A fine, rare and attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with pulsations scale

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1946
    Reference No: 4537
    Case No: 470'629
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 13''', 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex pin buckle
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Even though Rolex chronographs are immediately associated to the Cosmograph Daytona, the Swiss watchmaker has a long and prestigious history of making beautifully designed and artistically inclined chronographs, some of which set out the blueprint for the now iconic Daytona twenty some years before.

    The present reference 4537 is part of this exclusive category.

    Launched in 1946, it was manufactured for a very short time only, making it one of the rarest Oyster chronograph watches produced by Rolex. Reference 4537 was cased in yellow gold, pink gold and stainless steel. Research suggests that Rolex produced no more than 100 watches of this reference, in both stainless steel and various gold colors.

    Many of its design elements would later influence the look of the first Daytona, such as the signature Oyster case, round pushers and three subsidiary counters.

    The overall look of this chronograph is powerful, theatrical, and indeed quite spectacular. The silver dial offers the perfect canvas for the luminous markers and bold Arabic 12 o’clock, as well as the rare blue pulsation scale, the yellow gold hands adding the final dash of flamboyance. Equally impressive is the case and its original brushed finishes and sharp edges. Even the Rolex Oyster crown remains original, a detail sure to delight the "purist" scholar.

    In overall stupendous condition, the present watch would definitely have its place in the collection of a hardened vintage chronograph enthusiast.

  • 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. 4537
A fine, rare and attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with pulsations scale

Circa 1946
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

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

sold for CHF175,000

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