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

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1958
    Reference No: 6541
    Case No: 412'102
    Model Name: Milgauss
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, 1066
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster, end links stamped 65
    Clasp/Buckle: Folding deployant clasp, stamped 2. 55
    Dimensions: 38mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed, inside case back stamped IV. 1958
    Literature: For another example of a reference 6541 with honeycomb dial and "lightning flash" hand, please see 100 Superlative Rolex Watches, by John Goldberger, pages 224 and 225

  • Catalogue Essay

    To meet the demands of scientists and engineers working in magnetic environments, in 1954, Rolex launched the Milgauss, reference 6541. Rolex designed a case with a secondary, soft iron cage within that surrounded the caliber 1066M to shield it from magnetic forces of up to 1000 Gauss. The cases were therefore larger and thicker, making them perfectly sized for today’s modern tastes. Due to their highly specialized nature, few were produced, making them exceptionally rare. The most prominent feature of the reference 6541 Milgauss is its unusual and delightful seconds hand in the shape of a lightning bolt. Other distinguishing features include a rotating bezel with a red-colored triangle and a honeycomb-patterned dial with non-luminous, circular hour markers and faceted, triangular hour markers at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock. The present example, manufactured in 1958, features a dial that has aged to a beautiful and uniform, so-called ‘tropical’ brown color, and includes all of its original parts and extremely well preserved case with sharp lines and beveled edges. A superb example of this highly coveted reference.

  • 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. 6541
A fine and very rare stainless steel wristwatch with rare honeycomb "Tropical" dial and 'lightening flash' hand

Stainless steel
38mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed, inside case back stamped IV. 1958

CHF150,000 - 300,000 

Sold for CHF245,000

Contact Specialist
Nathalie Monbaron
+41 22 317 81 83

The Watch Auction: One

Geneva Auction 10 May 2015 6:30pm