A very fine, heavy, and commanding white gold diver’s wristwatch with blue ceramic bezel, date, bracelet, accessories, and original hang tag

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 2008
    Reference No: 116619LB; inside caseback stamped 2379
    Movement No: 2’331’548
    Case No: M’954’286
    Model Name: Submariner Date
    Material: 18K white gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 3135, 31 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K white gold Rolex Oyster bracelet
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K white gold Rolex deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 40mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, and bracelet signed.
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex product literature, original hang tag, chronometer medallion, and inner and outer presentation boxes.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Throughout most of the 20th century, Rolex rarely used white gold for its cases and bracelets and usually only in the Day-Date and DateJust models. Horological scholarship has documented a few “one-of” pieces in white gold in Rolex’s vintage sports offerings, but by and large, white gold sports watches were not generally manufactured by the brand until the 21st century. White metal watches, however, have become increasingly popular in recent years, as notable collectors have devoted their passion to obtaining obscure and rare timepieces in platinum, stainless steel, and white gold. In 2008, Rolex released their first serially produced white gold Submariner, the reference 116619LB, as a luxurious yet robust offering for those preferring a more discreet, precious metal Submariner. “LB” represents “lunette bleu” referring to the blue color of the bezel and dial. It retains all of the details that make Rolex tool watches so highly desirable – efficient, waterproof and rugged, yet beautiful.

    These features include a scratch-resistant ceramic bezel in a vibrant aquatic blue with the numerals and markers coated in platinum. The vivid blue dial matches the bezel, and features hour markers and hands with white gold surrounds and Rolex’s luminescent Chromalight filling. Due to its proprietary white gold composition, alloyed in-house at Rolex’s foundries, the case and bracelet do not need to be re-plated with rhodium over time as is the case with typical 18K white gold jewelry and watches, but instead endures a warm silver lustre even with heavy use. Offered by the original owner with its presentation box and hangtags, the present Submariner, nicknamed “The Smurf” by collectors, is a great opportunity for any watch enthusiast.

  • 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. 116619LB; inside caseback stamped 2379
A very fine, heavy, and commanding white gold diver’s wristwatch with blue ceramic bezel, date, bracelet, accessories, and original hang tag

2008
40mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement, and bracelet signed.

Estimate
$15,000 - 30,000 
CHF14,900-29,900
€13,600-27,200
HK$117,000-235,000

sold for $30,000

Contact Specialist
Paul Boutros
Head of Watches, Americas & International Strategy Advisor
Senior Vice President
+1 212 940 1293
pboutros@phillips.com

GAME CHANGERS

New York Auction 10 December 2019