A very appealing and rare yellow gold chronograph wristwatch

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1946
    Reference No: 3525
    Case No: 380'237
    Model Name: Oyster Chronograph “Barilotto”
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 13’’, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Gold plated pin buckle
    Dimensions: 35mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Literature: The reference 3525 but in steel is illustrated in 100 Superlative Rolex Watches by John Goldberger, p. 102. Further examples can be seen in I Cronografi Rolex - La Leggenda by Pucci Papaleo Editore, pp. 162-192.

  • Catalogue Essay

    A certain air of sotto vocce luxury exudes from the Rolex chronograph reference 3525 thanks to the case's perfect proportions and elegantly balanced dial design.

    Launched in the late 1930s this reference is a milestone in Rolex’s rich history of chronographs as it was the brand’s very first chronograph wristwatch to be housed in an Oyster case, and equipped with a water resistant screw down case back along with screw down crown.

    Whereas the successors to the reference 3525 would have a three counter design giving them a more casual/sporty look, the present reference having a two counter presentation putting it in the same league as the sophisticated chronographs from the other great Geneva maisons such as Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin.

    This particular watch is also very interesting as it is from the later generation of the reference. The serial numbers are stamped between the lugs, while the reference and case numbers on earlier examples were engraved on the outside case back.

    In charismatic condition, the case is well preserved with the caseback full in its proportions with a crisp milled edge to the inner portion. The watch furthermore retains its original Oyster crown with Brevet logo. The dial of the present chronograph has turned a graceful shade of ivory further enhancing its appeal.

  • 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. 3525
A very appealing and rare yellow gold chronograph wristwatch

Circa 1946
35mm Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

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

sold for CHF31,250

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