Rolex. A fine and extremely rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with black "Solo" dial
Rolex. A fine and extremely rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with black "Solo" dial
Rolex. A fine and extremely rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with black "Solo" dial
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Rolex. A fine and extremely rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with black "Solo" dial
5 More
ROLEXRef. 6240 Daytona ‘Solo’
Rolex. A fine, extremely rare and early stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with black "Solo" dial

SIGNED ROLEX, REF. 6240, CASE NO. 1’205’996, CIRCA 1966

Details
Rolex. A fine, extremely rare and early stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with black "Solo" dial
Signed Rolex, ref. 6240, case no. 1’205’996, circa 1966
Movement: cal. 72B, manual, 17 jewels, signed
Dial: signed
Case: screw back, inside case back stamped 6239 and C.R.S for C.R. Spillmann SA, 37.5 mm. diam., signed
With: stainless steel Rolex buckle

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Lot Essay

The present watch is a superb example of the rarest variant of the ‘experimental’ reference 6240 - the so-called ‘Solo’. As the name suggests, the dial features only the word ‘Rolex’ , the 'Oyster Cosmograph' designation being omitted entirely. Very few ‘Solo’ dial watches have surfaced over the years, a variant usually found on watches only from the early production period with 1’2xx’xxx serial numbers, dials with -T Swiss T- designation and the word ‘Rolex’ positioned lower down on the dial than later 6240s signed ‘Rolex Oyster Cosmograph’ in the normal way. This example, serial 1’205’996, is believed to be the earliest "Solo" to have appeared on the market to date.

The present dial is wonderfully preserved with nicely aged lume plots and matching hands. The overall rarity is further enhanced by the MK I bezel and MK 0 ‘millerighe’ chronograph pushers. The movement caliber is 72B, normally found in the reference 6239 between 1962 and 1965, they were fitted to only the very first batches of 6240s. The majority of reference 6240 used the 722 calibre, but cal. 722-1 can also be found in late examples. However, only a very limited number of 6240s were fitted with the earlier 72B calibre; the present watch being one of these.

Rolex Reference 6240 ‘Solo’
In common with many of the rarest and most desirable Rolex watches, the exact narrative of their evolution is now lost in the mists of time. However, it is possible to construct a likely scenario with the evidence available.

Reference 6240 was the first Cosmograph Daytona to feature the now standard screw down pushers and therefore to be waterproof. The model was also fitted with the newly introduced black acrylic bezel. This first generation of screw-down pusher Oyster Cosmographs are a hugely important milestone in the development history of Rolex’s most celebrated chronograph. The 6240 was quickly replaced by the better-known references 6263 and 6265.

Judging from the 1’2 million serial numbers of the known ‘Solo’ dial watches, the 6239 casebacks and the caliber 72B movements, it could be surmised that the ‘Solo’ dial watches were perhaps the first handful of 6240s to emerge of this new model. This is borne out by the fact that ‘Solo’ dials appeared on some reference 6239s, therefore logically there would be no reason why those dials would not have been used on the first 6240s, especially as it is evident that Rolex had not yet decided on a standard dial designation for the model. Indeed, the dial designation evolved at least twice, starting with ‘Rolex Cosmograph Daytona’, at this stage still making no ‘Oyster’ reference to the screw down pushers. Only for the second generation did the designation ‘Oyster’ appear on the dial as ‘Rolex Oyster Cosmograph Daytona’.

Certainly a great rarity among the already rare reference 6240, the present watch will both impress collectors by its excellent originality and state of presentation and intrigue with its stunning and enigmatic 'Solo' dial.

For another example of a reference 6240 ‘Solo’, see Ultimate Rolex Daytona, Pucci Papeleo, pp. 320 - 324.

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