Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: XV Geneva Saturday, May 7, 2022 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1953
    Reference No: 6350
    Movement No: 02'372
    Case No: 955'369
    Model Name: Explorer
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. A296, 18 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet, max length 170mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp stamped 2.66
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Although Rolex first experimented with "3-6-9" dials before 1953, it was not until the arrival of reference 6350 that the manufacture officially used this dial configuration in their line of production.

    The key objective in creating the Explorer was dial legibility. Luminous material was thus applied to the dial, with the iconic "3-6-9" numerals clearly recognizable even from far away. Unlike reference 6150, which bore Precision, reference 6350 was marked "Officially Certified Chronometer’" confirming the movement had been subject to stricter timing tests.

    This example fitted with an attractive black honeycomb dial with '3-6-9' Arabic numerals, is really quite stunning. The ‘Swiss’ dial is correct, and all the luminous numerals are original to the watch. The Explorer dial also features a chapter ring, which we see on early tool watches. The numerals have aged to a warm orange tone, matching both the hands and lollipop seconds hand. The present example is part of the earlier models featuring pencil hands whereas later models features Mercedes hands.

    Furthermore, the case is preserved in excellent condition with crisp edges and facets.

  • 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. 6350
A highly rare and attractive stainless steel wristwatch with black "honeycomb" dial, center seconds and bracelet

Circa 1953
36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF40,000 - 80,000 

Sold for CHF75,600

Contact Specialist

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

+41 22 317 81 81

Tiffany To
Head of Sale, Geneva

+41 22 317 96 63

The Geneva Watch Auction: XV

Geneva Auction 7 - 8 May 2022