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    Sale 1417

    Rare Watches Including Nautilus 40 Part II

    14 November 2016, Geneva

  • Lot 19

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


    Price Realised  


    Rolex. A very rare and attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with black dial
    Signed Rolex, Anti Magnetic, ref. 2508, case no. 037598, circa 1938
    MOVEMENT: manual, cal. 14''', jeweled
    DIAL: black dial, Arabic and baton numerals, outer five minute divisions and telemeter scale, two sunken engine-turned subsidiary dials indicating constant seconds and 30 minutes register
    CASE: stainless steel, snap on back, two olive shaped chronograph pushers to the band, 35 mm. diam.
    SIGNED: case, dial and movement
    BUCKLE: stainless steel Rolex buckle

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    Reference 2508 is one of the first chronographs by Rolex. It was introduced to the market in the mid 1930s and reflects the militaristic climate of this period through its design: 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. The first generation, such as the present watch, featured oval chronograph buttons, whereas the second series were fitted with rectangular pushers.

    This remarkable chronograph is an incredibly rare Rolex model. It is only the sixth reference 2508 to be sold at Christies over the past 20 years and the second one with the exact same dial display featuring silvered scales and steel numerals.

    More than rare, the present watch is in outstanding condition. Considering the watch is nearly a century old, this stunning vintage chronograph is a thrilling surprise for any erudite collector.
    This is one such occasion. After detailed 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.

    Different versions of reference 2508 are described and illustrated in I Cronografi Rolex - La Leggenda, Pucci Papaleo Editore, pp. 80-91

    Pre-Lot Text