Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV Geneva Friday, November 5, 2021 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1935
    Reference No: 971
    Case No: 6013
    Model Name: Prince "Brancard"
    Material: Platinum
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 300 71/2''', 18 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Metal pin buckle
    Dimensions: 33.5mm Width and 42.5mm Length
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Originally released to the market in 1928, the Rolex Prince, or "Doctor’s Watch", was an unbelievably accurate wristwatch. Often fitted with a chronometer movement, the model featured a subsidiary seconds register below the hours and minutes section of the dial, enabling a doctor to time pulses and respiration, hence its moniker. Rolex capitalized on this concept during the period, marketing the watch to professionals in the medical industry. The watch absolutely captures the zeitgeist of the 1920s, with its elegant, stepped case and deco-style dial composition.

    Prince watches generally feature two different case styles: the soft, curved model with flared sides, such as the present watch, is known as the Brancard. The sharp, angled and rectangular model, is known as the Classic. While Prince watches were cased in a variety of metals, such as 9K gold or white gold, the rarest, most exclusive and valuable examples were available in platinum.

    This reference 971 features an attractive black dial which really brings out the beauty and luster of platinum. Heavy and luxurious, platinum is also known as the "noblest of all metals". It is notoriously difficult to handle, and only the most skilled artisans could work with the metal, further enhancing its exclusivity. The dial furthermore features white graphics that contrast with the black background.

    The case is preserved in wonderful condition, with an incredibly sharp hallmark under the crown. It retains its original facets and stepped curves, enabling us to appreciate an exceedingly rare Prince in its most original and pure form.

  • 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. 971
An extremely rare and attractive platinum rectangular doctor's wristwatch with black dial and flared lugs

Circa 1935
33.5mm Width and 42.5mm Length
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF25,000 - 50,000 

Sold for CHF55,440

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