Rolex - The Hong Kong Watch Auction: X Hong Kong Friday, July 10, 2020 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1948
    Reference No: 5018, repeated inside caseback
    Movement No: N73’956
    Case No: 641’602
    Model Name: "Bombé" “Bubbleback”
    Material: 18K yellow gold and stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 93/4”, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Two-tone 18K yellow gold and stainless steel riveted bracelet, max length 190mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 33mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present Rolex ref. 5018 nicknamed “Bombé” derives from the opulent style of its lugs and its bulged caseback. From circa 1948, the ref. 5018 features a self-winding cal. 93/4” with a large rotor, hence the bulged caseback earning its other known nickname “Bubbleback”.

    Fitted with a rare black “glossy” lacquered dial, the present example further features a yellow gold Brevet “Oyster” crown, making the case a two-tone variant of the famed “Officially Certified Chronometer” a rare iteration of the reference. The reference number is repeated inside the caseback and with legible numbers in between the lugs.

  • 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. 5018, repeated inside caseback
A fine and attractive two-tone yellow gold and stainless steel wristwatch with center seconds, “glossy” black lacquered dial, bombé lugs and bracelet

Circa 1948
33mm diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

HK$39,000 - 55,000 

Sold for HK$50,000

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi

Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2001


The Hong Kong Watch Auction: X

Hong Kong Auction 10 July 2020