Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: XVIII Geneva Friday, November 3, 2023 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1962
    Reference No: 6239 inside caseback stamped "6238"
    Case No: 923'375
    Model Name: Cosmograph Daytona "Double Swiss"
    Material: Stainless Steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 72B, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex riveted bracelet stamped "7205" and "71" to the endlinks, max length 195mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp stamped "V3"
    Dimensions: 37mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex leaflets and booklets

  • Catalogue Essay

    Every legend has a beginning, and the present example represents the beginning of what is unarguably one of the most legendary and well-known watch models of all times: the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona. Officially launched in Europe in 1963 (even though some examples were sold in the USA in 1962 already), there is no need to detail the evolution of a model which is still today one of the most sought-after sports watches. The present specimen, however, represents the model in its earliest incarnation, with a number of traits that are only found in these first examples which are of course enormously collectible and equally scarce, especially when offered in such unparalleled condition of preservation.

    Most notably, the dial is a “Double Swiss” grené dial and grants the watch an incredible vintage vibe, only found in this early grené finish. The double Swiss designation is a rectification done by Rolex as the first Swiss is mostly covered by the case when the dial is mounted, thus prompting the company to add an additional clearly visible “Swiss” designation. Such “Double Swiss” dials can be considered the earliest “standard” dial iteration for the Daytona. The bezel as well represents the earliest iteration - MKI - found in the Cosmograph, most notably including the 275 designation, which will soon be abandoned in favour of a simple hash mark. The movement as well has something to impress the connoisseur with, as it is one of the few calibers 72B found in a Daytona. Employed at the very beginning of the production - and virtually identical to the most commonly found 722 - it is a rarity in its own and a joy for the scrupulous collector looking for the truly “first rendering” of a 6239. Furthermore, this coveted, early reference 6239 is made even more exceptional with its lovely and hardly ever seen espresso "tropical" subsidiary dials. They have aged uniformly from their standard black to an intense and dark brown tone, providing for an arresting contrast with the white dial.

    Incorporating the earliest executions of all its component, the present watch is truly a scholarly piece and offered in astoundingly well-preserved condition - making it an absolute trophy for the most demanding of collectors. As an added interesting touch, the bottom of the lug has an inventory number on the back, providing interesting scholarship.

  • 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. 6239 inside caseback stamped "6238"
An early and well-preserved stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with espresso coloured "tropical" registers, "Double Swiss" dial and bracelet

Circa 1962
37mm Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF100,000 - 200,000 

Sold for CHF101,600

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