ROLEX. A FINE AND RARE STAINLESS STEEL AUTOMATIC CHRONOGRAPH WRISTWATCH WITH BRACELET AND "FLOATING COSMOGRAPH" PORCELAIN DIAL
VARIOUS PROPERTIES
ROLEX. A FINE AND RARE STAINLESS STEEL AUTOMATIC CHRONOGRAPH WRISTWATCH WITH BRACELET AND "FLOATING COSMOGRAPH" PORCELAIN DIAL

SIGNED ROLEX, OYSTER PERPETUAL, COSMOGRAPH, DAYTONA MODEL, REF. 16520/16500, CASE NO. R884430, CIRCA 1988

Details
ROLEX. A FINE AND RARE STAINLESS STEEL AUTOMATIC CHRONOGRAPH WRISTWATCH WITH BRACELET AND "FLOATING COSMOGRAPH" PORCELAIN DIAL
SIGNED ROLEX, OYSTER PERPETUAL, COSMOGRAPH, DAYTONA MODEL, REF. 16520/16500, CASE NO. R884430, CIRCA 1988
MOVEMENT: Automatic, Cal. 4030, 31 jewels
DIAL: White porcelain, applied luminous baton numerals, luminous hands, three subsidiary dials for constant seconds, 30 minute and 12 hours registers
CASE: Stainless steel tonneau-shaped water-resistant-type case, bezel calibrated for 200 units, screw back, screw down crown, two screw down chronograph buttons in the band, 39 mm. diam.
BRACELET/CLASP: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet stamped AD10 and 78360 with deployant clasp, endlinks stamped 503; overall length approximately 186 mm.

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Lindi Cheng

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Lot Essay

This remarkable timepiece is an example from the very first production of automatic Daytona. Distinguished by the R serial number, these rare pieces can be arguably considered as game-changers in the market of sports watch, as had been 20 years before the first manually wound Daytonas. With an oversized 39 mm. case, destined to become 40 mm. one decade later, the new Daytonas were precursors of the "large watch" fashion that will hit the market in a few years time. Furthermore, the present watch is adorned by the sublime so-called "porcelain dial", with the correct "floating" Cosmograph designation - also known as staccato dial: that is, the gap between the fourth and fifth line is wider than the gaps between the other lines, as if the word Cosmograph was floating away from the rest.

It is obvious that, when Rolex launched the automatic Daytonas, the firm is well aware of the success of the Daytona not only as a sport watch, but as an elegant and worldwide recognized status symbol as well. Consequently, some pieces are dressed with diamond dials or, such as the present one, with highly refined email grand feu dial, which is now universally known as "porcelain dial". The manufacturing process of such a dial is a long, painstaking process that allows no room for mistake: layer after layer of enamel powder is deposed on the dial and then cooked at roughly 800 degrees until it vitrifies. The result is a practically eternal dial, with an impalpable tridimensional depth that is simply hypnotizing. The downside is that it is extremely easy for one of the layers to crack during cooking, and the dial has to be discarded and the process started over. This issue, combined by the extreme scarcity of master enamellers available, makes the production of enamel dials extremely expensive. As a consequence, porcelain dials are as rare as they are mesmerizing.

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