Rolex - Rolex Milestones: 38 Legendary Watches That Shaped History Hong Kong Sunday, November 27, 2016 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1937
    Reference No: 1541
    Case No: 39’626
    Model Name: Prince
    Material: 9k yellow gold
    Calibre: Mechanical, 18 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Brown leather strap
    Clasp/Buckle: Gilt buckle
    Dimensions: 20.5 mm. width
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: With Rolex Technical Laboratories Certificate dated 4 March 1938 and original fitted presentation box.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Released to the market in 1928, the Rolex Prince was initially known as the ‘doctor’s’ watch, due to its unbelievable accuracy. Rolex certainly capitalized on this concept, as seen from advertising in the period. Prince watches generally feature two different case styles: the sharp, angled and rectangular model, such as the present watch, is known as the ‘Classic’. The other model, with flared sides and curved edges, is known as the ‘Brancard’. A variety of metals were used to case Princes, ranging from yellow gold, to sterling silver and even platinum.

    At the time of production, the Prince was truly different from anything else that was offered on the market. Its slim, discreet and elegant appearance represented the ultimate gentleman’s wristwatch.

    John Goldberger's Opinion

    This watch is, without a doubt, among the best preserved Princes to ever appear on the market. The dial is completely untouched, which is incredibly rare today, as many Prince dials have been ‘retouched’ at some point. It remains free of any obstructing blemishes and the graphics are very sharp and legible.

    The 9k case, a rarity in its own right, is preserved in crisp condition. The Rolex coronet, case number and reference number is incredibly deep to the case back. The inside case back furthermore features 9 carat ‘Double F’ import hallmarks for Glasgow, and the import letter ‘O’ for 1937.

    The chronometer movement is a very nice addition, and furthermore confirmed by the Rolex Technical Laboratories Certificate dated 4 March 1938. The watch furthermore retains its original fitted presentation box. These accessories, preserved in remarkably good condition, enable us to admire how a Rolex Prince would have left the factory 80 years ago.

  • 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. 1541
A rare 9k yellow gold rectangular wristwatch with three-tone silvered dial, rating certificate and fitted presentation box

Circa 1937
20.5 mm. width
Case, dial and movement signed

HK$160,000 - 320,000 

Sold for HK$212,500

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