Rolex - Geneva Watch Auction: TWO Geneva Saturday, November 7, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1953
    Reference No: 6204
    Movement No: 24101
    Case No: 988'773
    Model Name: Sub-Aqua
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. A260, 19 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel riveted Rolex Oyster, 185 mm max. length, endlinks stamped 65
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 37 mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, and bracelet signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    As we look back at the history of Rolex, a notable year for the brand dates back to 1954 when the iconic Submariner was officially launched. Albeit the reference 6204 was documented as officially launching to the public at Basel Fair in 1954, and it comes as no surprise that some serial numbers date to 1953, as the development process for many elite manufacturers takes significant time, and this is such an example.

    While still in the early experimental stages of the model, Rolex introduced many different dial designs and even model names, the rarest among these being the present Sub-Aqua. The Sub-Aqua name derived from the largest diver’s club named the British Sub-Aqua club, which was founded by ex-military personnel and is still in existence today. Reference 6204 was the brand’s first true diving watch, water resistant to 100m, and the first of the Submariner family. These early, experimental models are especially coveted by collectors.

    The present example still retains the beautiful pencil shaped hands and original bezel without the minute graduation from zero to fifteen, as seen on later models. These early Submariners, produced for only a few years, do not have crown guards like latter models, adding to the desirability of the watch.

    The untouched, glossy dial with gilt-colored writing has aged beautifully along with its original luminous hour markers. Combined with a well-preserved case that retains its original bevels, this watch is a must have for the advanced Submariner collector.

  • 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. 6204
An extremely rare and attractive stainless steel wristwatch with bracelet

37 mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement, and bracelet signed

CHF60,000 - 100,000 

Sold for CHF75,000

Contact Specialist
Nathalie Monbaron
+41 22 317 81 83

Geneva Watch Auction: TWO

Geneva Auction 7 & 8 November 2015 6:30pm