Rolex. A Very Fine and Rare 14k Gold Chronograph Wristwatch
Signed Rolex, Chronograph, Retailed by Cartier, Ref. 6238, Serial No. 1'206'470, Case Nos. 80'261 & 667, Manufactured in 1965
Automatic jewelled movement, silvered brushed dial, applied gold baton numerals with luminous accents, lumionus hands, outer tachometer scale, three engine-turned subsidiary dials for constant seconds, 30 minute and 12 hour registers, tonneau-shaped water-resistant-type case, polished sloped bezel, down-turned lugs, two round chronograph buttons in the band, screw down crown, screw back, 14k gold Rolex buckle, case, dial, and movement signed by maker, dial signed and case hand numbered by retailer
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.
Acoompanied by a Cartier Certificate of Authenticity dated April 23rd, 2010.
Reference 6238 is the last "traditional", rolex chronograph from the famous oyster family, and was produced in the first half of the 1960's. It is in fact the last model featuring the tachometer scale printed on the dial, which was later found, with the introduction of new Daytona series, engraved on the bezel. The advantage of this new design was clearly a better legibility, and by omitting the outer scale, it allowed for more space for the dial design, while at the same time increasing the size of the scale by placing it on the bezel. Ref 6238 was made predominantly in stainless steel with very few examples in gold. Whereas the European and Asian market were serviced with the 18k gold version, examples like the present one, cased in 14k gold, were usually reserved for the North American market.
The present example is amongst the most exclusive specimens of this family we have ever seen, featuring the distinguished "Cartier" retailer signature. Rolex reserved only an extremely small number of their production to be upgraded with retailer's signatures for a handful of highly important retailers. Cartier must be considered the most exclusive and also the rarest of these names and we can not think of another 14k "pre-Daytona" with this noteworthy second signature on the dial. Furthermore, it is a delight for any connoisseur that the hand stamped Cartier reference numbers have survived to these days in such crisp and readable condition. The presence of a Cartier certificate confirming that the watch was retailed by them in 1967 furthermore enhances the importance of this watch. It is overall preserved in very original and crisp condition and takes in any Rolex collection a very prominent position.
Reference 6238 is described and illustrated in I Cronografi Rolex - La Leggenda, Pucci Papaleo Editore, pp. 278-291