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ROLEX. AN EXTREMELY RARE 18K WHITE GOLD TONNEAU-SHAPED WRISTWATCH WITH SWEEP CENTRE SECONDS, DATE AND BRACELET
ROLEX. AN EXTREMELY RARE 18K WHITE GOLD TONNEAU-SHAPED WRISTWATCH WITH SWEEP CENTRE SECONDS, DATE AND BRACELET
ROLEX. AN EXTREMELY RARE 18K WHITE GOLD TONNEAU-SHAPED WRISTWATCH WITH SWEEP CENTRE SECONDS, DATE AND BRACELET
ROLEX. AN EXTREMELY RARE 18K WHITE GOLD TONNEAU-SHAPED WRISTWATCH WITH SWEEP CENTRE SECONDS, DATE AND BRACELET
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This lot is subject to standard Swiss VAT rules an… Read more ROLEXWHITE GOLD BETA-24, REF. 5100
ROLEX. AN EXTREMELY RARE 18K WHITE GOLD TONNEAU-SHAPED WRISTWATCH WITH SWEEP CENTRE SECONDS, DATE AND BRACELET

SIGNED ROLEX, QUARTZ, REF. 5100, MOVEMENT NO. 7308, CASE NO. 755, CIRCA 1973

Details
ROLEX. AN EXTREMELY RARE 18K WHITE GOLD TONNEAU-SHAPED WRISTWATCH WITH SWEEP CENTRE SECONDS, DATE AND BRACELET
SIGNED ROLEX, QUARTZ, REF. 5100, MOVEMENT NO. 7308, CASE NO. 755, CIRCA 1973
Movement: Quartz
Dial: Silvered
Case: 39 mm. wide, 40 mm. overall length
With: 18k white gold Rolex integral bracelet, overall length of approximately 185 mm.
Remark: Approx. 100 pieces made in white gold
Special notice

This lot is subject to standard Swiss VAT rules and 7.7% VAT will be charged on the ‘hammer’ and the ‘buyer’s premium’

Brought to you by

Remi Guillemin
Remi Guillemin Head of Department, Geneva

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Lot Essay

The present timepiece is without a doubt one of the finest examples of the reference 5100 in white gold to be seen on the market for some considerable time. Always treated with care and respect, it is preserved in excellent overall condition - The case is as crisp and sharp as the day it was made, with deep hallmarks. The special bracelet made only for this reference is equally well preserved as is the beautifully understated grey dial with luminous accents.

It is believed that only 900 examples in yellow gold and 100 pieces in white gold were ever produced, according to our research, only around 8 examples have been offered at auction in the last twenty years. Furthermore, the present watch is engavred No. 755.

The white gold reference 5100 housing the famous Beta-21 quartz movement is one of the rarest and most unusual Rolex watches of the 1970s.

Reference 5100
Rolex reference 5100 is a historic milestone in the development of the quartz watch. It was launched on 5th June 1970 but Rolex had underestimated demand, the initial pilot series production was completely sold out prior to delivery.

Model 5100 was the first Rolex to have a sapphire crystal and a seconds hand being run by a pallet wheel to give a true “sweep” centre seconds unlike modern quartz movements. It was also revolutionary for the new case design, much more angular in its shape than the Oyster case.

The Beta-21 is a 13 jewel, 8Khz quartz module first seen in prototype form in 1967. In 1968 it was agreed by 20 Swiss watch houses to produce 6,000 of these movements. In 1969, a few hundred of the Beta-21 watches were released at Basel World, setting a new record at the Fair. The Beta-21 movement was accurate to 5 seconds per month, which was far superior to any automatic and manual-winding watch at the time. The design for the Beta-21 watches was a triumph and also very characteristic of the era - they were generally thick, angular and even chunky (partly out of necessity as the first generation of quartz movements were comparatively large.) Rolex’s reference 5100 was essentially designed around the Beta-21 movement.

In 1972, Rolex left the CEH (Centre Electronique Horloger) to go on and develop their own in-house quartz movements, later named the “Oysterquartz”.

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