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

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1946
    Reference No: 4467
    Movement No: G23329
    Case No: 460'393 stamped to the inside of the caseback, 3226 hand-engraved to the outside of the caseback
    Model Name: Oyster Perpetual, Date-just
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. A295, jeweled
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K yellow gold woven bracelet, max length 215mm
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Rolex deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Ref. 4467 is an absolute milestone in the history of Rolex as it represents the first appearance of the Datejust, indisputably the cornerstone model of Rolex’s production for the past half a century at least. While the name will make its appearance on the dial only in the 1950s, the overall characteristics of the line are all present in ref. 4467 already: 36mm Oyster case with ribbed bezel, date at 3, sweep seconds, automatic movement and bracelet.

    The model was launched in 1945 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the company - and indeed special “Jubilee” bracelet (yes: THAT Jubilee bracelet, which everyone knows and love) was designed for the occasion.
    Famously, the first one hundred pieces were sold by correspondence via an insert on the Genevoise newspaper “Tribune de Genève”, all bearing sequential number between the lugs.

    The present watch is indeed a representative of this historical reference offered in very charming condition, most notably bearing an extremely charming dial, devoid of any restoration and featuring an incredibly charming ivory patina.
    The hand-engraved number present outside of the case back “3226” adds some intrigue to the watch: it does not match any known Rolex reference number, furthermore the company is known to stamp rather than hand-engrave their serial and reference numbers, even when they occur on the outside of the caseback (such as in the instance of ref. 2508). This brings us to believe that it might be a stock number added by the retailer at the time of the original commercialisation of the watch.

  • 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.

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Ref. 4467
An early yellow gold automatic wristwatch with center seconds, date, retailer code on the case back and bracelet

Circa 1946
36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

Estimate
CHF15,000 - 25,000 
€14,700-24,600
$15,900-26,500

Sold for CHF20,160

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