An extremely rare, attractive and unusual yellow gold travel timepiece

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: circa 1931
    Reference No: 1559
    Movement No: 74'952
    Case No: 2464
    Model Name: Sporting Prince
    Material: 18k yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, 17mm wide x 33mm long, 15 jewels
    Dimensions: Outer case: 50mm long x 35mm wide
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Literature: A similar example is illustrated in 100 Superlative Rolex Watches by John Goldberger, page 14

  • Catalogue Essay

    Rolex introduced the Prince model in the mid 1920s as a large rectangular wristwatch with a dual dial layout, with the hour and minutes indication on the top half of the dial, with the seconds indication on the lower half. The present Sporting Prince uses design cues from the Prince wristwatch with its rectangular case and large seconds dial, but it is placed in a spring-loaded yellow gold guilloché case, and as such turns the original design into a delightfully discreet portable timekeeper. These watches were created to be used whilst traveling and placed upon a bedside table. Nevertheless Rolex chose to name this model the Sporting Prince, and was possibly also intended to be used during sports events or tournaments, with the watch protected inside the superb guilloché gold clam-shell-type case. The four tone silver dial of the present lot is visually arresting and flawless in like-new condition, enhancing the beauty of an already fabulous timepiece. Likewise the case remains in an exceptional state of preservation, with the guilloché engravings perfectly intact - as if the watch was never used. The subsidiary seconds dial is signed Alexander Clark, an exclusive jewelry store based in London where this watch was retailed. The present watch will certainly surprise with its unusual design, heft, and superb quality. A hardly ever seen model, that when combined with its mint state, is a wonderful addition for a distinguished collection of noteworthy timepieces.

  • 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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166

Rolex

Ref. 1559
An extremely rare, attractive and unusual yellow gold travel timepiece

circa 1931
Outer case: 50mm long x 35mm wide
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
CHF10,000 - 20,000 
€9,200-18,400
$10,300-20,600

sold for CHF16,250

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR

Geneva Auctions 12 – 13 November 2016