Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: XVIII Geneva Friday, November 3, 2023 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1930s
    Reference No: 2022
    Case No: 12043
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Alligator
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Rolex pin buckle
    Dimensions: 32mm Width, 32mm Length
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Literature: A similar timepiece is pictured in "100 Superlative Rolex Watches" by John Goldberger, p. 52

  • Catalogue Essay

    This cushion-shaped watch is an exceedingly rare specimen. Of course, Rolex’s best-known chronograph model is the Daytona, followed by its precursors (6238, 6234, 6232 etc). However, as the previous watch exemplifies, Rolex ventured into the realm of cushion-shaped chronograph as well - a case design particularly in fashion during the 1920s-30s.

    The single-button configuration makes the ensemble even more streamlined and elegant, while the old-school “onion” crown - acting as in-line chronograph pusher as well - amplifies the vintage charm of this fascinating timepiece.

    To put the rarity of the watch in context, consider that this is only the second cushion-shaped Rolex chronograph Phillips sells, with the previous one being a ref. 2057 sold five years ago, in 2018. It intriguingly sported a very close case number: 12’272, 229 numbers away from the present 12’043.

  • 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. 2022
A fascinating and unusual single button yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with cushion case and multi-scale dial

Circa 1930s
32mm Width, 32mm Length
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

CHF10,000 - 20,000 

Sold for CHF38,100

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Deputy Chairman, Watches, Head of Watches, Europe, and Middle East

+41 79 637 17 24

Tiffany To
Head of Sale, Geneva

+41 79 460 55 88


The Geneva Watch Auction: XVIII

Geneva Auction 3 - 4 November 2023