A fine and rare yellow gold center seconds wristwatch with black dial

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1953
    Reference No: 8724
    Movement No: N98'501
    Case No: 933'297 and 312
    Model Name: Champs Elysées
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal 10 1/2''', 18 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Rolex pin buckle
    Dimensions: 35mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    According to scholarship, the reference 8724, and its companion reference, the 8651, was only manufactured in 1953 and encased in either 18K yellow or pink gold. Rolex advertised the pair as the “Champs Elysées” possibly as a nod to the sophistication and elegance of Paris’s most well known street and its inhabitants.

    This rare watch has an intriguing and elegant case design. The round case has hidden lugs and a large milled bezel with elongated 5 minute markers and small circular pearl minute markers. The majority of reference 8724s were produced with silver dials, while the present watch features a rare, glossy black dial and gilt printing. Illustrating how prestigious the Champs-Elysées models were for Rolex, some exceptionally rare examples were even fitted with cloisonnée enamel dials (see lot 189, Phillips Geneva Watch Auction: Three, May 15, 2016, sold 569,000 CHF). With its large-for-the-era 35mm diameter and gorgeous black dial, it’s a highly uncommon vintage Rolex with timeless styling for the aficionado.

  • 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. 8724
A fine and rare yellow gold center seconds wristwatch with black dial

1953
35mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
CHF20,000 - 40,000 
€18,400-36,700
$20,600-41,200

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR

Geneva Auctions 12 – 13 November 2016