Rolex - Rolex Milestones: 38 Legendary Watches That Shaped History Hong Kong Sunday, November 27, 2016 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1964
    Reference No: 6238
    Case No: 1’106’255
    Model Name: ‘Pre-Daytona’
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Mechanical, 72B, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Black Rolex crocodile leather strap
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex buckle
    Dimensions: 36 mm. diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Literature: For another example of a reference 6238 with matte black dial, please see 100 Superlative Rolex Watches by John Goldberger, page 130. Another example is also displayed in I Cronografi Rolex - La Leggenda by Pucci Papaleo, page 282.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Launched in 1960, reference 6238 is known as the ‘Pre-Daytona’. The reference was the manufacture’s last traditional chronograph wristwatch to feature a smooth bezel.

    The tachometer was furthermore displayed directly on the dial, like its predecessor reference 6234. However, its successors such as reference 6239 or 6241, all feature a tachometer bezel, with the insert either made of steel or acrylic. The reference was fitted with a Valjoux 72 caliber.

    Predominantly fitted with silvered dials, reference 6238 was also available with a matte or black lacquer dial. Collectors particularly favor these special dials, due to their stylish and unusual appearance, which sets them apart from the classic examples of reference 6238.

    John Goldberger's Opinion

    This ‘Pre-Daytona’ features a wonderful matte black dial, which is very rare compared to its silvered counterparts. The present watch also features contrasting gilt graphics, which have aged to a warm ivory tone, giving the watch a wonderful vintage appearance.

    The luminous, still round and fully formed, has turned light yellow with patina. This is very consistent with the luminous on the hands, which have also turned light yellow in tone. The case has been preserved in excellent condition with sharp edges and milled finish to the top of the lugs. The lugs carry full proportions, and the pushers are original to the watch.

    Most interestingly, the movement is stamped ROW, indicating that the present watch was made for import to the US market.

  • 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 rare and highly attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with matte black dial and ivory graphics

Circa 1964
36 mm. diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

HK$480,000 - 960,000 

Sold for HK$1,125,000

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