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

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1955
    Reference No: 6036
    Case No: 944’072
    Model Name: "Datocompax", "Killy"
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 72C, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather and 18K yellow gold Rolex Oyster WAB bracelet, max length 170mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Gilt pin buckle and 18K yellow gold deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Launched in 1951, ref. 6036 is one of only five models ever made by Rolex incorporating a triple calendar and a chronograph. Collectively known as “Killy” after olympic skiing legend Jean-Claude Killy (or “Dato-compax” in the Italian market), they represent the technical pinnacle of Rolex’s vintage production: never again the company did a similarly complex vintage movement. The closest in terms of complication are ref. 6062 and ref. 8171 - triple calendar wristwatches with moonphases (intriguingly launched at the same time), and the 1940s split-second chronograph ref. 4113. Even looking at modern times, the only Rolex watch with a comparable level of complication is the dual time annual calendar Sky-Dweller.

    The present yellow gold example - a rare variation, as the model was usually made in steel - of this historical reference can be described as simply breathtaking. When beholding it, one cannot avoid the eerie - and ironic, considering we are talking of a watch - feeling that time has literally stopped. It is uncannily difficult to find a flaw on the superbly preserved dial, featuring flawless graphics, unmarred finish, perfect radium accents and not a spot or a hint of oxidation: it is, simply put, absolute perfection. Only the slightest off-white patina betrays its true age to the most keen eye.

    The case is no less impressive, with incredibly sharp and crisp edges and scholarly-level proportions: one could use it to illustrate how ref 6036 was when it left the factory. In fact, its case back features not only the very crisp “MODELE DEPOSÉ /REGISERED DESIGN” inscriptions, but also equally crisp “rectangles” completing the engraving. While all references with “modele deposé” backs originally featured this detail, its sensitivity to polishing is so high that is nearly always not there anymore.
    The few minor surface marks and warm layer of light oxidation are both a subtle reminder and a satisfying proof that it’s been years since this case saw any kind of polishing - if it ever did at all.

    Last seen on the market nearly a decade ago - in 2013 - we can assert without a doubt that it would be difficult if not impossible to source another example of similar quality.

  • 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. 6036
A highly impressive and exceptionally well-preserved yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with triple calendar, luminous dial and bracelet

Circa 1955
36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

Estimate
CHF500,000 - 1,000,000 
€491,000-982,000
$531,000-1,060,000

Sold for CHF998,000

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