Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: X Geneva Saturday, November 9, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1958
    Reference No: 6236
    Case No: 384’226
    Model Name: Oyster Chronograph, Datocompax, Jean-Claude Killy
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 72C, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Jubilee bracelet, max length 190mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel "Big Logo" Rolex deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex box.

  • Catalogue Essay

    One of the most important - and short lived - series of watches made by Rolex is without a doubt the “Datocompax” line of timepieces, now collectively known as “Jean-Claude Killy”, after the famed olympic skier, collector and Rolex Ambassador.

    The five references that comprise the series were in production from the mid-1940s to the early 1960: just a little more than 15 years. By studying the different models, one can immediately denote an effort on part of Rolex toward the simplification and optimization of both case and dial architecture.

    The two earliest references were produced at the same time: non-Oyster reference 4768 (the only non-waterproof Datocompax) and Oyster ref. 4767. They present dials with very vintage traits, such as the outer tachymeter scale (exclusively on 4768), a markedly two-tone style of dial, especially in the earliest examples, and 5-minute Arabic divisions in the seconds scale. The date ring presents “upside down” numerals in the lower half of the dial: there is no inversion of graphic direction at 9 and 3.

    Reference 5036 appears in 1948 and stays in production until around 1951. The two-tone effect of these dials is usually more subtle. The date ring begins to present the inversion at 9 and 3, so the numbers on the lower half of the ring read upside up.

    Its successor reference 6036 features a more simplified seconds scale, lacking the Arabic 5-minute divisions.

    It is important to note that until now the Oyster case featured a two-piece, monobloc construction.

    With the introduction of reference 6236, the final evolution of the series, the case is modified into a three-piece construction. The dial undergoes more subtle graphical modernizations, such as the appearance of “closed 6s” (while earlier references notoriously feature open 6s).

    With the discontinuation of this latest model, Rolex puts an end to its most complicated (vintage) line of chronograph timepieces. A similar level of complication is approached only by references 8171 and 6062, combining triple calendar with moonphases.

    The present example is without a doubt one of the finest specimens of this historical reference to appear on the market. To the best of our knowledge it is the only example known with lacquer dial and yellow gold colored indexes giving the watch incredible depth and charisma. The case is furthermore in extremely good condition, obviously enjoyed with respect throughout its entire lifetime. There is no indication of aggressive polishing: the lugs are full and the satin finish to the top well preserved. The pinholes are well distanced from the edges of the lugs, indicating no alteration of the overall case proportion. Only minor and light surface marks are present, highlighting the honest condition of the watch.

    The dial condition is equally honest: devoid of any kind of restoration, it presents unmolested graphics and fully original numerals which have aged to an extremely attractive vanilla hue. The dial surface has also acquired a gentle patina granting to it a lovely ivory color which enormously boosts the vintage vibe and attractiveness of this remarkable timepiece.

  • Artist Biography


    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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Ref. 6236
A very rare, highly important and superbly well preserved stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with triple calendar, lacquer dial, yellow gold colored indexes and bracelet

Circa 1958
36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

CHF200,000 - 400,000 

Sold for CHF287,500

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East
+ 41 79 637 1724

The Geneva Watch Auction: X

Geneva Auction 9-10 November 2019