Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: XVI Geneva Saturday, November 5, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1940
    Reference No: 3525
    Case No: 51'313
    Model Name: Barilotto
    Material: 18K pink gold and stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 13''', 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Rolex buckle
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex presentation box also stamped Bandiera & Bedetti Roma.

  • Catalogue Essay

    First introduced 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 caseback as well as screw down winding crown. The ref. 3525 was offered in yellow gold, pink gold and 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-51'xxx for the first batch, then in the mid 100'000 for the second, and in the mid-300'000 the last.

    The present watch is part of an early series where the case number is engraved on the outside caseback. The watch is preserved in impressive condition, particularly when one takes into account its age. The bezel has developed a layer or pleasing patina, giving it an almost copper appearance. The lugs retain good proportions, and the dial has not seen any intervention throughout its lifetime. Most notably, the dial is stamped "Fab. Suisse" and the graphics are in French, which is correct. As an even nicer touch, its accompanied by its original Rolex box, stating the watch was sold at Bandiera & Bedetti in Rome, adding another layer of collectibility.

  • Artist Biography

    Rolex

    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 charming and well-preserved pink gold and stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with presentation box

Circa 1940
36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

Estimate
CHF30,000 - 60,000 
€30,900-61,800
$30,000-60,100

Sold for CHF63,000

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East
+41 22 317 81 81
[email protected]
 

Tiffany To
Head of Sale, Geneva
+41 22 317 96 63
[email protected]

The Geneva Watch Auction: XVI

Geneva Auction 5 - 6 November 2022