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

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1991
    Reference No: 16528
    Case No: N'124'284
    Model Name: Cosmograph Daytona, The "Big Blue"
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 4030, 31 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K yellow gold Rolex Oyster bracelet, max length 200mm.
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Rolex folding deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 39mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Literature: A similar watch is illustrated in Ultimate Rolex Daytona by Pucci Papaleo pp 584-585.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Whereas today, watches with blue dials are enjoying tremendous success, it has not always been the case and poor market response of the past can become commercial successes of today.

    In the late 1980s and the presentation of its first automatic Daytona, Rolex decided to test new color schemes, other than its habitual black and white. This blue dial, with mesmerizing sunray pattern, was created by Rolex’s dial manufacturer, Singer. However, it seems that due to a poor market response, the order for these dials was cancelled and consequently Singer made only a few numbers. All graphics remained identical to other Daytona dials of that period.

    The blue dials were consequently never mounted on the reference 16528, but gifted by Rolex to partners, suppliers and senior management. One of these dials has found its way on the present lot for a spectacular result.

    The present reference 16528’s striking good looks is the result of a potent formula, consisting of a ritzy yellow gold case in excellent condition and a superb blue dial with a sun ray pattern, making it one of the rarest and most exclusive Daytonas ever created and a crown jewel for the discerning Daytona collector.

  • 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. 16528
An extremely rare and highly attractive yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with blue dial and bracelet

Circa 1991
39mm. Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF200,000 - 300,000 

Sold for CHF300,000

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