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

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1989
    Reference No: 16520, inside caseback stamped 16500
    Movement No: 30'554
    Case No: L572'357
    Model Name: Cosmograph Daytona "inverted 6"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 4030, 31 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet, reference 78360, end links stamped 503, max length 195mm plus 2 extra links
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp stamped M9
    Dimensions: 40mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex presentation box with outer packaging, punched guarantee dated Natale 1990, green leather wallet, calendar for 1990-1991, product literature and two extra links

  • Catalogue Essay

    Reference 16520 was launched in 1988 and took the watch world community by surprise. Until then, Daytonas were only available with a manually wind movement. With this reference, Rolex broke this tradition by introducing the automatic caliber 4030 based on a heavily modified Zenith El-Primero movement. The case was also enlarged to 39mm diameter. The public response was immediate transforming the automatic Daytona to one of the most coveted watches by collectors resulting in endless waiting lists around the world.
    In 1987, Rolex introduced letters to the serial numbers. This new nomenclature started with the R series and moved to spell the name Rolex, skipping the O that could have been mistaken to a zero. Produced in 1989, the present example is from the rare and very coveted early examples of Zenith Daytona: “L” series. The first half of the production of the “L” series houses a 4-Liner dial with a 200 units per hour bezel insert. However, in the later production of the “L” series, like in the present example, the watches featured the updated 5-Liner dial and were fitted with a 400 units per hour bezel insert. Additionally, this extremely appealing “L” series from 1989 features an inverted 6 on the 12-hour register making the present watch one of the most appealing combinations from the late “L” series.

  • 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. 16520, inside caseback stamped 16500
A fine and rare stainless steel automatic chronograph wristwatch with bracelet, guarantee and box

Circa 1989
40mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF15,000 - 25,000 

Sold for CHF28,750

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