An elegant and rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with "underline" dial

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  • Condition Report

  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1963
    Reference No: 6238
    Case No: 1'007'733
    Model Name: "Pre-Daytona"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 72B, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex pin buckle
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    A milestone of Rolex’s chronograph production, the reference 6238 was produced in a variety of case and dial combinations, in steel, 14K or 18K yellow gold with a variety of dials, silver, dark grey, black and rarer versions with blue or blue and red multiscale.

    Produced for only seven short years from 1960 to 1967, the Rolex reference 6238 also called “Pre-Daytona” shared similar case size, pushers and baton hands as its contemporary, the first Cosmograph Daytona reference 6239.

    However, while the Cosmograph Daytona always features a two tone dial with either black with silver subdials or vice versa, the reference 6238 was offered only with a monochromatic dial. Marking the end of an era, the 6238 was also the last Rolex chronograph to feature a smooth bezel and a graduated tachymeter scale printed on the dial. Rolex’s later Daytona models would all carry the scale on the bezel.
    The present reference 6238 comes with a dial with black and blue scales found habitually in the reference 6234, the immediate predecessor of the reference 6238. As the present watch is one of the early reference 6238, created at a time when the reference 6234 was being phased out it is thus not unusual to see this combination. Rolex continued using dials of discontinued models in succeeding references showing the overlap and continuity of their designs.

    A subtle detail truly sets this watch apart: the underline below the Oyster Chronograph signature, which collectors and historians believe was used to signify a transition from radium to tritium on the dial. The underline is absolutely correct when one considers the serial number.

    In overall excellent condition, the present watch will entice with its good looks and balanced proportions.

  • 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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174

Rolex

Ref. 6238
An elegant and rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with "underline" dial

Circa 1963
36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

Estimate
CHF20,000 - 30,000 
€18,400-27,600
$20,100-30,200

Place Advance Bid
Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East
+ 41 79 637 1724
aghotbi@phillips.com

The Geneva Watch Auction X

Geneva Auction 9-10 November 2019