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

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1939
    Reference No: 3525
    Case No: 47'813
    Model Name: "Barilotto"
    Material: Stainless steel and 18k pink gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 13''', 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel pin buckle
    Dimensions: 35mm Diameter
    Signed: Case signed Oyster Watch Co., dial and movement signed Rolex

  • Catalogue Essay

    Launched in 1939, the ref. 3525 was Rolex’s very first chronograph wristwatch to be housed in an Oyster case defined by water resistant screw down case back as well as screw down winding crown. It was offered in yellow gold, pink gold, stainless steel and steel and gold like the present attractive example which features a steel case and a pink gold bezel and crown. Analysis of publicly known pieces shows that - with the exception of a few outliers - most of the production for the reference is grouped in three "batches", with respectively serial numbers around 40'xxx-50'xxx for the first batch, then in the mid 100'000 for the second, and in the mid-300'000 the last.

    The present model from 1939 is part of the early examples with the serial number stamped on the case back, whereas later models had the serial numbers engraved between the lugs.

    The case is in overall very appealing condition with the serial and reference numbers perfectly crisp and legible. Note also the presence of the original 'Brevet' Oyster crown. However, the most enticing element is the striking pink champagne dial which is beautifully framed by the pink gold bezel and further enhanced by the blue hands and tachymeter and telemeter scales.

    Thanks to its amazingly perfect proportions and balanced dial design, the Rolex reference 3525 is most arguably one of the most elegant chronographs of its time.

  • 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. 3525
A seductive and rare stainless steel and pink gold chronograph wristwatch with pink champagne dial

Circa 1939
35mm Diameter
Case signed Oyster Watch Co., dial and movement signed Rolex

CHF60,000 - 120,000 

Sold for CHF81,900

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