Rolex - Rolex Milestones: 38 Legendary Watches That Shaped History Hong Kong Sunday, November 27, 2016 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1945
    Reference No: 3525
    Case No: 380’230
    Model Name: Oyster Chronograph “Bariletto”
    Material: 18k pink gold
    Calibre: Mechanical, 13’’’, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Brown Rolex strap
    Clasp/Buckle: 18k pink gold Rolex buckle
    Dimensions: 35 mm. diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: With Rolex fitted presentation box
    Literature: For another example of a reference 3525 however cased in 18k yellow gold and stainless steel, see 100 Superlative Rolex Watches by John Goldberger, page 84.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Introduced to the market in 1938, reference 3525 was available in pink gold, yellow gold, stainless steel or steel and gold combinations. The model is an important milestone reference, as it represents one of the firm’s most important technological advancements. The reference 3525 was Rolex’s very first chronograph wristwatch to be housed in an Oyster case, and equipped with a water resistant screw down case back along with screw down crown.

    This particular watch is also very interesting as it is from the later generation of the reference. The serial numbers are engraved between the lugs, while the reference and case numbers on earlier examples were engraved on the outside case back.

    John Goldberger's Opinion

    This very crisp and completely original example of a reference 3525 is cased in pink gold, which is the rarest case metal for the model.
    The case, displaying bold proportions, is extremely sharp and most likely unpolished. The backs of the lugs are very angular and sharp in their construction, with one deep hallmark, attesting to its untouched condition.

    Moreover, the case back is full in its proportions with a crisp milled edge to the inner portion. The right band furthermore displays a thin layer of uninterrupted, dark bronze patina, meaning the chronograph wristwatch has not been worn in a very long time. In fact, it was very likely sitting in a safe for most of its life. The watch furthermore retains its original Oyster crown with Brevet logo.

    The dial is completely original and has been protected from the elements for decades, thanks to its Oyster case. It has been preserved in pristine condition; all graphics are clear without spotting or tarnishing. Interestingly enough, there is virtually no signs of wear at all between the lugs, which display original grain finishing and unbelievably crisp serial numbers. Thus, the present leather strap is very likely original to the watch. This, coupled with the fitted presentation box, provides an insight to how this watch originally left the Rolex factory.

  • 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. 3525
An incredibly rare, exceptionally attractive and very early pink gold chronograph wristwatch with fitted presentation box

Circa 1945
35 mm. diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

HK$960,000 - 1,920,000 

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