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    Sale 1413

    Rare Watches Including Important Private Collections

    16 May 2016, Geneva

  • Lot 44

    Rolex. A very rare and attractive 18K gold chronograph wristwatch


    Price Realised  


    Rolex. A very rare and attractive 18K gold chronograph wristwatch
    Signed Rolex, Oyster Chronographe, Anti-magnetique, ref. 6238, case no. 1’038’625, circa 1964
    Cal. 72B mechanical movement, 17 jewels, silvered dial, applied dagger numerals, luminous accent, fifth of a second combined with Arabic five minutes divisions, outer blue tachymetre scale, three sunken 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, 18K gold Rolex buckle, case, dial and movement signed
    36 mm. diam.

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    This particular example of reference 6238 is offered in very attractive condition: the dial is stunning and preserved in lovely, fully original condition. The case as well is absolutely remarkable: probably unpolished, it fully showcases the proper proportions and finish the connoisseur would expect to see on this model.

    The sublime condition, however, represents only half of the appeal of this timepiece: in fact, it features a rare transitional dial. While most 6238 mount a dial featuring baton numerals (a configuration very close to what will be used for the Daytona 6239, but without the subsidiary dials in contrast with the dial), the present watch features dagger numerals, which is a style much closer to previous models such as 6234. Beyond the unusual aesthetics and the rarity of this configuration, this timepiece is also of great interest for the insight it gives us about Rolex’s manufacturing process at the time. It is well known that many parts were interchangeable between models and were used disregarding of originally intended reference, until depletion of the stock. The most classic example of this habit consists in the mismatching case backs often found in Daytona references. It would appear that in this case the same logic was used, but with a dial – a much more prominent and important part of the watch. This demonstrates how, back in those days, the company was more focused on providing reliable and robust movements (after all Rolex watches are designed and born as tool watches). The aesthetic canons, albeit important, were less of a concern than they are today, and exceptions, modifications and variations were most definitely not unheard of.

    Special Notice

    Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.
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    Pre-Lot Text