Rolex - Phillips & Blackbird: SPORTS Hong Kong Sunday, May 26, 2019 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1988
    Reference No: 16520, inner caseback stamped 16500
    Case No: R786’973
    Model Name: Cosmograph Daytona, "Procelain Floating Cosmograph"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 4030, 31 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet stamped 78360, endlinks stamped 503, max length 210 mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster deployant clasp stamped 78360
    Dimensions: 39 mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: With Rolex guarantee dated January 20, 1989, Rolex green fitted presentation box, Rolex hang tag, product literature and outer packaging

  • Catalogue Essay

    Bearing a “R” case number, the present watch is one of the earliest executions of the reference 16520, Rolex’s first serially manufactured automatic chronograph wristwatch. Likely the most awe-inspiring element of the watch — the rare “Mark I” white porcelain dial exhibits a beautiful luster unmissable by its beholder. With the “Cosmograph” lettering separated from the other four lines of text, the “Floating Cosmograph” design pops out from the gorgeously crafted dial. In addition, the subsidiary dial above the six o'clock features an inverted “6" which looks like a “9”. It is also a tritium dial and is labeled as "T SWISS T" at six o'clock.

    The eye is drawn from the dial to the finely preserved stainless steel case which is in immaculate condition, further inspiring awes amongst aesthetes of fine watches. The case features bold proportions and a crisp finish on the case back. Today, the porcelain dial version with R serial has become hugely coveted amongst watch collectors due to its rarity and imposing look. This watch also features a period-correct bezel which is marked until the unit of 200. Accompanied with a Rolex guarantee and box, the present lot is a great addition to any 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, inner caseback stamped 16500
An attractive and very rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with “Floating Cosmograph” white porcelain dial, bracelet, guarantee, hang tag and presentation box

Circa 1988
39 mm diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

HK$620,000 - 1,200,000 

Sold for HK$1,375,000

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2001

Phillips & Blackbird: SPORTS

Hong Kong Auction 27 May 2019