A well-preserved and very rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with dark grey dial and bracelet

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1965
    Reference No: 6238
    Case No: 1’206’586
    Model Name: "Pre-Daytona"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 722, 17 jewels, further stamped "ROW"
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster riveted bracelet, max overall length 220mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp, stamped 79
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, and clasp signed.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Rolex’s reference 6238 manual wound chronograph wristwatch was both the end of an era for the brand, and the beginning of something new, which would go on in the ensuing years to become one of their most successful wristwatches ever. The reference 6238 became known as the “pre-Daytona” because following this model, Rolex removed the tachymeter scale from the dial and added it to the bezel, which not only opened up the watch dial, making it more readable, but also giving the watch a less cluttered modern aesthetic. Also incorporating contrasting sub-dials, the new reference 6239 released in 1963 was the first in a long line of models that today are iconic wristwatches that are all known today as the “Cosmograph Daytona”. The reference 6238 was produced for a short period from the early 1960s until 1967 and produced in stainless steel and yellow gold.

    What makes this reference 6238 exceptional is its extremely rare dark grey colored dial – by far the rarest dial variant used for these “pre-Daytona” chronographs according to scholarship. Featuring a radiant sunburst pattern, its stunning dial has luminous hour markers and hands that have aged to a pleasing yellow hue. Not only is it fitted with a highly sought after dial, the present reference 6238’s case is very well-preserved, with a sharp bezel and strongly defined lugs. Collectors today seek vintage timepieces that not only are in excellent condition, but also have a historical context in the evolution of wristwatches. This “pre-Daytona” reference 6238 is a top quality example and one of the finest to appear at auction – a trophy watch for the savvy collector.

  • Maker Bio

    Rolex

    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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Rolex

Ref. 6238
A well-preserved and very rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with dark grey dial and bracelet

1965
36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement, and clasp signed.

Estimate
$30,000 - 50,000 
CHF29,900-49,800
€26,100-43,400
HK$235,000-392,000

Contact Specialist
Paul Boutros
Head of Watches, Americas
+1 212 940 1293
pboutros@phillips.com

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