• IMPORTANT WATCHES Including A  auction at Christies

    Sale 1369

    IMPORTANT WATCHES Including A CONNOISSEUR'S VISION

    16 November 2009, Geneva

  • Lot 188

    Rolex. A very fine and rare 18K gold wristwatch with guarantee and Kew "A" Certificate

    SIGNED ROLEX, OYSTER, OBSERVATORY CHRONOMETER, "KEW A CERTIFICATE", REF. 6210, MOVEMENT NO. 4162, CASE NO. 97'461, MOVEMENT MANUFACTURED IN 1948, ENCASED AND SOLD IN 1954

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    Rolex. A very fine and rare 18K gold wristwatch with guarantee and Kew "A" Certificate
    Signed Rolex, Oyster, Observatory Chronometer, "Kew A Certificate", ref. 6210, movement no. 4162, case no. 97'461, movement manufactured in 1948, encased and sold in 1954
    Cal. 10.5''' gilt-finished fully jewelled lever movement, polished steel balance bridge, Guillaume balance, silvered matte dial, applied gold Arabic numerals, subsidiary seconds, circular water-resistant-type case, polished bezel, screw back, screw down crown, case, dial and movement signed
    34 mm. diam.


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    With Rolex Guarantee dated 1963 and stamped by Swiss Corner, Aden, Yemen and two photocopies of letters from Rolex Australia regarding the servicing of the watch in 2000, confirming amongst others that the dial has not been touched during the overhaul. Furthermore delivered with the colour copies from the National Physical Laboratory Register of Watches listing the entry of the watch to the Kew Observatory trials in January 1948, July 1948 and January 1949. It obtained the Kew A certificate on 23 March 1949.

    The present watch is part of an exceedingly small series of only 24 models of reference 6210, all with Observatory movements and in 18K gold cases, rendering them one of the rarest and most accurate models ever made by Rolex. Its movement no. 4162 was submitted to a Kew Observatory Chronometer trial on 1 January 1948 and was awarded a Kew "A" certificate after three attempts on 2 April 1949.

    The rarity of this watch is further enhanced by its excellent, original overall condition and the presence of the original guarantee.

    The Kew "A" Rolex watches are amongst the rarest models ever produced by the company. In his quest for high quality watches, Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Rolex, submitted already in 1914 a lady's model to the Royal Observatory. After 45 days of rigorous testing, it was awarded the first 'Kew A Chronometer Certificate'.

    In the early 1940s, Rolex stopped signing the inside of their watches with the number of world records achieved and used instead the simple signature "Rolex SA". As this did not signify that they had given up the pursuit for new world records, the company undertook a challenge never attempted before. In the late 1940s, Rolex produced 136 watch movements which were submitted to the Royal Observatory at Kew for chronometer testing. Almost every one passed and received the coveted Kew "A" Certificate, however only sixteen were awarded the mention "Especially Good", considered the highest rating in the world at the time and corresponding to a variation of only 0.49 seconds per day.

    The movements where then shipped back to Switzerland and encased in 1954, the majority becoming reference 5056 Oyster Speedking in stainless steel cases, only 24 as previously mentioned were used for reference 6210 in gold.

    The Kew "A" watches are described and illustrated in Rolex Wristwatches by J. Dowling & J. Hess, pp. 270 - 275, the Kew Tests and Results of the watches submitted on pp. 272 & 273.