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

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1989
    Reference No: 16528
    Movement No: 10’704
    Case No: R833’400, inside caseback stamped 16500
    Model Name: Cosmograph Daytona, “Ying Yang”
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 4030, 31 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K yellow gold Rolex Oyster bracelet, endlinks stamped “103”, max length 190mm
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Rolex Oyster deployant clasp stamped “N10”
    Dimensions: 40mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex guarantee stamped Orologeria Luigi Verga S.A.S. dated 24th January 1989, instruction manual, product literature, 1989-1990 calendar card, brown card holder, outer packaging and fitted presentation box.
    Literature: The present timepiece is featured in The Ultimate Rolex Daytona by Pucci Papaleo, page 573.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona has been a collector’s favourite since its initial launch in the 1960s. While its early models featured a four-digit reference and were powered by manual-wound movements, Rolex introduced the ref. 16500 series in 1988 featuring for the first time a self-winding movement developed from the famous Zenith El Primero, cal. 400 and was modified by Rolex. The cal. 4030 was born with the adjustment of its oscillation from 36,000 vph to 28,800 vph reducing wear on its components, the date function was removed and the implication of a Glucydur balance wheel and a balance spring with Breguet overcoil. The new model featured a metallic bezel with tachymeter scale, a newly developed Oyster case with crown guards and screwed-down pushers evolving from the ref. 6265.

    Released in stainless steel and yellow gold, the ref. 16528 belongs to the yellow gold version of the series with its earliest examples featuring a dial composed of porcelain and features a “Floating Cosmograph” dial layout where the “Cosmograph” sits slightly below the four lines of text below the coronet. Extremely rare, it is believed that the porcelain dials were only produced for a short period of time starting from R serial to early L serial from 1988 to early 1990. To avoid any confusion, the reason why the white lacquer dial named as “porcelain” is because it shares the features of enamel and porcelain, in that it is hard with polished finishing, while having a much lower production cost (firing is not required) but retaining a perfectly even surface. With two marks for porcelain dial examples, they were both made by Singer, the same maker for the exotic “Paul Newman” dials featured in rare examples of its ancestral models.

    The present Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ref. 16528 with an “R83” serial from circa 1989 is an extremely rare sight. Featuring a MK1 200-unit bezel evolving from the ref. 6265, it is fitted with a concept porcelain dial featuring an unusual four lines of texts “OYSTER COSMOGRAPH SUPERLATIVE CHRONOMETER OFFICIALLY CERTIFIED” below the coronet, that is again very similar to the lines of texts seen in yellow gold examples of the ref. 6265. Furthermore, another interesting feature is its black “DAYTONA” inscription above the 6 o’clock register instead of its usual cherry coloured signature, hence earning its nickname the “Ying Yang” as seen in Pucci Papaleo’s Ultimate Rolex Daytona book. Though all these elements already separate the present example from regular examples of the reference, another interesting detail to take note of is its stick-style indexes that are once again reminiscent of the ref. 6265 with luminous plots dotted on the tip of the indexes instead of filled, yet another trait deriving from its manually wound counterparts. Finally, it also does not feature the “T Swiss Made T” designation at the bottom of the dial. With all these elements combined, the “Ying Yang” is a class of its own, in fact this is the very example featured in the Ultimate Rolex Daytona Book on pg. 573.

    Featuring a concept or transitional dial that was developed as a prototype to early examples of the reference with porcelain dials. Highly important and only few examples are known in the market, the present example is well-preserved and is also highlighted by important Rolex scholars. Fresh-to-the-market, PHILLIPS is extremely humbled to be entrusted by the owner of the present timepiece to offer this extraordinary piece.

  • 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. 16528
A highly important, attractive transitional yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with grand feu enamel “Ying Yang” concept dial, black “Daytona” signature, luminous plots and bracelet

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

HK$1,560,000 - 3,120,000 

Sold for HK$3,654,000

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia 
+852 2318 2001

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XIV

Hong Kong Auction 27 - 28 May 2022