Rolex - The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XII Hong Kong Saturday, June 5, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1989
    Reference No: 16528
    Movement No: 17’424
    Case No: L243’616, inside caseback stamped 16500
    Model Name: Cosmograph Daytona
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 4030, 31 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K yellow gold Rolex Oyster bracelet, endlinks stamped “103”, max length 185mm
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Rolex deployant clasp, stamped “78668” “M11”
    Dimensions: 40mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    In 1988, Rolex celebrated the 25th anniversary of the highly coveted Daytona with the launch of reference 16520 in stainless steel, ref. 16523 in two-tone steel and gold, as well as the luxurious 18 karat yellow gold ref. 16528. Housed inside this highly sought-after chronograph is the famous Cal. 4030, the Zenith El Primero movement modified by Rolex, and was the most reliable and robust self-winding chronograph movement during that era.

    The present example in yellow gold features the coveted floating placement of the “Cosmograph” designation on the dial with an inverted six in the subdial at 6 o’clock. Produced for only one year from 1988 until 1990, this remarkable variant can only be found on examples bearing an “R” or “L” serial number. Part of the L series, the present specimen is also fitted with the period correct Mark 1 bezel with 200 units scale and unit per hour text at 3 o’clock mark. Highly collectible with incredible rarity, the connoisseurs with keen attention to details will notice an interesting feature on the dial.

    A testimony to age, the hour markers have developed an almost rainbow-like oxidation from ageing. With a unique flair, this yellow gold iteration of the Rolex Daytona certainly has its own irreplaceable individuality.

  • 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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Property from an Important European Collector


Ref. 16528
An early, rare and attractive yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with “Floating Cosmograph” dial and bracelet

Circa 1989
40mm diameter
Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed

HK$235,000 - 390,000 

Sold for HK$604,800

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2001

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XII

Hong Kong Auctions 5-6 June 2021