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

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1935
    Reference No: 971
    Movement No: 1'134
    Case No: 6047
    Model Name: Prince
    Material: Platinum
    Calibre: Manual
    Bracelet/Strap: Ostrige
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel buckle, signed Rolex
    Dimensions: 26mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present Prince in platinum is an exceedingly rare and most attractive example of Rolex’s celebrated reference 971 series, one of the brand’s key models of the Art Deco period.
    Clearly a product of the 1920s, the elegant design of the Prince was considered a symbol of luxury within the Depression-era clientele and was promoted as “the watch for men of distinction”. The dial is divided into an upper half, showing the hours and minutes and the lower half, leaving a prominent place for the constant seconds. The clearly legible seconds made the Prince a first choice for doctors, hence its designation “doctor’s watch”.
    While the Prince is housing a chronometer movement of the highest quality, it become obsolete with the ever-growing success of the automatic (“Perpetual”) and water-resistant (“Oyster”) models.
    The Prince Brancard, as the present model is also known amongst collectors, has the elaborate case with flared sides. Platinum versions, as the present one, are by far the rarest and most coveted trophies amongst collectors, particularly when preserved in such outstanding original overall condition.

  • 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. 971
A very rare and very attractive platinum rectangular doctor's wristwatch with flared sides and two-tone dial

26mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF40,000 - 60,000 

Sold for CHF75,000

Contact Specialist
Nathalie Monbaron
+41 22 317 81 83

The Watch Auction: One

Geneva Auction 10 May 2015 6:30pm