A very fine and rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with black lacquer dial

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1942
    Reference No: 4048
    Case No: 206'386
    Model Name: Barilotto
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Mechanical, VZH13, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Brown crocodile leather strap
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex buckle
    Dimensions: 35 mm. diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Literature: The present watch is described in 100 Superlative Rolex Watches by John Goldberger, page 84.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Reference 4048 is doubtlessly amongst the rarest gems in the Rolex Oyster chronograph family. Made during a very short period only, it was the first "Oyster" chronograph by Rolex with three subsidiary dials but still featuring the more round "Calatrava-style" case of its predecessors but now fitted with a screw back.

    It is understood that reference 4048 was exclusively cased in stainless steel. Research indicates that less than 100 examples of this attractive landmark model have been produced.

    The very large and massive volume of its case earned this model the nickname of “Barilotto”.
    This "Barilotto" is certainly an exclusive and attractive example of the celebrated reference 4048 chronograph. The highly charismatic and beautifully aged black dial has not undergone any cosmetic enhancement and has naturally turned into a warm brownish color. The case shows few signs of wear and its proportions remain crisp, most evident to the beholders eye are the sharp edges of the lugs.

    The case back is further engraved in French : "Brevetée Rolex SA 31 Victoires Haute Pécision" and the movement bears both inscription "Fab. Suisse" and "Swiss Made" which was typical in this period.

  • Maker Bio

    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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Rolex

Ref. 4048
A very fine and rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with black lacquer dial

勞力士,非常精細及罕有,不銹鋼腕錶,配計時功能及黑色漆錶盤,“Barilotto”,型號4048,1942年製

1942
35 mm. diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
HK$600,000 - 800,000 

sold for HK$650,000

Contact Specialist
Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2030
thomasperazzi@phillips.com

Ziyong Ho
Specialist
+852 9386 2032
ziyongho@phillips.com

Jill Chen
Specialist
+852 2318 2033
jillchen@phillips.com

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: Two

Hong Kong Auction 31 May 2016