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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1989
    Reference No: 16618
    Movement No: 5'492'245
    Case No: L'938'169
    Model Name: Submariner
    Material: 18k yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 3135, 31 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18k yellow gold Rolex Oyster bracelet, max length 225mm.
    Clasp/Buckle: 18k yellow gold Rolex twinlock deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 40mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex punched guarantee dating August 06, 1990, fitted presentation box and hangtag.

  • Catalogue Essay

    As the brand that most probably created the “multi activity watch”: a practical timepiece in steel targeting a specific profession: divers, pilots, cave explorers or scientists that could be worn day in day out in any occasion, it is of no surprise that Rolex upped their own ante by creating a uber exclusive version of certain models in yellow gold.

    The present Submariner reference 16618 in yellow gold, part of the earlier models, is bewildering in its sheer awesomeness. Even more mind boggling is the incredible lapis lazuli dial placing this watch on a whole different stratosphere!

    Lapus lazuli is a deep blue semi-precious stone that has been prized since antiquity for its intense color. The manufacturing process consists of milling this stone to a thickness of less than 1mm to create a dial. The process being so complex and the rejection rate so high that it is believed that about only 20% of the dials made it into a production piece. It is therefore of no surprise that these models are incredibly rare and show up on the international auction market sporadically.

    The dial may look blue at first glance but depending on lighting there are specks of gold, purple and green that give the dial extraordinary depth and vibrancy.

    The Submariner was created to serve divers’ needing a reliable companion in their explorations of the of seabed but it is most certain that the present watch sent most of its life on on a sundeck.

    The present watch in incredible condition, complete with punched Rolex papers and fitted box, oozes glamour and self-confidence.

  • Artist Biography

    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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Ref. 16618
A highly rare and very attractive yellow gold wristwatch with centre seconds, date, lapis lazuli dial and bracelet with punched guarantee and box

1989
40mm. Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

Estimate
CHF60,000 - 90,000 
€51,800-77,700
$62,000-93,000

Sold for CHF75,000

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89
[email protected]

The Geneva Watch Auction: SIX

Geneva Auctions 11 - 12 November 2017