Rolex - WINNING ICONS – Legendary Watches of the 20th Century New York Thursday, October 26, 2017 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1950
    Reference No: 6284
    Movement No: 42’238
    Material: 14K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, 18 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Gold plated Rolex buckle
    Dimensions: 34mm diameter
    Literature: A similar example, with Rolex reference 6085, is illustrated in 100 Superlative Rolex Watches by John Goldberger, pg. 40-41.

  • Catalogue Essay

    With their stunning beauty and extreme rarity, wristwatches fitted with polychrome, cloisonné enamel dials are amongst the most desirable of all collectible wristwatches. Fabricated by Switzerland’s finest artisans, they are iconic timepieces treasured by their owners for their exquisite colors and exceptional craftsmanship. The present Rolex wristwatch, with cloisonné enamel dial featuring a miniature map of the Americas, is a stunning example of the fine art of enamel work. Today, scholars consider the period from post World War II until the early 1960s as the golden age of cloisonné enamel dials. Due to the complex and fragile process required for their production, their numbers are very limited. Accordingly, they were amongst brands’ most prestigious and important timepieces. Research indicates the present dial is one of only six Rolex watches featuring the map of the Americas. The underside of the dial confirms it was manufactured by Stern Frères, the celebrated dial maker, embossed with the serial number 103, Stern’s client code for Rolex, the star for Stern Frères, and finally 626 as the order number. Records confirm Marguerite Koch was the artisan. An enameller for Stern Frères, she worked for the firm from the 1940s until the 1960s, producing the dials of the most sought after watches offered by Rolex, Vacheron Constantin, and Patek Philippe.

    When admiring such a watch, it will completely take your breath away. This watch in particular is virtually mint and seemingly unworn, still retaining its original factory finishing. There is no case number, however there is a warm patina between the lugs, which suggests no case number was ever added. It is believed to be a prototype model made for exhibition purposes, which ultimately was not sold to the public, but rather enjoyed by a ranking member of Rolex’s executive staff. The colors of the dial are vibrant with hues of blue, green, yellow and red forming a delightful, two dimensional representation of the Western hemisphere in miniature. It is also interesting to note the black background, a color extremely rare to master and achieve in enamel. A timeless design, an exquisite cloisonné enamel dial, a historic watch manufacturer and ultimate rarity make the present Rolex masterpiece a trophy wristwatch for the most discerning connoisseur.

  • 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. 6284
An exquisite, incredibly fine and highly attractive 14K yellow gold wristwatch with cloisonné enamel dial depicting North and South America.

Case, dial and movement signed
34mm diameter

$300,000 - 600,000 

Sold for $567,000

Contact Specialist
Paul Boutros
Head of Watches, Americas
+1 212 940 1293

WINNING ICONS – Legendary Watches of the 20th Century

New York Auction 26 October 2017