Rolex - The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XIV Hong Kong Friday, May 27, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1988
    Reference No: 16520
    Movement No: 11’123
    Case No: R884’451; inside caseback stamped “16500”
    Model Name: Cosmograph Daytona
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 4030, 31 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet stamped “78360”, endlinks stamped “503”, max length 195mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster deployant clasp stamped “M6” “78360
    Dimensions: 40mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex fitted presentation box.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Rolex reference 16520 is among one of the most distinctive and innovative models to date. Housing a modified Zenith-based caliber 4030 mechanism, the model was fitted with the first automatic chronograph movement in the firm's history. At the time of its launch in 1988, the watch garnered an immediate waiting list at Rolex retailers – much like its descendant, the reference 116500LN would do in 2016. As it often happens with Rolex timepieces, one can notice a subtle but well-defined evolution of the dial design in the early years of the model.

    Deemed with the nickname “Floating Cosmograph” or “Staccato” amongst Italian collectors, the early specimens from the R to L serial of the 16520 features 5 lines of text below the cornet, with a noticeable 5th line “Cosmograph” spaced further away from the above. With the production for the reference 16520 ceased in 2000 and replaced by 116520, the earlier examples bearing the inverted “6” on the dial and the “floating” Cosmograph were produced in very limited quantities. The present specimen bearing a R serial boasting a strong case is also fitted with the period correct bezel. The very first iteration features tachymeter scale that stops at 200. Later iterations were altered to a 400 units scale (first, for a short while, featuring indications for 200, 225, 250, 300 and 400 units per hour; later, featuring a simpler layout with 200, 240, 300 and 400). The present timepiece with a black dial is offered in attractive overall condition making it a great opportunity for true Rolex aficionados to add an early produced timepiece to their collection.

  • 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. 16520
An early, fine and attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with “Floating Cosmograph” dial and bracelet

Circa 1988
40mm diameter
Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed

HK$235,000 - 390,000 

Sold for HK$378,000

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia 
+852 2318 2031

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XIV

Hong Kong Auction 27 - 28 May 2022