Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: XII Geneva Saturday, November 7, 2020 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1946
    Reference No: 4537
    Case No: 470'759
    Model Name: Oyster Chronographe
    Material: 18K pink gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 13''', 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 14K pink gold Rolex Oyster riveted bracelet, max length 195mm
    Clasp/Buckle: 14K pink gold Rolex Oyster deployant clasp stamped "3 49"
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Launched in 1946, Rolex reference 4537 was manufactured for a short period of time and is amongst the rarest of all vintage Rolex chronograph wristwatches. Cased in yellow gold, pink gold and stainless steel, this was Rolex’s earliest three register chronograph wristwatch housed in a 36 mm Oyster case with water-resistant pump pushers and screw-down case back. Research suggests that Rolex produced no more than 100 watches with this reference. Many of this watch’s key design elements would then later on, heavily influence the look of the first Daytona, such as the signature, oyster case, round pushers and three subsidiary counters.

    The watch is presented in overall excellent condition, the black telemeter and tachymeter scales are epitomes of readability thanks to the elegant contrast with the silvered dial. The subtle ivory patina - which amplifies the vintage appeal of the watch - is a further testament to the unrestored condition of the dial. The yellow gold hands and yellow gold Arabic numbers add the final dash of flamboyance to the overall look of the watch. The light oxidation on the right side of the case is indication of a life mostly spent in the safety of a vault, an unsurprising situation given the overall condition of the case which arrives to us extremely well preserved. The rarity and importance of this model, coupled with such lovely conditions, render this find an absolutely exciting proposal, a "must-have" for the most refined collectors of important vintage Rolex timepieces.

  • 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. 4537
An extremely rare and attractive pink gold chronograph wristwatch with multi-scale dial and bracelet

Circa 1946
36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

CHF250,000 - 500,000 

Sold for CHF504,000

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