A very fine and rare 14K yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with multi-scale tropical champagne dial and engraved back

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1958
    Reference No: 6234
    Case No: 642'426
    Material: 14K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 72, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Gold-plated Rolex pin buckle
    Dimensions: 36.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Reference 6034 represents a step in the evolution of Rolex chronographs which will eventually lead to the Cosmograph Daytona. Analysis of the watch shows how Rolex was already in the early 1950s - when ref. 6034 was in production - veering toward a chronograph with a sporty and utilitarian vocation. In fact, the model already features a screw-back water resistant case, and the multi-scale dial offers a tachymeter scale, alongside a telemeter one and the common fifth of a second divisions.

    Vintage watch collectors love to half-jokingly point out how each vintage piece is unique: the passage of time and the way the timepieces are employed have a different effect on each watch. Of course, most often the difference between pieces is simply a slightly more patinated dial, or a different aging of the numerals. Sometimes, however, the magic operated by time on a watch is truly able to transfigure the item into something virtually unique and absolutely breathtaking. Such is the case of the present example of reference 6034. The dial has acquired a mystifying champagne hue which undeniably places the present piece well apart from the other representatives of the reference. Furthermore, the tropicalization process did not have any impact whatsoever on the graphics which are perfectly preserved, most notably the blue telemeter scale. In fact, the blue ink is still absolutely vibrant, and the champagne patina does not touch the scale, leaving a sort of bright halo around it which further emphasizes the colored scale.

    An additional note of interest is the engraving present on the case back. It represents a gothic “S” and closer inspection reveals the tiny initials “ECP” at the base of the letter. While research failed to discover the genesis of the engraving, it undoubtedly increases the allure and charm of this remarkable timepiece.

  • 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. 6234
A very fine and rare 14K yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with multi-scale tropical champagne dial and engraved back

Circa 1958
36.5mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

Estimate
CHF50,000 - 100,000 
€44,000-88,000
$51,200-102,000

sold for CHF108,750

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