An incredibly rare and exceptionally well-preserved pink gold triple calendar wristwatch with star-set numerals and moonphases

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  • Condition Report

  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1952
    Reference No: 6062
    Movement No: 47'346
    Case No: 788'629
    Model Name: "Stelline"
    Material: 18k pink gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 10 172’’’, 18 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Alligator
    Clasp/Buckle: 18k pink gold Rolex pin buckle
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Provenance: Christie's New York 14 December 2012, Gordon Bethune Collection of Fifty Exceptional Vintage Wristwatches, Lot 154

  • Provenance

    Christie's New York 14 December 2012, Gordon Bethune Collection of Fifty Exceptional Vintage Wristwatches, Lot 154

  • Video

    Rolex, Ref. 6062

    Geneva Watch Auction X, 9-10 November 2019

  • Catalogue Essay

    First offered to the market in 2012, the present Rolex reference 6062 was originally owned by Gordon Bethune, an internationally renowned collector and the mythical CEO of Continental Airlines, whose destiny he presided over from 1994 until his retirement at the end of 2004.

    Launched at the Basel fair in 1950, reference 6062 was the first automatic wristwatch with date and moonphases to be housed in a waterproof case made by Rolex. Cased in stainless steel, yellow gold and pink gold, the model was fitted with a number of dial variants.

    The present version is undoubtedly the rarest and most coveted version cased in pink gold and fitted with eight faceted stars in lieu of hour numerals. Such is the desirability and popularity of the watch, that collectors have dubbed it "Stelline", meaning "starlet" in Italian. Reference 6062 is one of two Rolex models to feature a triple calendar complication with a moon phase complication. While reference 6062 features a screw down Oyster caseback, reference 8171 features a snap-on caseback.

    Quite likely one of the greatest and best preserved examples of reference 6062 to surface on the market in recent years, this timepiece is an absolutely exceptional specimen. Displaying completely original lines, curves, and finishes, it best demonstrates the genesis and factory specifications of this mythical reference.

    The case displays the same oxidation that was present when the watch first appeared on the market demonstrating the fact that it has been kept lovingly in a safe and not worn, most probably since Bethune purchased it from an estate decades ago. The case has most probably never been polished since it left Rolex’s ateliers close to 70 years ago. The caseback even retains its original satin finish, the lugs retain their original vertical brushes and the bezel its circular brushes on its outer edge.

    The numbers between the lugs are also incredibly crisp. All these elements lead us to believe that the watch has seen very little wrist time since its creation.
    The beautiful grené dial is also preserved in stunning condition. The numerals on the outer track are inky blue, and the day and date apertures are sharp and angular, demonstrating the originality of the dial. The luminous dots have aged evenly with warm patina.

    Gordon Bethune was best known as the CEO of Continental Airlines from 1994-2004, taking the company from the brinks of bankruptcy to new heights. He was recognized as one of the Top 25 Global Managers by Business Week in 1996; 25 Most Influential Executives by Business Travel News in 1998 and 2000 as well as 50 Best CEOs in America by Worth in 2001, 2002 and 2003.

    The arrival on the market of the present gem should not be taken lightly or underestimated. Certain collectors may want to wait until another example shows up on the market. However, considering the spectacularly untouched condition of the present watch there will not be another similar example.

  • 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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Σ249

Rolex

Ref. 6062
An incredibly rare and exceptionally well-preserved pink gold triple calendar wristwatch with star-set numerals and moonphases

Circa 1952
36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

Estimate
CHF1,000,000 - 2,000,000 
€915,000-1,830,000
$1,000,000-2,000,000

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