A highly rare and remarkably well-preserved 14K yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with guarantee, numbered hang tag and fitted presentation box

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1963
    Reference No: 6238
    Case No: 997'150
    Model Name: "Pre-Daytona"
    Material: 14K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 72B, 17 jewels, bridge further stamped ROW
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: 14K yellow gold Rolex buckle
    Dimensions: 36.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex guarantee dated August 11, 1965, original numbered sales tag, Instructions for Use from The American Rolex Watch Corporation and fitted presentation box.
    Literature: A similar model is featured in I Cronografi Rolex - La Leggenda by Pucci Papaleo Editore, p. 290.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present watch is a superlative example of reference 6238. It is most notably cased in 14K yellow gold, indicating it was made for export to the United States. Fitting, as the movement bridge is stamped with the export mark ROW, indicating it was to be delivered to the American market.

    The astounding condition of this watch furthermore sets it apart from its peers. Featuring full, thick lugs and a wide bezel, its proportions are excellent. In addition, there are two sharp hallmarks punched beneath the lugs that are incredibly crisp. A light layer of patina has developed throughout the case, indicating that it has been untouched for a long period of time. The "transitional" dial, which is correct for the serial number, is exceptional. It features full luminous dots that display warm patina, matching the hands. Most importantly, it displays a "Miles" tachymeter scale, which is correct for American market watches.

    Equally impressive are its accompanying documents, such as the original guarantee and Instructions for Use from The American Rolex Watch Corporation. Even the hang tags indicate the watch's serial number and show that it is cased in 14K gold - an important accessory that most existing examples do not retain today.

    Originally consigned at auction three years ago by the descendants of the original owner, this "second owner watch" is destined for a collector who not only has the most discerning taste, but also enjoys complete archival documents showing how a watch originally left a Rolex retailer.

  • 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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178

Rolex

Ref. 6238
A highly rare and remarkably well-preserved 14K yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with guarantee, numbered hang tag and fitted presentation box

Circa 1963
36.5mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

Estimate
CHF60,000 - 80,000 
€51,400-68,600
$63,500-84,700

sold for CHF143,750

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