Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: SIX Geneva Friday, November 10, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1989
    Reference No: 16528 inside caseback stamped 16500
    Movement No: 35'138
    Case No: L'703'080
    Model Name: Cosmograph Daytona, The "Big Blue"
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 4030, 31 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K yellow gold Rolex Oyster bracelet, max length 210mm.
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Rolex folding deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 39mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Literature: A similar watch is illustrated in Ultimate Rolex Daytona by Pucci Papaleo pp 584-585

  • Catalogue Essay

    The modern Daytona was a breakthrough and a first in many aspects. When launched in 1988, it was not only the first time Rolex used an automatic caliber for the Daytona, it was also the first time that Rolex used an ebauche supplied by a third party for one of its automatic movements. Caliber 4030 was based on a heavily modified Zenith El-Primero movement. Fitted with a sapphire crystal for the first time, the Daytona’s case size was increased to 39 millimeters to house the new movement.

    The present reference 16528’s striking good looks is the result of a potent formula, consisting of a ritzy yellow gold case and a superb galvanic blue dial with a sunray pattern.

    As often the commercial failures of yesteryear are collector's delights today. This blue dial was created by Rolex’s dial manufacturer, Singer. However, it seems that due to a poor market response, the order for these dials was cancelled and consequently Singer made only a few numbers.

    These dials were thus never mounted on reference 16528, but gifted by Rolex to partners, suppliers and senior management.

    One of these dials has found its way on the present lot for a spectacular result. Not only is the look of this watch perfectly theatrical, it is offered in spectacular condition. Of course, it is one of the rarest and exclusive Daytonas ever created and a crown jewel for the discerning Daytona collector.

  • 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. 16528 inside caseback stamped 16500
An extremely rare and highly attractive yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with blue dial and bracelet

39mm. Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF100,000 - 200,000 

Sold for CHF552,500

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: SIX

Geneva Auctions 11 - 12 November 2017