Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: XII Geneva Saturday, November 7, 2020 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1959
    Reference No: 6234
    Case No: 535'298
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: manual, cal. 72A, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather strap
    Clasp/Buckle: Gilt Rolex pin buckle
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Literature: The present watch is prominently illustrated in 100 Superlative Rolex Watches by John Goldberger, page 86.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Production of gold examples of reference 6234 was extremely limited. Scholars theorise that, since the reference’s launch in 1955, approximately 2300 examples were produced in stainless steel while less than 150 examples were cased in 14k or 18k yellow gold. The reference ceased production after approximately six years of manufacture, replaced by reference 6238.

    The present gold example not only is part of this extremely rare production, but it furthermore can unarguably be considered one of the - if not THE - best preserved gold 6234 known by the community.
    The case is a symphony of perfection: the sharp step of the bezel is absolutely intact, the light satin finish of the lugs is completely unmolested and unrestored, and the caseback not only features equally exceptional condition, but even retains the original green Rolex sticker.

    Reference 6234 was fitted with a variety of dials, ranging from those with a matte or lacquer finish, to various subsidiary register sizes, and different scales and color combinations. These variations were used to gauge the market’s tastes for chronograph wristwatches.
    The present specimen features an exceptionally well-preserved luminous dial with small counters, blue telemeter scale and black tachymeter scale.

  • 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. 6234
An exceptionally well preserved and very attractive yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with luminous multi-scale dial

Circa 1959
36mm Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF250,000 - 500,000 

Sold for CHF554,400

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East

41 79 637 1724

The Geneva Watch Auction: XII

Geneva Auction 6 - 7 November 2020