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

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  • Video

    Rolex, Ref. 4113

    Geneva Watch Auction X, 9-10 November 2019

  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1942
    Reference No: 4113
    Case No: 051'318
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 55 VBR 17 2/3’’’, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Original Rolex stainless steel pin buckle
    Dimensions: 44mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Literature: For a similar watch see 100 Superlative Rolex Watches, John Goldberger, pp. 62-63 and I Cronografi Rolex - La Leggenda, Pucci Papaleo Editore, pp. 144-147.

  • Catalogue Essay

    It is undeniable that Rolex has been enjoying strong interest from collectors and enthusiasts for quite some time now, its creations regularly reaching 6 figures in international auction rooms.

    However, it was one watch, whose importance and rarity first broke the CHF 1 million barrier - it was exactly this reference 4113 with case number 051’318, that originally sold in 2011 for CHF 1,035,000.
    Not only is the reference 4113 extremely rare, but it does not look like any piece the famed brand had made before or made after!

    Scholarship tells us only twelve examples of reference 4113 were manufactured, and all were cased in stainless steel with case numbers that range from 051’313 to 051’324. The whereabouts of three of the watches are unknown.

    The first and only split seconds chronograph wristwatch ever made by Rolex, the case has an incredible construction, 44mm in diameter. It is the largest wristwatch ever created by Rolex, but it is surprisingly slim with beautifully downward curling stepped lugs and an almost nonexistent bezel, enabling an open view on the dial.

    The existence of the reference 4113 was shrouded in mystery as it was never featured in a Rolex catalogue. However, in the past two decades, research and scholarship have found a similar pattern regarding all the known reference 4113s: they all came from owners and families related one way or the other to automobile racing and we believe that this rare timepiece was presented to a select group of racing teams and their drivers.

    The present watch first appeared on the market in 1991 where it was sold by Christie’s and consigned by the widow of a gentleman working for a racing team. It then reappeared 20 years later in 2011 where it was sold by Christie’s Geneva for the record breaking sum of CHF 1,035,000, and we are delighted to present the watch in our Geneva Watch Auction: X.

    The dial of the present model is fitted with raised pink gold-colored Arabic and baton hour markers, and the surface has formed a subtle, elegant patina. The large, gentlemanly proportioned 44mm case is in remarkable condition, and retains the original satin finish throughout the side and back of the case. The bezel and raised portion of the lugs, however, displays a mirror-polished finish, which contrasts nicely with the rest of the case. It is clear upon closer examination that the watch is free of corrosion or restorations.

    Reference 4113 is Rolex’s most desired timepiece whose appearance on the market are few and far apart, making the offer of the present piece a treat that can only be the crowing jewel of any collection.

  • 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. 4113
An extraordinarily rare, oversized stainless steel split seconds chronograph wristwatch with outer blue telemeter and black tachometer scales

44mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

CHF1,500,000 - 3,000,000 

Sold for CHF1,940,000

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