Rolex - The New York Watch Auction: X New York Saturday, June 8, 2024 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1969
    Reference No: 6238
    Case No: 1'836'316
    Model Name: "Pre-Daytona"
    Material: 14K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 722, 17 jewels, stamped "ROW"
    Bracelet/Strap: 14K yellow gold Rolex Oyster bracelet with riveted links, max length 185mm stamped "57" to the endlinks
    Clasp/Buckle: 14K yellow gold Rolex deployant clasp stamped "D"
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex Guarantee booklet dated June 10, 1969, and presentation box.

  • Catalogue Essay

    A milestone of Rolex’s chronograph history, the reference 6238, known as the “Pre-Daytona”, was produced in a variety of dial combinations, encased in stainless steel, 14K or 18K yellow gold. They were fitted with silver, grey, or black dials, with tachymeter and/or telemeter scales printed directly on the dials differentiating them from their successors, the Cosmograph Daytona.

    The present reference 6238 is an incredibly rare example cased in 14K gold with black dial. Mostly used by Rolex for watches destined for the American market, 14K gold had lower import duties than 18K gold. Indeed the movement of the present watch confirms this theory, as it is stamped ‘ROW’ – the import code required by the U.S.

    While the gold purity’s nuance appeals to the most cerebral Rolex collectors, the rare black dial can be admired and enjoyed even by the most uneducated observer. While black dials are the norm for Rolex sports from the mid-1950s forward (e.g., Submariners, GMT-Masters), the opposite holds true for earlier Rolex watches. When a black dial appears on models such as the ref. 6062, ref. 8171, or pre-Daytona chronographs, enthusiasts know they are in the presence of something extremely special.

    Fitted with a matte black Rolex dial in flawless condition, with “T SWISS T” designation at 6 o’clock, in our opinion, the dial was most likely produced without luminous accents in the 1960s. Mounted in recent years by Rolex, the manufacture employed SuperLuminova to realize the accents at the moment of mounting the dial. Offered exceptionally with its rarely seen original box and guarantee, the present watch will certainly delight its future owner.

  • 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.

    View More Works


Ref. 6238
A very rare, highly collectible and extremely attractive 14K yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with black dial, bracelet, guarantee, and box

Circa 1969
36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

$50,000 - 100,000 

Sold for $88,900

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