A very fine, rare and attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with black dial and bracelet

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1942
    Reference No: 3525
    Case No: 150'764
    Model Name: Oyster Chronograph "Barilotto"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 13'''VZ, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel bracelet, max length 190mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp stamped "6251H" and "4 68"
    Dimensions: 35mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex original presentation box signed by retailer Enrico Nattich, Fiume.
    Literature: Other examples of reference 3525 are illustrated in 100 Superlative Rolex Watches by John Goldberger, pp. 96-107, and in I Cronografi Rolex - La Leggenda, Pucci Papaleo Editore, pp. 162-192.

  • Catalogue Essay

    While the Cosmograph Daytona is certainly the most well-known Rolex chronograph, the company has a rich history in this department, starting well before 1963. Reference 3525 is one of these pre-Daytona chronograph models. Launched in 1939, its most remarkable feature is the fact that is was already water-resistant: it features a screw back, two-piece case, instead of sporting the snap-on bezel commonly seen on watches of this time. This detail earned it its Italian nickname “Monoblocco”. As expected from an early Rolex piece, the serial and reference numbers are stamped to the outside of the back, rather than being located between the lugs as seen on later watches.

    The present example of the reference is without a doubt one of the most attractive and collectible to ever grace an auction room. Preserved in remarkable condition, it impresses with its black multi-scale luminous dial which has never been restored, or even washed. All the details are perfectly preserved, including the luminous numerals. Its nearly 80 years of age left only a subtle off-black patina which gets stronger close to the numerals, as expected due to the interaction with the radioactive material. The case as well impresses with sharp edges and intact proportions, denoting surprisingly little polishing. Even the numerals stamped to the outside of the case back, susceptible to both polishing and daily wear against the wrist, are present and very well defined.

    Combining historical interest, enthralling aesthetics and superior condition, the present wristwatch is without a doubt a fascinating and highly collectible piece of Rolex history.

  • 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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162

Rolex

Ref. 3525
A very fine, rare and attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with black dial and bracelet

Circa 1942
35mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

Estimate
CHF60,000 - 90,000 
€52,800-79,200
$61,500-92,200

sold for CHF162,500

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Sale
+41 22 317 81 89
aghotbi@phillips.com

The Geneva Watch Auction: EIGHT

Geneva Auction 10-11 November 2018