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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1961
    Reference No: 6556
    Movement No: N823’059
    Case No: 739’560
    Model Name: Tru-Beat
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1040, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Alligator
    Clasp/Buckle: Gold-plated steel Rolex buckle
    Dimensions: 34.5 mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    A truly exceptional and rare Rolex model, the Tru-Beat reference 6556 was the only mechanical Rolex model to ever feature a “dead-beat” seconds complication which advances the seconds hand only once per second. This ingenious mechanism permits more accurate readings of patient’s heartrate. The present watch is fitted with the original caliber 1040, which was widely celebrated for its scarcity and the technical finesse of the dead-beat mechanism.

    With a lifespan of approximately five years, the Tru-Beat reference 6556 has become increasingly coveted amongst collectors. Rarely seen in gold, amongst the small numbers of the Tru-Beat created, few have survived with the dead-beat mechanism of the Rolex caliber 1040 still intact. The present example functions exactly as Rolex originally designed it, with a center seconds hand that advances once every second. The silver dial, hour and minute hands, arrow-shaped seconds hand and Rolex alligator strap are perfectly well preserved, making this one of the best reference 6556 examples to appear in auction.

  • Artist Biography

    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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Σ990

Ref. 6556
A very fine and very rare yellow gold wristwatch with "dead-beat" center seconds

Circa 1961
34.5 mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
HK$273,000 - 430,000 
€30,200-47,500
$35,000-55,100

Sold for HK$362,500

Contact Specialist
Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2030
[email protected]

Ziyong Ho
Specialist
+852 9386 2032
[email protected]

Jill Chen
Specialist
+852 2318 2033
[email protected]

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: SEVEN

Hong Kong Auction 27 November 2018