A highly rare and important yellow gold, diamond, ruby and sapphire-set dual time wristwatch with bracelet, made for the Sultanate of Oman

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1986
    Reference No: 16758
    Movement No: 1'101'012
    Case No: 9'129'733
    Model Name: GMT-Master "SARU"
    Material: 18K yellow gold, diamonds, sapphires and rubies
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 3075, 27 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K yellow gold and diamond-set Rolex President bracelet, max length 195mm
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold and diamond-set Rolex concealed deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 40mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex presentation box, outer packaging and product literature.

  • Catalogue Essay

    First released in 1954, the GMT-Master was originally designed as an aid for pilots. With the rise of international travel in the 1940s and 1950s, Rolex initially created the model for Pan Am airlines to track dual time zones. The watch featured an immediately recognizable bakelite bezel with the twenty-four hour numerals painted on the underside, made to glow in any weather condition. Bakelite was Rolex's material of choice, due to its low reflectivity and high readability. The additional luminous 24 hour tipped hand allowed the viewer to immediately track a second time zone.

    Rolex continued to evolve and make modifications to the GMT-Master model, for example switching out the bakelite bezel to a more durable metal version.

    Heavy, robust and lavishly set with diamonds, sapphires and rubies, this variant is nicknamed "SARU", referencing its precious gem-set bezel. The present model, along with reference 6270 and 6269, was the earliest Rolex sports watch to feature precious stones. This concept was incredibly daring in the 1980s, as tool watches and luxury gem-set timepieces resided in two separate spheres.

    Rolex in particular excels at the incredibly time-consuming job of setting well-matched and beautiful stones. The sky blue sapphires contrast wonderfully against the ruby baguette stones, truly elevating the present example beyond a standard dual time wristwatch.

    This example is furthermore engraved with the "Khanjar" logo on the caseback with a crown. Preserved in excellent condition, the case displays crisp edges and sharp hallmarks beneath the lugs.

  • Maker Bio

    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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177

Rolex

Ref. 16758
A highly rare and important yellow gold, diamond, ruby and sapphire-set dual time wristwatch with bracelet, made for the Sultanate of Oman

Circa 1986
40mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

Estimate
CHF150,000 - 250,000 
€129,000-214,000
$159,000-265,000

sold for CHF243,750

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Sale
+41 22 317 81 81
aghotbi@phillips.com

The Geneva Watch Auction: SEVEN

Geneva Auction 12-13 May 2018