Rolex - The New York Watch Auction: X New York Saturday, June 8, 2024 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1998
    Reference No: 16520
    Case No: U’165’461
    Model Name: Oyster Cosmograph Daytona
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 4030, 31 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet, reference 78390, endlinks stamped 503B, max overall length 220mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp, reference 78390, stamped Z10
    Dimensions: 40mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, and bracelet signed.
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex punched guarantee, leather cardholder, service booklet, calendar card for 1998-1999, product literature, fitted presentation box, numbered hang tag, and wax seal tag.

  • Catalogue Essay

    First released in 1988, the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona reference 16520 was the firm’s first Daytona model to feature a self-winding caliber. The reliable Zenith El Primero, considered as one of the best self-winding chronograph movements at the time, was chosen as the base which Rolex further upgraded to achieve their remarkable caliber 4030. Discontinued in 2000, it was replaced by the reference 116520 featuring Rolex’s first in-house self-winding chronograph movement. Fitted with the last outsourced caliber - which also put some constraints on the production, as Zenith was only able to deliver so many movements per year - reference 16520 is today one of the most collectible Daytona references, combining a modern 40mm case with vintage charm and eternal practicality.

    The present watch was previously purchased at auction in June of 1998. At the time, the watch was brand new and fresh from the factory, having been consigned by the original owner, who had purchased it only four months previously. The current consignor purchased the watch in brand new condition at auction in 1998, and it has remained impeccably preserved in his collection for the past 26 years, complete with its caseback sticker and hang tag still attached to the bracelet. The current consignor also purchased the following lot in that June 1998 sale, and it is now being offered as lot 123 in the present sale.

    This U-serial 16520 bears subdial registers that have acquired a delicate and lovely tropical hue – a café au lait that is more lait than café.

  • 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. 16520
A virtually unworn and highly attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with bracelet, “latte” colored registers, caseback sticker, hang tag, guarantee, and presentation box

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

$20,000 - 40,000 

Sold for $57,150

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