Reference 2508 is one of the chronographs by Rolex. The case and dial designs reflect the militaristic climate of the 1930s: the case construction is a no-frills sturdy three-piece design; the chronographic dial presents the typical two subsidiary counters and tachymetre and telemetre scale. What is remarkable is the incredible rarity of this timepiece in this configuration. In over 20 years of sales, Christies sold only four steel 2508 with black dial: two in 1997, one in 2008 and then again in 2013, and one in 2014. Furthermore, three of these four pieces had pink gold hands and markers, one yellow gold hands and markers and gilt scales. None of them presented the layout of this example, with silvered scales and steel numerals. The exclusive dial layout of the watch, however, makes up for only half of its appeal and collectability. The other half is made up by its stellar condition.
It is always a pleasant surprise when a vintage watch is offered for sale unmolested. When the unmolested watch is nearly a century old, surprise gives way to bewilderment. This is one such occasion. After thorough examination, it would appear that no part of the timepiece was subjected to any kind of intervention or restoration. The case is impressive, showcasing full lugs, perfect proportions and razor-sharp edges, unspoiled satin finish, and outstandingly crisp crown and numbers engraved to the case back. The dial allows us to admire unadulterated its manufacturing process: the numerals were applied to the dial which was then sprayed with black paint. The numerals were then polished, thus removing the black coating from their top, but not from their sides. Indeed, a close examination of the piece allows us to notice how the black paint runs up the side of the numerals.