ROLEX. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE AND OUTSTANDINGLY WELL PRESERVED 18K PINK GOLD AUTOMATIC TRIPLE CALENDAR WRISTWATCH WITH MOON PHASES AND STAR HOUR MARKERS
ROLEX. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE AND OUTSTANDINGLY WELL PRESERVED 18K PINK GOLD AUTOMATIC TRIPLE CALENDAR WRISTWATCH WITH MOON PHASES AND STAR HOUR MARKERS
ROLEX. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE AND OUTSTANDINGLY WELL PRESERVED 18K PINK GOLD AUTOMATIC TRIPLE CALENDAR WRISTWATCH WITH MOON PHASES AND STAR HOUR MARKERS
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ROLEX. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE AND OUTSTANDINGLY WELL PRESERVED 18K PINK GOLD AUTOMATIC TRIPLE CALENDAR WRISTWATCH WITH MOON PHASES AND STAR HOUR MARKERS
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ROLEXTHE GORDON BETHUNE PINK GOLD STELLINE REF. 6062
ROLEX. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE AND OUTSTANDINGLY WELL PRESERVED 18K PINK GOLD AUTOMATIC TRIPLE CALENDAR WRISTWATCH WITH MOON PHASES AND STAR HOUR MARKERS

SIGNED ROLEX, OYSTER PERPETUAL, 'STELLINE' MODEL, REF. 6062, CASE NO. 788’629, CIRCA 1952

Details
ROLEX. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE AND OUTSTANDINGLY WELL PRESERVED 18K PINK GOLD AUTOMATIC TRIPLE CALENDAR WRISTWATCH WITH MOON PHASES AND STAR HOUR MARKERS
SIGNED ROLEX, OYSTER PERPETUAL, 'STELLINE' MODEL, REF. 6062, CASE NO. 788’629, CIRCA 1952
Movement: Automatic
Dial: Silvered grené ‘stelline’
Case: 35 mm. diam.
With: Pink gilt Rolex buckle
Provenance
The original owner’s family, bought privately from the estate by Gordon Bethune, former CEO of Continental Airlines and formidable watch collector.
Sold: Christie’s New York, The Gordon Bethune Collection of Fifty Exceptional Vintage Wristwatches, 14 December 2012, lot 154 - Sold to Benefit The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society.
2012 – 2019 - An Important Private Collection.
Sold: Phillips Geneva, 9-10 November 2019, lot 249.
2019 – The present owner, an important private collector.
Further details
SHOULD YOU WISH TO BID ON THIS LOT, YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO OBTAIN A HIGH VALUE PADDLE
Sale room notice
Please note that the estimate for this lot has now changed.
Please note that this lot is now subject to a minimum price guarantee, which has been financed through a third party and who may be receiving a fee.
Please see the Conditions of Sale for further information.

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Remi Guillemin
Remi Guillemin Head of Watches, Europe and Americas

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Lot Essay

It is with enormous pleasure that Christie’s is able to present to international collectors and those who seek the very best objects of every category, this highly acclaimed pink gold ‘Stelline’ or star dial reference 6062. In terms of originality and condition, it is quite simply an extraordinary survival, showing no signs of intervention and only minor signs of wear after almost 70 years. A joy to behold, this watch is memorable in once being owned by Gordon Bethune, former CEO of Continental Airlines 1994-2004 and a world-renowned watch collector, famed for the condition and originality of the pieces in his collection. Mr. Bethune acquired the present watch privately, directly from the estate of the original owner, and until the sale of Gordon Bethune’s collection at Christie's New York in 2012 it was entirely unknown and undocumented. Indeed, it is remarkable to think that since new, this watch has probably had as few as four owners.

This reference 6062 is the rarest and most sought after version - cased in pink gold and featuring the iconic ‘star dial’. Close inspection of this phenomenal watch is a true pleasure for the connoisseur and confirms that it must be regarded as one of the most original, purest, and best preserved examples of reference 6062 in the world. The dial is in superbly original condition, retaining its subtle grainé finish, but also the original printing throughout and sharp-edged apertures for the months and days of the week. In addition, the luminous hour markers and also the luminous material on the hands, appears to be original and has, with time, taken on a warm and charming tone.

The case is one of the fullest and closest to factory finish that could be hoped for. Most probably, it has not been polished since new, and the case lines are superbly preserved, both on the upper side of the case, but also to the back which retains its vertical brushing. Similarly, the screw back retains its original satin finish. The hallmark is stunningly clear and crisp as are the numbers between the lugs and the pinholes, evidence of how seldom this watch was worn and how rarely the strap was changed. The original ‘Super Oyster’ crown is a feature of reference 6062 and is preserved here.

The return to auction of this major-league reference 6062 'Stelline' in pink gold offers international collectors a significant opportunity to obtain one of the very finest surviving examples of this landmark model with reassuring traceability and provenance.

REFERENCE 6062 - AN OVERVIEW
Following the launch of the ‘Oyster’ case in the mid-1940s, Rolex introduced a variety of different models with a diversity of movements for the celebrated waterproof case. The most prestigious version was reference 6062, upgraded with a full calendar and moon phase indication and fitted with an in-house automatic movement. Introduced at the Basel Fair of 1950, and produced for approximately 10 years, it is one of only two Rolex models to feature a triple calendar, the other being the so-called ‘Padellone’ reference 8171. These two models were Rolex’s only watches ever made in series with moon phases, until the introduction of the Cellini reference 50535 in 2017. The difference between ref. 6062 and 8171 is the case: reference 6062 is fitted with the iconic Rolex ‘Oyster’ case whereas reference 8171 features a snap-on back. Reference 6062 was available in yellow gold, pink gold and stainless steel.

Ref. 6062 - Dial
The dials were probably made by Beyeler and delivered and mounted by Stern Frères, six known dial variants exist for ref. 6062, the famous star or 'Stelline' dials are distinguished by their matte grainé silvered finish, blue date scale and pink gold stars with either luminous accents or separate luminous dots next to the stars. The moon phase of blue champlevé enamel on a gold plate was supplied by Stern Frères.

Ref. 6062 Case
The two-piece gold waterproof ‘Oyster’ cases for reference 6062 were made by Genex in Geneva. Originally the case department of Gay Frères, it later became a Rolex company. The casemaker’s mark for Genex, a number 12 inside a key, is punched on the inside of the case backs. Interestingly, the pink gold version of reference 6062 was originally designated as reference 6063. This reference number is always struck out with engraved lines and 6062 engraved beneath. Two kinds of crowns are seen on this reference, the most usual is the Super-Oyster, such as that found on the present watch, some examples are known with a Twin-Lock crown.

Ref. 6062 Movement
The movement used for the ref. 6062 was the calibre 655, especially developed for the model. It was available with either 25 or 26 jewels, depending if the movement base was 17 or 18 jewels (17 was mostly for the US Market were taxes were much higher for 18 jewels) and fitted with the latest patented Rolex Super-Balance. The automatic module is modified to let the calendar pushers through the case band.

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