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

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1953
    Reference No: 6202
    Movement No: 33'365 and F 3636
    Case No: 949'484
    Model Name: Monometer
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. A260, 19 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel pin buckle
    Dimensions: 35mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Monometer is one of the absolute earliest and rarest Rolex sport watches known, and can be considered an experimental model by the brand. The name was registered by Rolex in 1953 and launched the same year and bearing the same reference number as the 6202 Turn-O-Graph. While still in the early developmental stage of the model, Rolex introduced many different dial designs, and even explored different model names, before deciding on Turn-O-Graph. It is unclear why Rolex chose the name, however there is no doubt that this timepiece, along with the Turn-O-Graph, were Rolex's first ever tool watches produced in series. With its engraved rotating bezel calibrated to 60 units, the ground-breaking Monometer can be considered as the starting point of 60 plus successful years of divers’ and sport watches at Rolex and a timepiece that ultimately had an influence on diving watches as we know them today. The present lot can only delight with its stunning honeycomb dial and gilt printing. However, the rarity factor is further enhanced by the presence of the original pencil hour and minute hands, lollipop seconds hand and the unusual “Oyster Perpetual” printing between the 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock position at the center of the dial. Rolex fascinates by the fact that it was always experimenting, and their designs are in constant evolution. The present Monometer was most probably a prototype that was marketed and rapidly discontinued and replaced by the Submariner. Some consider this the earliest Submariner, even though not officially carrying the name and housed in a 6202 case. The Monometer was made in exceedingly small quantities with two dial variants known – honeycomb, like the present lot, or plain black lacquer. Less than 10 Monometers are known to have appeared on the international auction market in the past 20 years, highlighting the extreme rarity of this piece. The present lot is in overall remarkable condition for a watch of its age, with a sharp, well-defined case that is consistent with the state of preservation of the visually arresting dial.

  • 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. 6202
An extremely rare and attractive stainless steel diver's wristwatch with honeycomb dial and center seconds

35mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for CHF25,000

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR

Geneva Auctions 12 – 13 November 2016