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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1988
    Reference No: 16528
    Case No: R985'223
    Model Name: Cosmograph Daytona
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 4030, 31 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K yellow gold Oyster bracelet, max length 210mm
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Rolex Deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 39.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Since its introduction in 1963, Rolex’s Cosmograph Daytona has continuously evolved, and today it is amongst the most sought after models for its masculine appeal, classic aesthetics, and exceptional timekeeping. In 1988, Rolex released their very first automatic models - the stainless steel reference 16520, steel and gold reference 16523, and the luxurious 18 karat gold reference 16528 housing the caliber 4030 based on the iconic Zenith El Primero. The Daytona’s case size was increased to 39.5mm in order to house the new movement. The model was an instant success, and garnered an immediate, years-long wait list with authorized Rolex dealers around the world.

    The present yellow gold example features the coveted, first generation floating “Cosmograph” dial, with the word situated slightly below the “Rolex Oyster Perpetual Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified” designation, and found only on examples from the earliest production. With the early “R” serial number, this attractive Daytona is furthermore correctly fitted with the highly sought-after, first generation bezel calibrated to “200” unites per hour. These self-winding Daytona Cosmographs were the beginning of a new era for Rolex chronographs, and in addition to the revolutionary automatic movement, the models also introduced sapphire crystals for the first time in a Rolex chronograph watch.

    Consigned by an important collector, the present chronograph remains in outstanding, hardly worn condition. All edges, facets, and finished surfaces are perfectly preserved as it left the Rolex factory over two decades ago, having never seen a polishing over all these years.

  • Artist Biography

    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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Lot offered with No Reserve

Ref. 16528
An early, rare, and very well-preserved yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with “floating” logo dial, and bracelet

Circa 1988
39.5mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

Estimate
$30,000 - 60,000 
CHF27,200-54,300
€25,100-50,200
HK$233,000-465,000

Sold for $88,200

Contact Specialist

Paul Boutros
Head of Watches, Americas & International Strategy Advisor
Senior Vice President
+1 212 940 1293
[email protected]

Racing Pulse

New York Auction 12 December 2020