Rolex - The Watch Auction: One Geneva Saturday, May 9, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1955
    Reference No: 6556
    Movement No: N823'698
    Case No: 139'017
    Model Name: Tru-Beat
    Material: Stainless Steel
    Calibre: Automatic, 1040
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel expandable Rolex Oyster, end links stamped 57
    Clasp/Buckle: Folding deployant clasp, stamped 4.53
    Dimensions: 35mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed, dial further signed Tiffany & Co, inside case back stamped I.56

  • Catalogue Essay

    An exceptionally rare Rolex model, the Tru-Beat reference 6556 was launched in 1954 as a tool watch for doctors and healthcare workers. It’s the only mechanical Rolex model to ever incorporate a “dead-beat” seconds mechanism that advances the seconds hand only once per second. This permitted more accurate readings of patients’ pulse rates, however the demand for such a timepiece was quite low, and the reference was soon discontinued. Amongst the small quantities produced, few have survived with the dead-beat mechanism of the Rolex caliber 1040 still intact.

    The present example functions exactly as Rolex originally designed, with a seconds hand that perfectly advances once every second. The silver, sectorized dial, dauphine hour and minute hands, and red-painted seconds hand are immaculately preserved, making this one of the finest ref. 6556 to appear on the market in recent years.

  • 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. 6556
A fine and rare stainless steel wristwatch with bracelet and deadbeat seconds, retailed by Tiffany & Co

35mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed, dial further signed Tiffany & Co, inside case back stamped I.56

CHF8,000 - 12,000 

Sold for CHF37,500

Contact Specialist
Nathalie Monbaron
+41 22 317 81 83

The Watch Auction: One

Geneva Auction 10 May 2015 6:30pm