A very fine, rare and extremely well-preserved stainless steel automatic chronograph wristwatch with brown tropical chapter rings, bracelet and Guarantee

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1994
    Reference No: 16520
    Case No: S331475
    Model Name: Cosmograph Daytona
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 4030, 33 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet, max length 210mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 40mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex Guarantee stamped by USA retailer Holland Jlry Co and box.

  • Catalogue Essay

    One of the most fascinating aspects of collecting Rolex wristwatches is the number of variations one can find in one model. Rolex’s Research & Development department is constantly - albeit very subtly - tuning the look and feel of their timepieces in an effort to inch closer and closer to perfection.

    Thus, different fonts, colors, and types of finish often appear on the same reference as it evolves through the years. To such “planned” modification, the “unplanned” ones have to be added: those which derive from unforeseen changes in some of the watch components, such as tropical dials, spider web dials and - in this instance - the famed tropical chapter rings dials.

    The peculiarity of these pieces lies in the white chapter rings, which tropicalize over time to a chocolate color. The is due to a defect in the paint used by Rolex. Defective batches of paint were delivered to Rolex only during a very specific timeframe, consequently, such dials may occur only on watches made more or less between 1993 and 1995, bearing serial numbers starting with S, W, T, and U.

    The present piece is one of the earliest made, bearing the S serial number, and more importantly it is one of possibly a handful which remains in New Old Stock, unused condition. In fact, the piece still bears a perfectly preserved green holographic sticker to the back, comes retaining the plastic bezel protection ring, and even the most thorough examination confirms the absolute untouched condition of the case, showcasing sharp edges, unmarred satin finish and practically no surface marks.

  • 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. 16520
A very fine, rare and extremely well-preserved stainless steel automatic chronograph wristwatch with brown tropical chapter rings, bracelet and Guarantee

Circa 1994
40mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

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

sold for CHF80,000

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