Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV Geneva Friday, November 5, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1995
    Reference No: 16568 inside caseback stamped 16500
    Movement No: 92'637
    Case No: W123747
    Model Name: Cosmograph Daytona
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 4030, 31 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K yellow gold Rolex Oyster bracelet stamped "103" to the endlinks, max length 195mm
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Rolex deployant clasp stamped "T8" and "78398"
    Dimensions: 40mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex punched Guarantee stamped by Dusseldorf retailer "René Kern" and dated March 15, 2002, Service Guarantee dated December 19, 2007, Service Guarantee card dated August 1, 2014, calendar card for the years 1997/1998, product literature, green document holder, fitted presentation box and outer packaging.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Cosmograph Daytona was born as a ‘technical’ watch, traditionally cased in stainless steel. The iconoclastic soul of Rolex however brought to the public gem-set models already in the 1980s - references 6269 and 6270, produced in extremely few examples. In the 1990s, Rolex doubled their efforts and brought forth gem-set versions of their first self-winding Daytona models, fitted with the famed Zenith El-Primero based caliber 4030.

    In this 1990s instance, however, Rolex experimented more deeply and realized pieces set with various stones (blue sapphire, ruby, cognac sapphire, to name a few) and with differently cut diamonds: either princess cut or the more impressive baguette-cut diamond, epitomized by this example with emerald-set numerals - one of the most attractive and rare gems found on Daytonas - of the very uncommon reference 16568. The larger stones impart more character to the piece, making it an absolutely unisex statement timepiece in today's fashion.

    It is interesting to point out how pavé dials 16568 appear to have been made in at least two batches, an earlier one - to which this watch belongs - bearing serial number around W123750 and a second one bearing number around W176600.

    Beyond its beauty, the presence of its original set of accessories and the supreme rarity, the present piece shines - pun intended - also thanks to the perfect record of its history. It comes in fact accompanied also by two service papers, from 2007 and 2014. As an additional delight, the 2007 service is recorded inside the caseback (a practice now discontinued), and the watchmaker even etched under the date the serial number of the case, thus informally linking it to the case body.

    A final intellectual note about this watch comes from looking at its paperwork. The serial number of the watch places its production circa 1995. It is however accompanied by a 1997/1998 calendar card, meaning it lingered a good year at Rolex before being shipped to the retailer and packaged. And still, it took 5 years for the authorised dealer to finally sell it in 2002. It brings a smile to one's face to realize that only two decades ago it was difficult to sell something that is now considered one of the pinnacles of its field (gem-set chronographs). And yet, one cannot help but notice that this is a fate often reserved to masterpieces - think of Rolex's Paul Newman dial or Patek Philippe's vintage two-crown worldtime pieces.

  • 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. 16568 inside caseback stamped 16500
A bedazzling and important yellow gold and diamond-set automatic chronograph wristwatch with diamond pavé dial, emerald-set numerals, bracelet, guarantee and box

Circa 1995
40mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

CHF100,000 - 180,000 

Sold for CHF201,600

Contact Specialist

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

The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV

Geneva Auction 5 & 7 November 2021