Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: NINE Geneva Saturday, May 11, 2019 | Phillips

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 2001
    Reference No: 16618
    Movement No: 39'861'907
    Case No: Y'762'336
    Model Name: Submariner
    Material: 18K yellow gold, lapis lazuli and diamonds
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 3135. 35 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K yellow gold Rolex Oyster bracelet, max length 190mm
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Rolex twinlock deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 40mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present watch is, to the best of our knowledge, the only yellow gold reference 16618 to feature a lapis lazuli dial with diamond hour markers that has ever appeared on the auction market. Most reference 16618s with lapis lazuli dials feature luminous hour markers, making the present watch a singular example. It is interesting to note that the diamonds are set very similarly to the beloved SARU, reference 16758. The triangle diamond setting at 12 o'clock is notably very similar to that of the bejeweled GMT-Master.

    Rolex in particular excels at the incredibly time-consuming job of selecting, along with setting, well-matched hard stones and gemstones. Lapis lazuli is particularly prone to breaking, and to create this dial set with diamond hour markers was no easy feat.

    The watch itself is preserved in excellent and virtually new-old-stock condition. The factory sticker on the caseback is present, and even the blue sticker on the clasp of the bracelet has been preserved over time. Furthermore, the watch has seen no polishing throughout its lifetime, and the gold has developed an even layer of patina.

  • 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.

    View More Works


Ref. 16618
A highly attractive and the only publicly known yellow gold wristwatch with lapis lazuli and diamond-set dial, center seconds and bracelet

Circa 2001
40mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF40,000 - 60,000 

Sold for CHF81,250

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Sale
+ 41 79 637 1724

The Geneva Watch Auction: NINE

Geneva Auction 11-12 May 2019