Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: XIII Geneva Saturday, May 8, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1965
    Reference No: 6238
    Case No: 1'226'454
    Model Name: Pre-Daytona
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 72B, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster riveted bracelet stamped "7205" and "71" to the endlinks, max length 180mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp stamped "1 66"
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    The reference 6238 is undoubtedly a milestone in Rolex's chronograph history. Launched in 1960, it is the last model to feature a plain bezel and an inner tachymeter scale. It can also be described as Rolex’s first modern chronograph, and one that would pave the way to reference 6239, the first Cosmograph Daytona ever released by Rolex. Thus the nickname “Pre-Daytona” given by collectors to reference 6238.

    Interestingly even though it is called the Pre-Daytona, the reference 6238 was produced in parallel to reference 6239 with which they share certain design elements such as the crown, the pushers, case and indexes. However, while the Cosmograph Daytona always featured a two tone dial with either black with silver subdials or vice versa, the reference 6238 was offered only with a monochrome dial.

    The present timepiece is distinguished by its incredibly rare black "galvanic" dial, where the graphics are gilt in nature. Most intriguingly, there are no luminous dots on the dial - yet, the graphics and “-T SWISS T-” found at 6 o'clock is correct for the serial number, leading us to believe the present watch was born in its present condition. Its case condition is particularly stunning and impressive. It remains very crisp, with the "step" between the case and the bezel extremely profound and sharp. It is our understanding that the timepiece was acquired from the estate of a medical specialist at the UMCG in Groningen, The Netherlands.

  • 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 extremely rare and highly attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with galvanic "no lume" black dial and bracelet

Circa 1965
36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

CHF80,000 - 160,000 

Sold for CHF163,800

Contact Specialist

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

41 79 637 1724



The Geneva Watch Auction: XIII

Geneva Auction 8 - 9 May 2021