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

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1962
    Reference No: 6238
    Case No: 866'241
    Model Name: "Pre-Daytona"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 722-1, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel riveted Rolex Oyster bracelet, reference 7205, end links stamped 71, max length 190mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp stamped 1.66
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Produced for a short period from the beginning of the 1960s to 1967, reference 6238 was the last Rolex chronograph to feature a smooth bezel with a graduated tachymeter scale on the dial. It paved the way and set the design codes for the first Cosmograph, reference 6239, with its tonneau-shaped case and Oyster screw down caseback.

    This absolutely spectacular wristwatch is an exceedingly rare variant of reference 6238 as it is fitted with a black lacquer dial. An incredibly early example, this watch bears an 866'xxx serial number and is most likely among the first batch of reference 6238s ever produced.

    Glossy and mirror-like, the quality of this dial is second to none. It displays luminous dots that are intact and have aged with warm patina. Furthermore, there are no signs of hand drag marks or tarnishing, which further underlines the quality of this timepiece. Only a few handful of watches fitted with such dials have appeared on the market so far, which makes this example incredibly desirable. It notably displays "-T Swiss T-" at 6 o'clock, which is correct for a stainless steel reference 6238s with a black dial.

    The case is preserved in excellent condition, with crisp finishes to the top of the lugs and overall thick proportions. Even the end links are stamped "71", which is particularly desirable and collectible today.

  • 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. 6238
An attractive and spectacularly well-preserved stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with black lacquer dial and bracelet

Circa 1962
36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF140,000 - 260,000 

Sold for CHF250,000

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

The Geneva Watch Auction: NINE

Geneva Auction 11-12 May 2019