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

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1938
    Reference No: 3835
    Case No: 57'498
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 13'', 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather, further accompanied by a 18K yellow gold bracelet
    Dimensions: 34mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by an additional 18K yellow gold bracelet measuring 200mm max
    Literature: A similar watch is illustrated in I Cronografi Rolex – La Leggenda, by Pucci Papaleo Editore p. 37

  • Catalogue Essay

    Since its launch in the early 1940s, only a very small numbers of reference 3835 have been produced. Mainly cased in pink gold, the watch was also available in yellow gold with champagne dial like the present example. Reminiscent of the design of the Chrysler building the triple stepped lugs exult a strong Art Deco inspiration and give the watch a sculptural and arresting style. This bold geometric design made the watch extremely sensitive to polish and luckily, the present example had never suffered from this as the case and specially the lugs are crisp and untouched. In fact, one can say that this watch has been cherished but not worn very often. The beautiful champagne dial is in excellent condition and proudly features the retailer’s name, Ronchi Milano, just beneath the Rolex signature. In business since 1939, the shop, based in Milan, is still an Official Rolex Retailer to this day.

    Preserved in excellent and original condition, this watch is a beautiful example of a stylish non-oyster antimagnetic chronograph. The watch stands out by its charismatic untouched champagne dial, beautifully complemented by the retailer’s signature. It is probably one of the most desirable examples a collector could dream of.

  • 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. 3835
A very rare and fine yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with champagne dial and triple stepped lugs retailed by Ronchi, Milano

Circa 1938
34mm Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF30,000 - 50,000 

Sold for CHF47,500

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

The Geneva Watch Auction: NINE

Geneva Auction 11-12 May 2019