Rolex - Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR Geneva Friday, November 11, 2016 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: circa 1935
    Reference No: 1897
    Case No: 013'526
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 10.5''', 15 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex pin buckle
    Dimensions: 35 x 25mm
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    The oversized reference 1897 is without any doubt one of the rarest wristwatches to come to auction as only a handful have appeared on the international auction market in the past 20 years, the present lot being the only one known with black dial. Produced in the 1930s, the reference 1897 with its large case and superbly crafted, charismatic dial has an avant-garde aesthetic that is as modern today as it was nearly a century ago. In addition to the oversized case, the present example has its original black glossy dial, which beautifully complements the copper-colored numerals and matching hands. This watch remains in superb and unrestored condition. The case has seen some, but respectful wear and the few scratches visible on the side of the case are modest signs of aging for a watch that is over 80 years old. The present timepiece is a rare treasure that will certainly impress collectors and aficionados alike.

  • 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. 1897
An extremely rare oversized stainless steel rectangular-shaped wristwatch with black dial

circa 1935
35 x 25mm
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF20,000 - 40,000 

Sold for CHF28,750

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR

Geneva Auctions 12 – 13 November 2016