• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1353

    Important Pocketwatches and Wristwatches

    12 May 2008, Geneva

  • Lot 160

    Rolex. A very rare self-winding water-resistant wristwatch with sweep centre seconds, bracelet and highly unusual dial, made for the German market

    SIGNED ROLEX, OYSTER PERPETUAL, AMTLICH GEPRÜFTER CHRONOMETER, TURN-O-GRAPH, REF. 6202, CASE NO. 950836, MANUFACTURED IN 1953

    Price Realised  

    Rolex. A very rare self-winding water-resistant wristwatch with sweep centre seconds, bracelet and highly unusual dial, made for the German market
    Signed Rolex, Oyster Perpetual, Amtlich geprüfter Chronometer, Turn-O-Graph, ref. 6202, case no. 950836, manufactured in 1953
    Cal. A.260 nickel-finished lever movement, 19 jewels, the black dial with applied dagger numerals, luminous hands, sweep centre seconds, in tonneau-shaped water-resistant-type case with later revolving black bezel calibrated to 60 units, screw back and screw down crown, stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet, case, dial and movement signed
    35 mm. diam.


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    The present watch is a rare example of a reference 6202, fitted with a "civil-dial" with applied dagger numerals - a feature reserved to the very early examples of this model. Furthermore the chronometer designation is worded in German, reading "Amtlich geprüfter Chronometer", leading to the conclusion that this watch was destined for the German market.

    Marketed as a "tool" watch, the Turn-O-Graph is commonly accepted as one of the "god-fathers" of all Rolex sports-watches to follow, most notably the Submariner and consequently the Sea Dweller.

    The Turn-O-Graph was presented at the 1953 Basle fair, the year of manufacture of the present watch. The model was always fitted with a rotating bezel with five minute divisions, referred to as a "time-recording-rim" by Rolex. Designed to be used as a simplified chronograph version for timing events to up to an hour, it was promoted as being able to calculate the "Timing of a transatlantic telephone call, the rate of a machine, a patient's pulse, the speed of a train or the development of a film".

    Despite the Turn-O-Graph's brilliant concept, the model was at the time not as successful as expected by Rolex, mainly due to the simultaneous in-house competition from the Submariner. Since only very examples were produced and even fewer have survived, the present watch and its unusual "civil dial" represents a rare opportunity for the avid collector.

    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.