A rare, attractive and well preserved yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with silvered dial and bracelet

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1964
    Reference No: 6238
    Movement No: 6675
    Case No: 1'038'651
    Model Name: "Pre-Daytona"
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 72B, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K yellow gold riveted expandable Rolex Oyster bracelet, max length 210mm
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold deployant clasp stamped 3.66
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by International Rolex Service Guarantee and service invoice dated August 10, 2000 and pouch.

  • Catalogue Essay

    In the 1960s Rolex had more or less abandoned its dress watch designs focusing mainly on tool and sports watch designs featuring robust Oyster cases and useful complications. Obviously when thinking tool watches the first metal that comes to mind is stainless steel. Nevertheless Rolex continued creating its Daytona and ‘Pre-Daytona’ models, like the present lot, in precious gold in few and limited numbers making them rare and coveted by the cognoscenti.

    Even though the Rolex Chronograph reference 6238 was produced more or less at the same time as the reference 6239, the first Cosmograph Daytona ever released by Rolex, collectors have dubbed it the ‘Pre-Daytona’. The design of the reference 6238 is a gracious mix of old world charm with its smooth bezel, monochrome dial on which is printed a tachymeter scale and contemporary appeal with its oyster case and bracelet and pump pushers. The yellow gold livery of the present example adds that extra pinch of flamboyance.

    Whereas the European and Asian markets were presented with the 18K yellow gold version examples like the present one, models cased in 14K yellow gold were usually reserved for the North American market. This sporty yet classic watch features a silver sunburst dial that beautifully reflects the light for a very elegant and sophisticated look. The “T-SWISS-T” found at the dial’s lower edge by 6 o’clock indicates that tritium was used for the luminous hands and hour markers.

    Coming from the family of the original owner, this particular example is presented in overall excellent condition, displayed by the sharp bezel, strong definition to the lugs, crisp numbers in between the lugs and unrestored dial. The riveted expandable bracelet maintains impressive rigidity.

    Gold ‘Pre-Daytona’ reference 6238s are becoming highly sought after and a version like the present timepiece in such appealing condition would be a worthy addition to the collection of the savvy 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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212

Rolex

Ref. 6238
A rare, attractive and well preserved yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with silvered dial and bracelet

Circa 1964
36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

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

sold for CHF121,250

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