Rolex - The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XI Hong Kong Saturday, November 28, 2020 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1965
    Reference No: 6238
    Case No: 1’206’523
    Model Name: “Black Pre-Daytona”
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 72B, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel riveted Rolex Oyster bracelet stamped “6635”, endlinks stamped “57”, max length 195mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 36mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Regarded as a major turning point for Rolex Chronograph wristwatches, the ref. 6238 can be considered as one of the last of its generation. Released in the early 1960s, the reference was produced for a relatively short period of time ending in 1967. Before it made way for the first Cosmograph Daytona ref. 6239, the ref. 6238 dubbed by collectors as the “Pre-Daytona” was the last chronograph wristwatch by Rolex to feature a smooth bezel and a tachymeter scale on the dial.

    Although the ref. 6238 was produced in parallel with the ref. 6239, the latter reference featured a solid bezel with a tachymeter scale and a two-tone dial with alternating colors for its registers. With that said, the ref. 6238 only offered monochromatic dials giving the whole timepiece an entirely different appeal to the ref. 6239.

    While the majority of the production of the ref. 6238 in stainless steel were fitted with silvered dials, examples featuring a matte black dial are certainly rare and desirable. Throughout its entire production span, the reference was introduced in a total of three series.

    First series – Up to 800’XXX serial, dial is similar to refs. 6034 & 6234 with or without tachymeter, with pointed hands and indexes.

    Second series – Up to 950’XXX serial, rare two-tone dial.

    Third series – Starting from 1’000’XXX serial with either silver or black monochromatic dial (Present lot).

    The present example Rolex “Pre-Daytona” ref. 6238 features a well-preserved and rare matte black dial from circa 1965 with a 1.2 million serial. Furthermore, it is powered by the cal. 72B making it one of the last examples before it was transitioned to the cal. 722 featured also in the ref. 6239. With a “T SWISS T” designation at 6 O’clock, the present second-generation dial indicates the use of tritium for the luminous material applied on the hands and indexes. Preserved in attractive overall condition with a well-preserved dial, the present example timepiece will surely impress collectors seeking for a coveted “Pre-Daytona”.

  • 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. 6238
A very fine, attractive and rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with matte black dial, tachymeter scale and bracelet

Circa 1965
36mm diameter
Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed

HK$600,000 - 1,200,000 

Sold for HK$1,260,000

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi

Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2001

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XI

Hong Kong Auction 29 November 2020