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

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1968
    Reference No: 6239
    Case No: 1'938'097
    Model Name: Cosmograph Daytona
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 722-1, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K yellow gold Rolex Oyster riveted bracelet stamped "71" to the end links, max length 210mm
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Rolex deployant clasp stamped "1 70"
    Dimensions: 36.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex presentation box

  • Catalogue Essay

    With reference 6239, Rolex inaugurated what can arguably be considered its most iconic, successful and collectible family of watches: the Cosmograph Daytona. Originally released in the USA in 1963, it became available in Europe only the following year. The American market was chosen for its closeness to the world of car racing. In fact, even the name Daytona was selected due to its American connotation, replacing the name “Le Mans” which had originally been devised for the model.

    It is estimated that only about 450 examples were made in gold (either 18K or 14K), making the present example a highly collectible specimen of the first gold Daytona model made. Such a restricted production can be explained by considering the tool watch vocation of the model, which was conceived as a sport's watch and thus was preeminently demanded with the sturdy and lightweight stainless steel case.

    Adding to its undeniable aesthetic and historical appeal, the piece is offered by its original owner and features the very rare “71” riveted bracelet, produced for a short time in the late 1960s/early 1970s. The clasp is stamped “1 70”, showing how the gold case made in late 1968 was eventually sold in 1970, further confirming the scarce appeal these gold timepieces had on the market at the time. Ironically, such scarce interest is what eventually rendered them so rare. This rarity, combined with the stunningly goods looks, makes this watch one of the most appealing timepieces to the collectors of fine Rolex wristwatches.

  • 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. 6239
A fine, very rare and extremely attractive yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with black dial, bracelet and box

Circa 1968
36.5mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

CHF60,000 - 100,000 

Sold for CHF218,750

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

The Geneva Watch Auction: NINE

Geneva Auction 11-12 May 2019