Rolex - The New York Watch Auction: SEVEN New York Saturday, December 10, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1953
    Reference No: 6202; inside caseback stamped 6202 and III.53
    Movement No: F85’052 and 06’198
    Model Name: Turn-O-Graph “Monometer”
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. A 260, 19 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Dimensions: 35mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, and movement signed.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Little is known of the reference 6202 “Monometer” and it is rarely spoken of when discussing vintage Rolex sports watches, but despite all, it is perhaps one of the rarest and earliest Rolex sports watches to have ever been produced. As an experimental model launched by the brand, the moniker “Monometer” was trademarked in 1953 and the first examples appeared on the market the same year. The Monometer bore the same reference as the later “Turn-O-Graph”, 6202, and bears some aesthetic similarities to the early “Turn-O-Graph” that immediately followed it. It is unclear why Rolex chose the name at first and then discarded it for another, however there is no doubt that this timepiece, along with the Turn-O-Graph, were Rolex's first ever tool watches produced in series. With its rotating bezel calibrated to 60 units, the ground-breaking Monometer can be considered a major milestone that spearheaded over sixty years of dive watches at Rolex.

    The present lot can only delight with its original black gloss dial and gilt printing. However, the rarity factor is further enhanced by the presence of the original pencil hour and minute hands, lollipop seconds hand and the unusual “Oyster Perpetual” printing between the 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock positions at the center of the dial. The present Monometer was most probably a prototype that was marketed and rapidly discontinued and replaced by the Turn-O-Graph. Some consider this the earliest Submariner, even though not officially carrying the name and housed in a 6202 case. The Monometer was made in exceedingly small quantities with two dial variants known – honeycomb or plain black lacquer, like the present lot.

    Less than 10 Monometers are known to have appeared on the international auction market in the past 30 years, highlighting the extreme rarity of this piece. The present lot is in overall remarkable condition for a watch of its age, with a sharp, well-defined case, beautifully aged bezel that has turned to a burgundy tone, and an absolutely original dial. It is a prize for the collector of landmark references within the vintage Rolex pantheon, or vintage sports watches in general.

  • 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. 6202; inside caseback stamped 6202 and III.53
An extraordinarily rare, historically important, and well-preserved stainless steel diver’s wristwatch with gilt dial and rotating bezel

Circa 1953
35mm Diameter
Case, dial, and movement signed.

$30,000 - 50,000 

Sold for $37,800

Contact Specialist

Paul Boutros

Head of Watches, Americas

+1 (212) 940-1293


Isabella Proia

Head of Sale, New York

+1 (212) 940 1285


The New York Watch Auction: SEVEN

New York Auction 10 - 11 December 2022