A very rare, fine and attractive stainless steel wristwatch with center seconds, ‘Explorer’ honeycomb dial and bracelet

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  • Condition Report

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1953
    Reference No: 6350, inside caseback stamped IV.53
    Movement No: H18467, 46556
    Case No: 955’832
    Model Name: Explorer
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. A296, 18 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Jubilee bracelet, endlinks stamped “55”, max length 195mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster deployant clasp stamped “3,70”
    Dimensions: 36mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement, bracelet and clasp signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Immediately drawing one’s attention to the dial, the Explorer 3-6-9 dials were first experimented in 1953, however it was not until the release of the ref. 6350 that these dials were officially used in their production line. With the key focus of maximizing legibility, the 3-6-9 Explorer dials were applied with Radium on the hour markers. The origin of the Explorer derives from ‘Bubbleback’ wristwatches from the 1940’s, as they were extremely tough, solid and they were self-winding. With early Explorer models ref. 6150, 6098 and 6298 already existed, they did not carry the “Explorer” designation on the dial. Rolex officially patented the “Explorer” designation in January 1953, however it was not until after the successful accent of Mount Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzig Norgay that Rolex decided to officially print “Explorer” on the dial via the new reference 6350.

    Officially launched in 1953, the ref. 6350 were offered mostly with a glossy black dial with gilt text and chapter ring. However, Rolex produced in very small quantities another variant featuring a textured surface known as the ‘honeycomb’ dial. Emitting a completely new look compared with its regular counterpart, the honeycomb dials had a matte appearance with a ‘waffle-like’ texture on the surface.

    The present example ref. 6350 from circa 1953 bearing a 955 thousand serial in between the lugs is offered in attractive overall condition boasting an impeccably well-preserved honeycomb dial. Featuring a correct ‘Swiss’ dial with chapter ring and gilt text, the Radium luminous material on the dial have developed an orangey hue with high Radium readings. The crown is also period correct embossed with a Brevet cross beneath the coronet. The present example is one of very few that has been offered to the public and it is a rare opportunity for passionate enthusiasts of vintage tool watches to take a closer look at.

  • 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. 6350, inside caseback stamped IV.53
A very rare, fine and attractive stainless steel wristwatch with center seconds, ‘Explorer’ honeycomb dial and bracelet

勞力士,「Explorer」型號6350,十分精細罕有,精鋼自動上弦鏈帶腕錶,備中心秒針、蜂巢紋錶盤,約1953年製

Circa 1953
36mm diameter
Case, dial and movement, bracelet and clasp signed

Estimate
HK$430,000 - 700,000 
€49,300-80,200
$55,100-89,700

sold for HK$600,000

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi

Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2031

WatchesHK@phillips.com

 

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: X

Hong Kong Auction 10 July 2020