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    Sale 1417

    Rare Watches Including Nautilus 40 Part II

    14 November 2016, Geneva

  • Lot 178

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



    Rolex. A very fine and rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with tropical dial and bracelet
    Signed Rolex, Cosmograph, Daytona, ref. 6239, case no. 1’597’603, circa 1967
    MOVEMENT: manual, cal. 722-1, 17 jewels
    DIAL: silvered, brushed, applied baton numerals, luminous accents, luminous hands, outer fifth of a second divisions, three tropical brown sunken engine-turned subsidiary dials for constant seconds, 30 minutes and twelve hours registers
    CASE: stainless steel, tonneau-shaped, water-resistant-type, bezel with tachymetre scale graduated to 300 units per hour, screw back, screw down crown, two chronograph buttons in the bands, 36.5 mm. diam.
    SIGNED: case, dial and movement
    BRACELET/CLASP: stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet, deployant clasp, approx. 190 mm.

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    The very first reference in the revered line of Rolex Daytona chronographs is the present model, reference 6239. Launched in 1963 in the USA, and the following year in Europe, this reference is the beginning of what is arguably the most recognized line of chronographs ever produced. Adding to its already remarkable appeal, the present specimen furthermore comes with a wonderfully tropicalized dial: the three subsidiary counters shifted toward an absolutely even chocolate hue. Such discoloration is the result of atmospheric agents (UV light, humidity, oxygen) reacting with the black paint. Not only this effect occurs just on a minority of watches, but it is furthermore highly unpredictable: only a small fraction of tropical dials achieves such a perfectly even and warm tone as the one of the present watch.
    The present piece, with a case number around 1.5 million, is a very early example, as it was manufactured just 4 years after the introduction of the model. Indeed, the bezel is correctly a Mark II, characterized by the hash mark for 275 UPH.
    This reference was fitted with three different calibres: early examples (1963-1965) have cal. 72B, then from ’65 to ’67 circa cal. 722 was used, and from ’67 on cal. 722-1, such as the one found on this piece.
    Interestingly, Mark II bezels were discontinued around the same time cal. 722-1 started to be used. It is a reasonable assumption that only an extremely small number of 6239 was born with a Mark II bezel and 722-1 calibre.

    Special Notice

    On lots marked with an + in the catalogue, VAT will be charged at 8% on both the premium as well as the hammer price.