number and reference number are legible on the case back. Later examples would feature the case number in between the lugs.

    Featuring an attractive black glossy dial, the watch has been preserved in excellent condition with sharp finishes to the case, and crisp serial number and reference number on the case back, which would have disappeared with even light polishing. All edges are sharp to the touch. To add another element of delight, the watch furthermore retains its original “Patent Oyster” crown.

    This watch most interestingly displays very similar specs to the reference 3525 "Prisoner of War" watches that Rolex supplied to detained British army officers in WWII German war camps. These watches were often fitted with a black dial, gold graphics and luminous hands.

    The gold graphics are still crisp and legible, complementing the numerals well and contrasting with the black glossy dial.

  • 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. 3525
A rare and attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with black dial, luminous hands and hour markers

1942
35mm. Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

Estimate
CHF25,000 - 50,000 
€23,200-46,300
$24,800-49,500

Sold for CHF50,000

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FIVE

Geneva Auctions 13 – 14 May 2017