• IMPORTANT WATCHES Including A  auction at Christies

    Sale 1369


    16 November 2009, Geneva

  • Lot 150

    Rolex. A very fine and rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with black dial and bracelet


    Price Realised  


    Rolex. A very fine and rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with black dial and bracelet
    Signed Rolex, Chronograph, ref. 6238, case no. 1'104'109, manufactured in 1964
    Cal. 722 nickel-finished lever movement, 17 jewels, black gloss dial, applied baton numerals with luminous accents, luminous hands, outer tachymetre scale, three engine-turned subsidiary dials for constant seconds, 30 minutes and 12 hours registers, tonneau-shaped water-resistant-type case, screw back, screw down crown, two round chronograph buttons in the band, stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet, case, dial and movement signed
    36 mm. diam.

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    Amongst collectors, reference 6238 is often referred to as the "Pre-Daytona" and enjoys today growing popularity within the community of Rolex aficionados. Launched in 1960, reference 6238 was the company's last traditional chronograph wristwatch with polished bezel.
    The present watch is a rare variant with the charismatic black gloss dial. Predominantly available with silvered dials, reference 6238 was also available with black dials. However, only the matte or "grainé" version is known and examples, like the present one, featuring the lacquer surface finish are exceedingly rare. Close inspection of this dial reveals that the signature and tachometre scale are not printed against the background but shine through from a layer underneath, resulting in a most captivating play of the different layers.

    The "Pre-Daytona" with the silvered dial was the first Rolex chronograph to be fitted with the sunburst finished dial, officially referred to as "cadran soleil argent", which gave the ideal background for the newly designed hands - for the first time in straight baton form. The new dial finish and the baton-shaped hands can be found on all Rolex Daytona chronographs up to the mid 1980s, rendering these sports watches highly functional and lending them a particularly distinctive, masculine look.

    This watch is not only an outstanding rarity in lovely overall condition but most importantly also an extremely practical chronograph and one of the best-looking watches for daily wear.

    For an example of reference 6238 with grained black dial see 100 Superlative Rolex Watches by John Goldberger, pp. 130 & 131, and, for an example with lacquered dial, cased in gold, op. cit. pp. 134 & 135. For descriptions and illustrations of the matte version see I Cronografi Rolex - La Leggenda, Pucci Papaleo Editore, pp. 282 & 283, for an example featuring the glossy dial op. cit. 288 & 289.

    Special Notice

    Prospective buyers should be aware that the importation of Rolex watches into the United States is highly restricted. Rolex watches may not be shipped into the USA and can only be imported personally. Generally a buyer may import only one watch into the USA. For further information please contact our specialists in charge of the sale. Please note other countries may have comparable import restrictions for luxury watches.