• Rolex Daytona "Lesson One" 50  auction at Christies

    Sale 4002

    Rolex Daytona "Lesson One" 50 exceptional examples of the world's most celebrated chronograph wristwatch

    10 November 2013, Geneva

  • Lot 26

    Rolex. An extremely rare and highly important stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with bracelet and box, especially made for Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said and retailed by Asprey


    Price Realised  


    Rolex. An extremely rare and highly important stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with bracelet and box, especially made for Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said and retailed by Asprey
    Signed Rolex, Oyster Cosmograph, ref. 6263, case no. 3'655'344, manufactured in 1974 and sold by Asprey to Oman
    Cal. 727 mechanical lever movement, 17 jewels, black dial, applied silvered baton numerals with luminous accents, Sultan's signature in red, luminous hands, three subsidiary silvered engine-turned dials for constant seconds, 30 minutes and 12 hours registers, tonneau-shaped water-resistant-type case, black bezel calibrated for 200 units per hour, screw back and screw down crown, two round screw down chronograph buttons in the band, stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet and clasp stamped 1.71, case signed by maker and retailer, dial and movement signed
    37.5 mm. diam.

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    With Rolex original fitted green presentation box decorated on the top with the Oman national emblem consisting of two crossed swords and the khanjar, a traditional Oman dagger, in the middle. On the inside lid of the box is a green panel with gilt writing, which reads By Appointment. To H.M. Qaboos Bin Said. Asprey & Company Ltd. Furthermore delivered with a personal card from His Majesty in a small envelope stamped with the Khanjar.

    A man of undeniably exquisite taste and also a watch enthusiast, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said, owned and offered as gifts innumerable timepieces. Some of these, blessed with never-before-seen personalisations of the dial, simply made modern horology history as symbols of the ultimate level of watch collecting.

    His Majesty sometimes offers gifts for outstanding service to loyal servants, members of the administration and citizens.

    Depending on the level and importance of the occasion, gifts of an "horological nature" vary from simple timepieces to fine Rolex watches. The highest level of recognition is, for obvious reasons, a Rolex Daytona. The present watch must have been awarded to a high-ranking dignitary. Furthermore, the degree of personalisation indicates the level of appreciation the Sultan wishes to demonstrate to the recipient. A simple merit deserves the Crest of Oman (Khanjar) on the dial or the back of the timepiece, while extraordinary appreciation is expressed with a watch featuring His Majesty's signature (as shown here).

    It comes as no surprise that a gift of such magnitude, offered by none other than the Sultan himself, was always considered the ultimate trophy and was never actually worn. The result is the extraordinary timepiece offered here. This watch is simply new, perfect in each and every detail, such as the red signature of His Majesty on the dial, and the designations reserved for special orders. A true "Arabian Pearl".
    If ever there was a Royal Daytona dial, this is it. The stately red signature of His Majesty stands out in the middle of the black dial, as tall as the 2-liner Rolex Oyster designation. In fact all the graphics, compared to the standard Daytona layout, have been moved to make room for the Royal signature. The Rolex Oyster designation, in its characteristic silver hue, has been repositioned higher on the dial. The "Cosmograph" designation has been moved to the opposite side above the central register.

    This watch radiates so much elegance given its professional designation on the steel case with its large screw-down pushers. The final result is minimalist and engaging at the same time, an outstanding achievement of horology art.
    On the inside of the case back, in addition to the usual case maker indication, the serial number is engraved above the reference number. This is a characteristic that is typical of special orders and was executed by Asprey, who also engraved its name on the back.

    Almost as interesting as the watch itself, the accompanying box has been personalised as well. On top of the lid, the Khanjar, the royal crest with the crossed swords of Oman, is even more prominent than the Rolex crown. On the interior, one can find the Khanjar and the intended royal recipient and the retailer: TO. H. M. QABOOS BIN SAID JEWELLERS GOLDSMITHS SILVERSMITHS ASPREY & COMPANY LTD. NEW BOND STREET LONDON.

    Testament to the fact that this watch was actually a gift from the Sultan, it comes with a personal card from His Majesty in a small envelope stamped with the Khanjar. The Arabic script, gold on white, reads: WITH MY COMPLIMENTS, QABOOS BIN SAID, SULTAN OF OMAN.

    His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al Said

    Born on 18th November 1940 in Salalah, Dhofar, His Majesty is the only son of Sultan Said bin Taimur and Princess Mazoon al-Mashani. His education took place in Salalah, India, where he studied under Dhayal Sharma, the former President of India, and eventually in England. At the age of 20, he began his military training and joined the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, eventually serving in Germany for one year in the Scottish Rifles.

    His Majesty ascended to the throne on 23rd July 1970. A sole monarch, he proved himself a successful ruler, using the revenues obtained from oil to modernize his country. With his guidance, his country and subjects enjoyed countless advances, both social and technological. Oman has strengthened international relations, both in the Middle Eastern area, and on a more global scale. Newspapers are now permitted and schools, highways, hotels and shopping centres have been built. A substantial amount of money is now spent on healthcare and education.

    Recently, the Sultan also permitted parliamentary elections, during which women were allowed to vote and be elected. The parliament enjoys legislative powers.
    The foreign policy of his Majesty is formal neutrality. Oman has good relationships with Iran as well as Britain and USA. As a result, His Majesty Qaboos has often acted as intermediary between Iran and USA.

    Beyond his enthusiasm for watches, the Sultan's interests also include music. He is an avid fan of classical music, with a particular penchant for the pipe organ. The Omani orchestra is one of the most appreciated in Middle East.