A highly rare, very attractive and extremely well-preserved stainless steel wristwatch with center seconds and bracelet

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1945
    Reference No: 3372
    Movement No: N11'626
    Case No: 348'170
    Model Name: "Bubble back"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 9 3⁄4’’’, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet, max length 185mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp stamped 2.50
    Dimensions: 32mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Cased in an array of metals and fitted with a variety of dials, ‘Bubble Back’ watches were in production for over 22 years, from the early Thirties to the mid Fifties. For many years, the ‘Bubble Back’ wristwatch was Rolex’s best selling model. At the time of production, the model was officially named the "Oyster Perpetual". The nickname "Bubble Back" is derived from the convex shape of the case back used to house the new automatic winding system, which replaced the manual mechanism.

    Reference 3372 was first introduced to the market in 1940. At the time of production, the model’s appearance was very unusual. The watch featured a 'machine' bezel, showcasing a threaded design that is still very appealing and eye catching today. Displaying a very impressive bezel and definition to the case, this "Bubble Back" is preserved in most probably unpolished condition. The dial is also preserved in astounding and almost unblemished condition, which is particularly astounding considering the age of the timepiece.

  • 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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Rolex

Ref. 3372
A highly rare, very attractive and extremely well-preserved stainless steel wristwatch with center seconds and bracelet

Circa 1945
32mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

Estimate
CHF3,000 - 6,000 
€2,800-5,600
$3,100-6,200

sold for CHF11,250

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East

41 79 637 1724
aghotbi@phillips.com

The Geneva Watch Auction: XI

Geneva Auction 27 - 28 June 2020