Rolex - The 2021 New York Watch Auction New York Saturday, December 11, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1964
    Reference No: 6238
    Case No: 1'038'625
    Model Name: Pre-Daytona
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 72B, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Rolex pin buckle
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, and buckle signed.

  • Catalogue Essay

    A milestone of Rolex’s chronograph production, the reference 6238 was produced in a variety of dial combinations, encased in stainless steel, 14K or 18K yellow gold. These were fitted with silver, grey, and black dials, with tachymeter and/or telemeter scales printed directly on the dials differentiating them from their successors, the reference 6239s. These particular Oyster chronographs are known as the “Pre-Daytona” as they bear the familiar case design of the later Daytona references, with the homogeneous dial and subdial coloration and printed scales on the outer track of the dial, similar to the chronographs of the 1940s and 50s.

    The present reference 6238 is one of the finest Pre-Daytona specimens to appear publicly. Most especially to be admired is the exceptional state of preservation of the case, bearing crisp hallmarks punched to the underside of the lugs, and beautiful, even factory brushed finishing to the tops of the lugs and caseback. The lugs are wonderfully full, with crisp pin holes perfectly distanced from the edges, having most likely never suffered the indignity of a polishing wheel. Secondly, one’s eyes drift from the case to the stunning and resplendent sunray silvered dial, each hour indicated with faceted dagger indexes and encircled by a pristine blue tachymeter scale.

    Another fine waterproof chronograph from the inimitable “Ride the Wave” collection, this reference 6238 provides an important steppingstone to the later Daytona references; in spectacular condition and with a rare dial, it set the tone for the pieces that followed it chronologically, influencing the era of 1960s sports chronographs.

  • 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. 6238
An exceptionally well-preserved, rare, and beautiful yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with tachymeter scale

Circa 1964
36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement, and buckle signed.

$70,000 - 140,000 

Sold for $151,200

Contact Specialist

Paul Boutros

Head of Watches, Americas

+1 (212) 940-1293


The 2021 New York Watch Auction

New York Auction 11 - 12 December 2021