Rolex - Rolex Milestones: 38 Legendary Watches That Shaped History Hong Kong Sunday, November 27, 2016 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1953
    Reference No: 6202, inside case back stamped I V. 53
    Movement No: 11'037
    Case No: 952'437
    Model Name: Turn-O-Graph
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, A260, 19 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet, 190 mm. maximum length, end links stamped 64
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex folding deployant clasp stamped 2.56
    Dimensions: 35 mm. diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Literature: For another example of a stainless steel reference 6202, please see 100 Superlative Rolex Watches by John Goldberger, page 183.

  • Catalogue Essay

    First released in 1953, the Turn-O-Graph was designed as the precursor to the 'tool watch', such as the Submariner. At the time, the model was truly different from anything that was offered on the market.
    The newly introduced rotating bezel, calibrated to 60 minutes, allowed for accurate timekeeping. While reference 6202 was not the first Rolex wristwatch to carry a rotating bezel (the honor goes to the elusive Zerograph), it was the very first serially produced reference to feature one. The rotating bezel itself is a very important advancement as it inspired successors such as the Thunderbird and GMT-Master.

    Turn-O-Graphs were released with different dial configurations, such as the gilt lacquer or honeycomb variant. Initially, the GMT-Master and Submariner overshadowed the Turn-O-Graph. Due to the model's unpopularity, the 6202 reference ceased production early and limited examples were manufactured. Consequently, examples such as the present watch are incredibly rare today.

    John Goldberger's Opinion

    One of my favorite aspects of this watch is the attractive black lacquer dial, which is still very glossy in its finish. The gilt graphics are incredibly clear, and the numerals have aged with orange patina, which match the original gilt hands and lollipop seconds hand. The bezel insert is original and has a lot of character. As with Turn-O-Graphs of the period, the luminous index at 6 o'clock is brighter than the other radium numerals. Rolex most likely designed this to enhance readability. The bracelet is furthermore from the period, stamped for the second quarter of 1956.

  • 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.

    View More Works


Ref. 6202, inside case back stamped I V. 53
A highly rare and incredibly attractive stainless steel wristwatch with sweep center seconds, black lacquer dial and bracelet

Circa 1953
35 mm. diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

HK$120,000 - 240,000 

Sold for HK$250,000

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
International Department Head
+85 26 773 93 15

Rolex Milestones: 38 Legendary Watches That Shaped History

Hong Kong Auction 28 November 2016