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

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1938
    Reference No: 3135
    Movement No: 99'669
    Case No: 115'200
    Model Name: Oyster Perpetual "Bubble Back"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, Super Oyster, 9 3/4'''
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel, Rolex rice grain
    Clasp/Buckle: Folding deployant clasp, stamped 4. 51
    Dimensions: 33mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Fitted presentation box signed Rolex, The World's Most Accurate Wristwatch, The Highest Honours Ever Awarded by London Paris and Geneva Observatories

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present stainless steel reference 3135 is, without exaggeration, one of the most beautiful, rarest and best preserved examples to come to the market in years. The multi-tone silvered sector dial is one of the rarest versions for bubblebacks and is a very typical design, used by many distinguished manufactures, between the late 1930’s and early 1940’s. As a scholar would expect, the correct hands to match this dial design are of blued steel. The case is in virtually perfect condition and shows no polishing whatsoever. In fact, the diamond polished bezel has retained its perfect mirror finish. The crystal, now with crazing, also appears to be the original one. To round up and complete this perfect example, a beautiful Rolex stainless steel grain de riz (rice grain) bracelet is mounted on the watch. Bubblebacks uniting so many highly attractive and rare elements, like the present one, are much rarer than many Rolex sports watches from the second half of the twentieth century. In our view, they are until now undervalued treasures and avid collectors should not wait too long.

  • 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. 3135
A very rare and attractive stainless steel wristwatch with rice grain bracelet, sector dial and original box

33mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF25,000 - 50,000 

Sold for CHF82,500

Contact Specialist
Nathalie Monbaron
+41 22 317 81 83

The Watch Auction: One

Geneva Auction 10 May 2015 6:30pm