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

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1956
    Reference No: 6605
    Movement No: N654310
    Case No: 111’615
    Model Name: Datejust “Red Depth”
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1065, 25 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Crocodile
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Rolex buckle
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, and buckle signed.
    Accessories: Accompanied by two Rolex Argentina service papers dated 1999.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Launched on the 40th anniversary of Rolex in 1945, the Datejust is an icon that is in production still to this day. The Datejust started a revolution then by being the first automatic watch with an instantaneous date aperture - a feature so influential that we take for granted today. Since then, the model has never left the pages of Rolex’s catalogues, with dozens of references created over the decades.

    Datejust production can be divided into three broad categories defined by the automatic movement beating within: the original cal. A.295 (and its upgrade A.296) are the first used for the model, from 1945 to 1956. Then, with the advent of references 6605 and 6604, the new calibre generation is introduced. It lasts until 1977 and features cal. 1065, 1565 and 1575. As the movement was thinner, the case also became thinner, losing the slight bulge of the caseback.

    The present reference 6605 is amongst the rarest Datejust models. Made only for three years between 1956 and 1959 - together with the sister reference 6604, featuring a smooth bezel. Beautifully faceted dagger indexes and a roulette date wheel are both attractive and collectible features, but the highlight of this reference 6605 is written in tiny red text on the dial: Datejust 50m = 165ft. This designation on a non-professional model like the Datejust is an indisputable rarity, and has only been seen on a handful of vintage pieces. Many of them bear serial numbers around 11X’XXX (see the three previous Rolex Explorer “Red Depth” reference 6610s sold at Phillips) like the present example. To find one on any non-professional Rolex model is rare; to find one on an 18K gold model is truly exceptional.

    Fitted on a period-correct, small crocodile grain Rolex strap with solid gold Rolex buckle, this water-resistant reference 6605 is an elegant jewel of the “Ride the Wave” collection that captivated him with its rarity, beauty, and overall state of preservation.

  • 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. 6605
An elegant and unusual yellow gold wristwatch with roulette date wheel, red depth rating, and Rolex service papers

Circa 1956
36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement, and buckle signed.

$15,000 - 30,000 

Sold for $25,200

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