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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1994
    Reference No: 16520
    Movement No: 73’479
    Case No: S867’425
    Model Name: Cosmograph Daytona “Colour Change”
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 4030, 31 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet stamped “78390”, endlinks stamped “503,B”, max length 205mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster deployant clasp stamped “T10”
    Dimensions: 40mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex guarantee dated 15th April 1995 stamped Strauss Jlrs., Rolex international service guarantee, product literature, factory service booklet, outer packaging and fitted presentation box.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Evolving from the manually-wound period of the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, the firm introduced their first self-winding Daytona model in 1988 via the ref. 16520, featuring a self-winding Zenith El Primero based cal. 4030 modified by Rolex. Marking an important era for Rolex, the new Daytona reference that replaced the ref. 6265 featured an upgraded design of the case. With a more robust and pumped up 40mm diameter case and still retaining its screwed-down pushers, the bezel is solid with its units per hour engraved on. The ref. 16520 was discontinued in 2000, making way for Rolex’s very first Daytona model powered by the firm’s first in-house self-winding chronograph cal. 4130.

    Very well-received by collectors when it was released, the ref. 16520 today commands a premium in the market as it is highly sought after and considered as one of the most important sports wristwatches launched by Rolex. However, certain series of the reference commands a much heightened value compared to others. During the manufacturing process of the dial, one of the procedures is to apply a layer of varnish on the registers dubbed as Zapon. The nature of this varnish that was used in certain batches produced, developed a natural “tropical” brown hue over time at random. First realized in 2005 by acclaimed Italian auctioneer whilst putting together an auction that one example of the reference featured a much darker hue of the registers than the other. Despite the fact, the example with a darker register sold for much more. It is believed that examples bearing a S,N,T and W serial were common with such trait.

    The present example bears an “S” serial from circa 1994 featuring a black “inverted 6” dial with “tropical” brown registers. The tropicalization of the registers are genuinely even with lighter shades of brown on the “60”, which can be a heartwarming factor for collectors to witness as it is a sign that has been developed naturally. Offered with the original Rolex guarantee from the U.S confirming its black dial and dated 1995, the present timepiece is also well-preserved and rare example of the coveted Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ref. 16520.

  • 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.

    View More Works

865

Ref. 16520
A very fine and rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with “tropical” registers, bracelet, guarantee and presentation box

Circa 1994
40mm diameter
Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed

Estimate
HK$330,000 - 600,000 
€35,600-64,700
$42,300-76,900

Sold for HK$693,000

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi

Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2031

[email protected]

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XI

Hong Kong Auction 29 November 2020