A rare and unusual stainless steel chronograph wristwatch, retailed by Dobbies Ltd.

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1942
    Reference No: 4048
    Case No: 206'407
    Model Name: “Barilotto”
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. VZH13, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex pin buckle
    Dimensions: 35.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and pin buckle signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    This remarkable reference 4048 is an incredibly unusual specimen. It is understood that reference 4048 was exclusively cased in stainless steel. Research indicates that less than 100 examples of this attractive landmark model have been produced. It was Rolex's first "Oyster" chronograph to feature three subsidiary registers.

    This watch most notably displays the signature "Dobbies Ltd." on the dial below 12 o'clock. A jeweler and watch retailer, Dobbies in Nairobi, Kenya has stamped its name on a highly limited number of watches, making the present example extremely rare.

    The case is preserved in remarkable condition with a crisp milled edge and sharp numbers punched on the case back. A simple polishing would have dulled the edges, yet this case remains crisp and defined. This watch even retains its original Oyster Patent crown - a feature that many existing examples do not have anymore. The dial does not display any signs of restoration, and has aged with warm patina, giving the watch a lot of character.

  • 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. 4048
A rare and unusual stainless steel chronograph wristwatch, retailed by Dobbies Ltd.

Circa 1942
35.5mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and pin buckle signed

Estimate
CHF70,000 - 120,000 
€61,600-106,000
$71,700-123,000

sold for CHF81,250

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