A fine and rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1946
    Reference No: 2508
    Case No: 418'260
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 13'', 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel
    Dimensions: 36mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Literature: A similar watch is featured in John Goldberger's "100 Superlative Rolex Watches" pages 64-65

  • Catalogue Essay

    Introduced in the mid 1930s the Rolex reference 2508 is a favorite amongst collectors due to its oversized case, flat bezel, and classic no frills design that is more in-line with those of two other historical Genevan brands: Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin. This reference existed in two different configurations, the first models with olive shaped pushers and larger case, the second generation coming with rectangular pushers with a 36mm case. Early 2508s had the serial numbers punched on the caseback, whereas the last generation, like the present example, had the 6 digit number finely engraved at the edge of the back. The large “Calatrava” style case, the superb untouched silver dial with black tachymeter and telemeter scales and the blue hands standing proudly against the silver dial are proof of the vivid modernism of this striking example. It is wonderful to see how a precisely 70-year-old chronograph wristwatch can be as timeless and contemporary today as it was when first launched. The present lot is in immaculate condition, the case maintaining all its angles and brushed surfaces. Furthermore, the case number and Rolex crown engraved on the caseback are perfectly crisp, the arresting dial showing no losses or signs of wear (something quite unheard of for a timepiece of this age with a non waterproof case), and even the original Rolex strap remains fitted, making us believe that the present lot spent most of its life in a safe - hardly worn and protected from the natural elements.

  • Maker Bio

    Rolex

    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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Rolex

Ref. 2508
A fine and rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch

1946
36mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
CHF25,000 - 30,000 
€23,000-27,500
$25,800-30,900

sold for CHF35,000

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR

Geneva Auctions 12 – 13 November 2016