Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: X Geneva Saturday, November 9, 2019 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 2019
    Reference No: 116659SABR
    Model Name: Submariner
    Material: 18K white gold, diamond and sapphire
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 3135, 31 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K white gold Rolex Oyster bracelet, max length 220mm
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K white gold Rolex deployant clasp stamped "3QD"
    Dimensions: 41mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex International Guarantee card dated July 15, 2019, leather card holder, warranty booklet, plastic bezel protection ring, hangtag, massive fitted presentation box and outer packaging

  • Catalogue Essay

    The raison d’être of the Rolex Submariner is without a doubt rooted in the exploration of the oceanic depth: it was devised first and foremost as a professional timepiece and eventually marketed to the general public too, also following the rise of scuba diving as a recreational activity in the 1950s.

    With that in mind, it is easy to understand how the intellectual irony of the present timepiece fully matches its outstanding aesthetic impact. In only half a century, what was a professional timepiece has transcended this original vocation, has become one of the most iconic watches ever designed, and has eventually turned into one of the most recognized and appreciated timepieces made by any brand. The fact itself that Rolex decided to issue gem-set versions (for another iteration, please see the emerald-set version sold by Phillips in 2017) of the “Sub” indicates how much the market for this model has evolved. Interestingly, among the professional line of Rolex timepieces only the GMT, the Daytona and indeed the Submariner - arguably the most recognizable models made by the brand - were ever dressed in such a bedazzling fashion.

    Beyond being a true testament to the evolution of the Submariner, the timepiece is aesthetically simply superb: the blue and white stones perfectly complementing each other and offer remarkable legibility, a rare trait in a gem-set piece. The final layer of appeal for the collector is given by the impossible rarity of this model: it appears the Rolex highly restricted the output of gem-set pieces in recent years, making the few specimens that leave the workshop some of the most fiercely sought-after watches currently in production.

  • 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. 116659SABR
An exceptionally rare and attractive white gold and gem-set wristwatch with center seconds, date, bracelet, garantie and box

Circa 2019
41mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

CHF80,000 - 120,000 

Sold for CHF125,000

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