A fine and very rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with dark grey dial

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1965
    Reference No: 6238
    Case No: 1'226'517
    Model Name: Pre-Daytona
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 722, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Jubilee bracelet, max length 195mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex U.S.A. deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Reference 6238 is the last Rolex chronograph model to not feature the tachymeter scale on the bezel - a defining feature of the Cosmograph Daytona line - while at the same time sporting a case construction, movement and dial configuration which were remarkably close to what would be used for the Daytona. Nicknamed the “Pre-Daytona”, the model can be considered a “trait d’union” between old school Rolex production and the Cosmograph, which would become the only Rolex chronograph from the 1970s on.

    The present example is not only offered in exceptional condition, but furthermore presents the extremely rare dark grey/taupe dial color. Analysis of known pieces indicates that this is by far the rarest dial variation to be found on this reference. Another example of a taupe 6238 was sold by Phillips in November 2015. Interestingly, that piece featured case number 1’226’656, only about 150 numbers away from the present piece.

    Compounding to the overall appeal of the watch, the Jubilee bracelet would appear not to be a later addition but rather its original bracelet: the ROW stamp on the movement means the watch was sold in the U.S.A., and thus should bear a Rolex USA Jubilee bracelet as, for example, did a similar Tiffany-Retailed reference 6238 sold by Phillips in May 2016.

    The historical importance of the last non-Cosmograph reference in its rarest configurations, and superb condition, the present piece would be a crown jewel in the most important Rolex collections worldwide.

  • 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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41

Rolex

Ref. 6238
A fine and very rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with dark grey dial

1965
36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

Estimate
CHF30,000 - 50,000 
€26,400-44,000
$30,700-51,200

sold for CHF60,000

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