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

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1951
    Reference No: 6062
    Movement No: 52122, base plate numbered 00038
    Case No: 788'611
    Model Name: Rolex Oyster Perpetual Chronometer
    Material: 18k yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, Super Balance, 9 3/4'''
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: 18k yellow gold, signed Rolex
    Dimensions: 36mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed, case back further engraved M/G W.C. SWEENEY JR, WITH SINCERE ADMIRATION, DIV, WING. AB GP, COMMANDERS -15TH AF, 8 AUG 55
    Accessories: Rolex Chronometer Certificate with typed movement and case number and handwritten date of sale from A.F.E.X U.K. 14th July, 1955, Bureaux Officiels de Controle de la Marche des Montres, certificate number 212'703 and dated 29th February 1952, leather presentation box and period typed instruction letter.
    Literature: For other known black dial reference 6062 see 100 Superlative Rolex Watches by John Goldberger, pages 144 to 153

  • Catalogue Essay

    The “General Sweeney 6062”Reference 6062 is one of only two models ever made by Rolex featuring a full calendar and the phases of the moon. Cased in stainless steel, yellow gold or pink gold, it is not only one of the rarest vintage collector watches but also amongst the most valuable. A large number of different dial designs were used during the model’s short production in the early 1950s. The silvered dials were fitted with either arrow-, pyramid- or star-shaped numerals. The most exclusive of all dial versions are those finished in black lacquer, set with diamond numerals. The most famous of this group is the Bao Dai, named after Vietnam’s last emperor and prominent owner of one of the three examples known today. Equally rare and exclusive are examples featuring a black dial and the so called “spade numerals”. Until today, only four examples have been seen in public. Interestingly, photographic evidence shows that all of them feature the blue moon disk. The present example is in absolutely unrestored condition and its black dial still features the original luminous dots, a rarity by itself. The case has seen some regular but respectful wear but only very limited polishing. It is still accompanied by the original rating certificate, Rolex guarantee and instructions manual. These documents are in their own merit highly rare and we cannot remember when the last reference 6062 appeared on the market still retaining these. The presentation inscription on the case back shows that a group of commanders of the 15th Air Force offered this watch to Major General Walter C. Sweeney on August 8th 1955. This was the exact date when Sweeney was promoted to commander of the 8th Air Force. The original Rolex guarantee shows that the watch was purchased at an Air Force exchange on July 14th 1955, only three weeks before being presented to Sweeney.Few watches are so rich of history, so prestigious and rare as models and so incredibly well preserved as the present “General Sweeney 6062”. Without exaggeration, it must be considered as one of the most beautiful and valuable vintage Rolex wristwatches of all times. General Walter Campbell Sweeney, Jr. (July 23, 1909 – December 22, 1965) was a United States Air Force four-star general who served as commander of the U.S. Air Force Tactical Air Command.After completing high school and graduating as a second lieutenant in the Infantry in 1930 he was appointed to the US Military Academy at West Point, New York and after four years he decided to become a pilot. Amongst his achievements in his militarycareer, he was assigned to command the Fifteenth Air Force at March Air Force Base, California in 1953. While stationed there in June 1954, he led a trio of B-47 Stratojet aircraft in the US Air Force’s first non-stop flight of jet bombers across the Pacific Ocean. From August 8th, 1955 until September 1961, Sweeney commanded the Eighth Air Force at Westover Air Force Base, Massachusetts. In 1961, he was promoted to the rank of general.For his long and impressive 35-year career with the Army and Air Force, Sweeney was awarded with the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal, but also the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster.

  • 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. 6062
An extremely rare, historical and highly important yellow gold wristwatch with triple calendar, black lacquer dial, phases of the moon and original certificate, rating certificate and instruction manual

36mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed, case back further engraved M/G W.C. SWEENEY JR, WITH SINCERE ADMIRATION, DIV, WING. AB GP, COMMANDERS -15TH AF, 8 AUG 55

CHF300,000 - 600,000 

Sold for CHF509,000

Contact Specialist
Nathalie Monbaron
+41 22 317 81 83

The Watch Auction: One

Geneva Auction 10 May 2015 6:30pm