Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: XIX featuring the Guido Mondani Collection Geneva Saturday, May 11, 2024 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1942
    Reference No: 3525
    Case No: 181’177
    Model Name: "Barilotto"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 13”, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel "grains of rice" bracelet measuring 200mm max
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 35mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Launched in 1939, the reference 3525 was Rolex’s very first chronograph wristwatch to be housed in an Oyster case defined by water resistant screw down case back as well as screw down winding crown.

    The model was available in yellow gold, bi-metal combinations, pink gold, as well as stainless steel, such as the present execution. Analysis of publicly known pieces shows that - with the exception of a few outliers - most of the production for the reference is grouped in three "batches", with respectively serial numbers around 40'xxx-50'xxx for the first batch, then in the mid 100'000 for the second, and in the mid-300'000 the last.

    The present example from circa 1942 according to the serial number stamped on the caseback reveals that it belongs to the second generation of the model, whilst later examples featured the serial numbers stamped in between the lugs. The ref. 3525 also earned its other nickname “Monoblocco” by Italian collectors as the case is made entirely out of a block of steel including the lugs and the bezel, with the exception of the screw-down caseback.

    Fitted with an attractive salmon dial, the present timepiece features a tachymeter and a telemeter scale in French, which correlates nicely with the “Fab.Suisse.” signage positioned at 6 o’clock.

  • 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. 3525
A very attractive and well preserved stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with salmon dial, tachymeter and telemeter scales

Circa 1942
35mm Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF40,000 - 80,000 

Sold for CHF60,960

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: XIX featuring the Guido Mondani Collection

Geneva Auction 11 - 12 May 2024