Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: XIX featuring the Guido Mondani Collection Geneva Saturday, May 11, 2024 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1953
    Reference No: 6098
    Movement No: 43'352/H90'448
    Case No: 912'006
    Model Name: Oyster Perpetual "Galaxy"
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. A260, 18 jewels
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Provenance: Phillips Geneva Watch Auction: TWO, 7&8 November 2015, lot 158

  • Provenance

    Phillips Geneva Watch Auction: TWO, 7&8 November 2015, lot 158

  • Catalogue Essay

    During the 1950s, Rolex produced a variety of time-only wristwatches to cater to the tastes and whims of the period. Fitted with a rounded automatic movement, these watches featured a larger case diameter than the fashionable "bubble backs" of the 1930s and 1940s, thus having a greater presence on the wrist. Rolex arguably produced some of the most creative and attractive watches during the postwar period - while some were fitted with a honeycomb dial, others featured applied Arabic numerals and even cloisonné enamel works of art. The possibilities and combinations were endless.

    Among those produced, one of the most exclusive and desirable variants of the time-only wristwatch featured a black lacquer dial with eight faceted stars in lieu of numerals, such as the present watch. It is also known as the "Galaxy" from advertising of the period.

    Sublime in so many ways, this example is one of the most exciting, striking and beautiful time-only wristwatches that Rolex produced in the 1950s. Lovingly preserved in extraordinary condition since 1951, it offers everything that a collector could only dream of acquiring. Its rarity is unmatched, being one of only four known time-only examples to bear this dial configuration.

    The beautiful black lacquer dial has been preserved in astounding condition, having retained its glossy appearance for over sixty years since its manufacture date. It is signed "Swiss" at the bottom of the dial, which is correct for a 1950s watch. The graphics range from an intense gold color, to a light shimmering shade, giving the dial depth and complexity, which is so characteristic of gilt dials and beloved by Rolex collectors and scholars.

    The star numerals are horizontally aligned, and set in position where they should be. Furthermore, the luminous dots are placed precisely within each star and perfectly round, having aged with warm orange patina. It should be noted that there are two types of black lacquer star dials. The other variant features luminous dots outside the stars, and the stars point directly towards the center of the watch.

    Featuring full and robust proportions, the case is presented in phenomenal condition, especially when one considers the age of the watch. The bezel is thick and defined, with a clear "step" where its edge meets the lugs. Light polishing would have immediately softened the facets and edges, yet this example remains extremely crisp. The top of the lugs furthermore displays sharp finishes, and the back of the lug features a pronounced hallmark that is immediately visible without the aid of a loupe.

  • 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. 6098
A very rare and most attractive yellow gold wristwatch with black dial and star-shaped indexes

Circa 1953
36mm Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF150,000 - 300,000 

Sold for CHF431,800

Contact Specialist

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

+41 79 637 17 24

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Head of Sale, Geneva

+41 79 460 55 88

The Geneva Watch Auction: XIX featuring the Guido Mondani Collection

Geneva Auction 11 - 12 May 2024