Even the most imperturbable of watch collectors is likely to find their pulse is made to beat a little faster by the sight of this instantly recognisable vintage Rolex ref. 6062. Known as a ‘Stelline’ — meaning ‘little star’ in Italian — after its star-shaped hour markers, it is one of the rarest and most complicated Rolex models ever made. And, as Christie’s specialist Remi Guillemin observes, ‘Who knows when the next “Pink Stelline” in a similar condition will appear?’
The reference 6062 was produced for around three years in the early 1950s, and was available in yellow gold, stainless steel, and, rarest of all, rose gold. ‘According to research, only about 50 pink gold examples like this one were ever sold,’ says Guillemin. ‘So far, only around 14 pieces have reappeared in public bearing the much sought-after star dial.’
In December of last year an impeccably preserved, exquisitely patinated ref. 6062 in yellow gold, know as ‘The Dark Star’, realised $1,572,500 at Christie’s in New York.
In terms of condition, this rose gold Rolex ref. 6062 is similarly impressive. ‘The case is extremely crisp, and has evidently hardly been polished, if at all,’ says the specialist. ‘When polishing a case, even cautiously, a fine layer of the material is removed, which after several polishes becomes apparent. This case, however, shows very strong proportions, substantial lugs, and the gold hallmark is clear and crisp.’
The surface of the dial, likewise, has not been touched. ‘The printed signatures and scales, which also tend to wear off when cleaned, are very strong,’ Guillemin continues. ‘The small imperfections and patina that should be there in a watch that was made 66 years ago are very evident.
‘Until the issue of the Cellini reference 50535 in 2017, the reference 6062 was one of only two models, together with the reference 8171, that were made in series by Rolex with moon phases,’ he adds. The moon phase is made of blue champlevé enamel on a gold plate, and was supplied by Stern Frères.
The calendar, with lettering in French, is very well preserved. The lumes next to the stars have been professionally restored using original radium from the period, replacing the large plots that had been added at some point in the watch’s life. The watch has thus been returned to its original appearance, as it was when it left the Rolex workshops.
‘In terms of condition, this is one of the best ref. 6062s to have appeared on the market in years’ — watch specialist Remi Guillemin
When the watch was released in the early 1950s, Rolex used an illustration of an identical watch with a ‘Type 453’ dial in its advertisements for the reference 6062. Compare the watch being offered by Christie’s on 13 May with the one pictured in the ad (below), and the similarity is very evident. Particularly notable is the appearance of the words ‘Officially Certified Chronometer’ just below the day and month windows — in later series, this insignia would be placed on the dial with a small gap above it.
‘After it was sold in around 1952, this ref. 6062 remained in the original owner’s family until 2015,’ says Guillemin. ‘In terms of condition, it is one of the best ref. 6062s to have appeared on the market in years.’ The estimate of CHF1,000,000-2,000,000 ($1-2 million) naturally reflects this.
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‘Given its rarity and condition, this will represent a significant trophy for watch collectors,’ the specialist confirms. ‘In truth, the sky is the limit for the price this watch might realise — it’s almost impossible to predict.’ Watch collectors the world over will be looking on with bated breath.