Rolex - The New York Watch Auction: X New York Saturday, June 8, 2024 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1946
    Reference No: 4537 stamped to the inner caseback
    Case No: 470’744
    Model Name: Oyster Chronograph
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 13’’, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, and movement signed.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Launched in 1946, Rolex’s reference 4537 was manufactured for a short period of time and is amongst the rarest of all vintage Rolex chronograph wristwatches. Cased in yellow gold, pink gold and stainless steel, this was Rolex’s earliest three register chronograph wristwatch housed in a 36mm Oyster case with water-resistant pump pushers and a screw-down case back. Research suggests that Rolex produced no more than 100 watches with this reference, in both stainless steel and gold variations, and possibly less than a quarter of that in 18K yellow gold. Many of this watch’s key design elements would later heavily influence the look of the first Daytona, such as the signature Oyster case, round pushers, and three subsidiary counters.

    With a well-preserved dial displaying vivid graphics, the present reference 4537 is an exceptionally rare iteration of one of Rolex’s most coveted complications – the chronograph.

  • 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. 4537 stamped to the inner caseback
An exceedingly rare and foundational yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with telemeter and tachymeter scale

Circa 1946
36mm Diameter
Case, dial, and movement signed.

$50,000 - 100,000 

Sold for $82,550

Contact Specialist

Paul Boutros
Deputy Chairman, Watches, Head of Watches, Americas
+1 (212) 940-1293

Isabella Proia
Head of Sale, New York
+1 (212) 940 1285

The New York Watch Auction: X

New York Auction 8 - 9 June 2024