Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: XV Geneva Saturday, May 7, 2022 | Phillips

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    • Manufacturer: Rolex
      Year: Circa 1968
      Reference No: 6239
      Case No: 1'938'064
      Model Name: "Crazy Doc"
      Material: 18K yellow gold
      Calibre: Manual, cal. 722-1, 17 jewels
      Bracelet/Strap: 18K yellow gold Rolex Oyster bracelet, end links stamped 71, max length 200mm
      Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Rolex deployant clasp stamped 3.69
      Dimensions: 37mm Diameter
      Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
      Provenance: Christie's New York, Important Pocket Watches & Wristwatches Featuring Property from the Collection of Eric Clapton, New York, 2003, lot 175.
      Antiquorum, Geneva, 14th October 2007, lot 499.

      Literature: The present watch is prominently illustrated in Ultimate Rolex Daytona by Pucci Papaleo Editore, page 208 - 209.

    • Provenance

      Christie's New York, Important Pocket Watches & Wristwatches Featuring Property from the Collection of Eric Clapton, New York, 2003, lot 175.
      Antiquorum, Geneva, 14th October 2007, lot 499.

    • Literature

      The present watch is prominently illustrated in Ultimate Rolex Daytona by Pucci Papaleo Editore, page 208 - 209.

    • Catalogue Essay

      Please note, this Lot is a Premium Lot. To bid on the Lot you must complete and satisfy our Premium Lot pre-registration procedure no later than 24 hours before the start of the Auction session in which it is offered. Please contact the Department for details

      There are some watches, so elusive and so mythical, that stun even the most seasoned and weary of collectors. Today, the term "important" is used often and sometimes loosely, bordering on hyperbole. Yet, there are instances in which a watch arrives and is so sublime, it is almost impossible to qualify and quantify its beauty. To hold the watch, and to view it with one's very own eyes is to truly understand its exquisite nature. This example is indisputably such a watch.

      Most probably unique and called "Crazy Doc" in Ultimate Rolex Daytona by Pucci Papaleo Editore, the present watch is the only known yellow gold reference 6239 with pulsations dial. Having originally been sold in Italy in the 1990s to Eric Clapton himself, the present watch was later offered at the Important Pocket Watches & Wristwatches Featuring Property from the Collection of Eric Clapton sale in New York, 2003.

      Watches with a pulsations dial were used for specialists in the medical field, as the pulsometer scale is meant to measure heart beats per minute and can be found on some of Rolex’s earliest chronographs, dating from the 1930s and can even be found on rare examples of the reference 6238 “Pre-Daytona.” To utilize the pulsometer scale, a doctor would start the chronograph function, and stop it based on the number of heart beats counted as indicated on the scale, in this particular example 15 (hence, base 15 pulsations). The stopped chronograph hand would indicate the exact number of heart beats per minute on the pulsometer scale, without taking the entire minute.

      The most dazzling aspect of the present watch, is of course, the dial. Barely displaying any signs of aging, the pulsations scale is crisp, visible and vivid. Most notably, the "T Swiss T" text have been shifted up to allow space for the pulsations scale, showing how the present dial was a specially-designed configuration. The graphics of the subsidiary registers are white, which is a clear aesthetic departure from other yellow gold examples of the period. The luminous dots are furthermore even and consistent, having aged to a warm yellow tone.

      The case is also preserved in excellent condition, with sharp finishes to the top of the lugs and gold marks beneath the lugs. Furthermore, a light layer of oxidation has developed throughout the case, giving it warmth and character.

      The complexities, nuances and many idiosyncrasies of the Cosmograph Daytona render it one of the most complex, interesting and inspiring models to collect and research. As a result, few watches can elicit emotion and unadulterated joy like this model can. It is not everyday that a timepiece like this appears on the market, and there is no telling when another will ever surface again.

      Eric Patrick Clapton, CBE (born 30 March 1945), is an English musician, singer-songwriter and guitarist. He is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist and separately as a member of the Yardbirds and Cream. Clapton has been referred to as one of the most important and influential guitarists of all time. Clapton ranked second in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”and fourth in Gibson’s “Top 50 Guitarists of All Time”. He was also named number five in Time magazine’s list of “The 10 Best Electric Guitar Players” in 2009. He is furthermore an avid motorcar, watch and art collector, known for his exquisite and market-making taste.

    • Artist Biography

      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.

      View More Works

Please note, this Lot is a Premium Lot. To bid on the Lot you must complete and satisfy our Premium Lot pre-registration procedure no later than 24 hours before the start of the Auction session in which it is offered. Please contact the Department for details

116

Ref. 6239
A possibly unique, important and very well-preserved yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with pulsations scale and bracelet, formerly the property of Eric Clapton CBE

Circa 1968
37mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

Full Cataloguing

Estimate On Request

Sold for CHF1,724,000

Contact Specialist

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

+41 22 317 81 81
[email protected]

Tiffany To
Head of Sale, Geneva

+41 22 317 96 63
[email protected]

The Geneva Watch Auction: XV

Geneva Auction 7 - 8 May 2022