Rolex - Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR Geneva Friday, November 11, 2016 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1946
    Reference No: 2940
    Case No: 402'343
    Model Name: Oyster Perpetual "Bubbleback"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 9 3/4''', 18 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel riveted Oyster bracelet, stamped 1.52, made by Gay Frères, max length 190mm.
    Clasp/Buckle: Folding deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 31mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Rolex’s Oyster Perpetual "Bubbleback” is one of the most iconic and recognizable wristwatches ever produced. The Bubbleback has earned a prominent place in horological history for the innovative self-winding movement they were fitted with – with it, Rolex perfected automatic winding and cemented its pivotal role in the success of the wristwatch. A “bubble”-shaped case housed this large movement with a 360-degree swinging rotor on top, which allowed for optimum winding. Over the Bubbleback’s nearly 25 year history, Rolex manufactured many models in a variety of case metals, with different dial types and models with and without center seconds. While the domed case back was necessary for the movement, the watch had a sleek and classic design from the dial side.
    The present Rolex Oyster Perpetual “Bubbleback” has an elegant and simple dial with Arabic numerals that have aged to a lovely dark brown color. The case remained unpolished, retaining the graceful and sharp curves and edges as it originally left the factory. A true barn find, it comes fitted on a highly desirable expandable Oyster bracelet made by Gay Frères.

  • 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. 2940
A fine and attractive stainless steel automatic wristwatch with luminous Arabic numerals and Gay Frères bracelet

31mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF3,000 - 5,000 

Sold for CHF4,000

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR

Geneva Auctions 12 – 13 November 2016