Rolex - Rolex Milestones: 38 Legendary Watches That Shaped History Hong Kong Sunday, November 27, 2016 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1969
    Reference No: 6239, inside case back stamped 6239
    Case No: 2'330'501
    Model Name: Cosmograph Daytona
    Material: 18k yellow gold
    Calibre: Mechanical, 722-1, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Brown Rolex leather strap
    Clasp/Buckle: Gilt Rolex buckle
    Dimensions: 37 mm. diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Literature: For another example of a yellow gold reference 6239, please see 100 Superlative Rolex Watches by John Goldberger, page 238. Another example is also displayed in Ultimate Rolex Daytona, by Pucci Papaleo, page 216.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Reference 6239, first launched in 1963, was the very first Rolex chronograph wristwatch to officially feature the ‘Cosmograph Daytona’ signature. The 6239 reference ceased production after six years of manufacture, making way for successor reference 6262, featuring an upgraded Valjoux 727 movement and retaining non-screw down pushers.

    While reference 6239 is perhaps best known for being fitted with Paul Newman dials, rarer still, is the presence the model cased in yellow gold. Indeed, during the reference's life span, approximately 300 examples were cased in gold, which is astounding when one takes into account the model’s 14,000 unit production run. The chronograph illustrated in these pages is thus exceedingly rare.
    While the reference 6239 was considered a 'technical' watch, Rolex cased the model in yellow gold for their most exclusive and well-to-do customers, as a luxurious alternative to record time and measure speed.

    John Goldberger's Opinion

    This watch features a wonderfully crisp case, with sharp gold and hallmarks beneath the lugs. Retaining original proportions, the watch features full lugs with sharp milled finishes. I particularly like that the bezel and pushers are original on this example.

    The most beautiful feature, however, is the dial. The subsidiary registers have 'turned' a rich chocolate brown shade, contrasting with the gold graphics and soleil dial beautifully. The luminous dots are still intact, round and formed, and have aged to a dark yellow tone in the form of patina.

  • 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. 6239, inside case back stamped 6239
A fine, very rare and beautiful yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with ‘tropical’ subsidiary registers and leather strap

Circa 1969
37 mm. diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

HK$500,000 - 1,000,000 

Sold for HK$1,187,500

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Rolex Milestones: 38 Legendary Watches That Shaped History

Hong Kong Auction 28 November 2016