A rare stainless steel transitional chronograph wristwatch with dark brown "tropical" multi-scale dial and olive-shaped pushers

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1937
    Reference No: 2508
    Case No: 037609
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 22, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather strap
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel pin buckle
    Dimensions: 35.2mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Introduced in the mid 1930s the Rolex reference 2508 is a favorite amongst collectors due to its oversized case, flat bezel, and classic no frills design that is, compared to the rest of the brand’s production, more in-line with those of two other historical Genevan brands: Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin.
    This reference existed in two different configurations. Early models feature olive-shaped pushers and a larger case diameter (37.2mm); second generation versions instead come with rectangular pushers and a 35.2mm case. Furthermore, early 2508s have the serial numbers punched on the caseback, whereas later ones have the 6-digit number finely engraved at the edge of the back.

    This example is of particular interest as it appears to be a transitional piece: it features numbers to the back and olive pushers as a first series model, but it also presents the more compact size of the second series. Such transitional pieces are extremely elusive and offer an intriguing window into the evolution of the model. Furthermore, this example is offered by the family of the original owner and boasts a superb tropical dial with a remarkable chocolate hue. A truly perfect storm of looks, history, provenance and rarity.

  • 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. 2508
A rare stainless steel transitional chronograph wristwatch with dark brown "tropical" multi-scale dial and olive-shaped pushers

Circa 1937
35.2mm Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
CHF15,000 - 25,000 
€14,200-23,700
$15,400-25,700

sold for CHF31,250

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