ROLEX. AN EXTREMELY RARE STAINLESS STEEL AND GOLD AUTOMATIC CHRONOGRAPH WRISTWATCH WITH PORCELAIN “FLOATING COSMOGRAPH” DIAL, BRACELET AND CONFIRMATION LETTER
ROLEX. AN EXTREMELY RARE STAINLESS STEEL AND GOLD AUTOMATIC CHRONOGRAPH WRISTWATCH WITH PORCELAIN “FLOATING COSMOGRAPH” DIAL, BRACELET AND CONFIRMATION LETTER
ROLEX. AN EXTREMELY RARE STAINLESS STEEL AND GOLD AUTOMATIC CHRONOGRAPH WRISTWATCH WITH PORCELAIN “FLOATING COSMOGRAPH” DIAL, BRACELET AND CONFIRMATION LETTER
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ROLEX. AN EXTREMELY RARE STAINLESS STEEL AND GOLD AUTOMATIC CHRONOGRAPH WRISTWATCH WITH PORCELAIN “FLOATING COSMOGRAPH” DIAL, BRACELET AND CONFIRMATION LETTER
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ROLEX The Reference 16523 with “Porcelain Floating Cosmograph” Dial and Tiffany & Co. Signature at Six from Pucci Papaleo Editore's “Daytona Perpetual”
ROLEX. AN EXTREMELY RARE STAINLESS STEEL AND GOLD AUTOMATIC CHRONOGRAPH WRISTWATCH WITH PORCELAIN “FLOATING COSMOGRAPH” DIAL, BRACELET AND CONFIRMATION LETTER

SIGNED ROLEX, OYSTER PERPETUAL, COSMOGRAPH, DAYTONA MODEL, RETAILED BY TIFFANY & CO., REF. 16523, CASE NO. R985495, CIRCA 1988

Details
ROLEX. AN EXTREMELY RARE STAINLESS STEEL AND GOLD AUTOMATIC CHRONOGRAPH WRISTWATCH WITH PORCELAIN “FLOATING COSMOGRAPH” DIAL, BRACELET AND CONFIRMATION LETTER
Signed Rolex, Oyster Perpetual, Cosmograph, Daytona Model, Retailed by Tiffany & Co., Ref. 16523, Case No. R985495, Circa 1988
Movement: Cal. 4030, automatic, 31 jewels, signed
Dial: “Porcelain Floating Cosmograph", signed by maker and retailer
Case: screw back, inside case back stamped 16500, 39 mm. diam., signed
With: stainless steel and gold Rolex Oyster bracelet stamped 78363, deployant clasp stamped 78.363.18 and M6, endlinks stamped 403, overall bracelet length approx. 180 mm., confirmation letter from Pucci Papaleo dated 24 April 2020 confirming that the present chronograph ref. 16523, stainless steel and gold with “porcelain” dial with floating script and the Tiffany signature is illustrated in “Daytona Perpetual”, pp. 138 – 139.
Literature
Prominently illustrated in “Daytona Perpetual”, Pucci Papaleo Editore, pp. 138 & 139.

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Sabine Kegel
Sabine Kegel

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Lot Essay

Offered in very good overall condition and still retaining the protective green sticker to the case back, the present reference 16523 represents a truly rare opportunity for the Rolex collector to acquire an exceptional example of the Daytona chronograph. Illustrated in the book “Daytona Perpetual” published by the acclaimed editor Pucci Papaleo, it stands out through its astonishing “Porcelain Floating Cosmograph” dial double signed with the prestigious Tiffany & Co. retailer signature at six o’clock.

Part of the early production of the reference, it was manufactured with an R serial number, dating its production to 1988. This year was a breakthrough year for Rolex. The Cosmograph became a self-winding chronograph with a new design and reference, immediately adopted by collectors it became an instant classic and commercial phenomenon. Representing a new era for Rolex, the reference showcased the manufacture’s desire to innovate, with its new automatic caliber 4030, based on the Zenith El Primero caliber 400. The case dimension was increased to 40 mm. diameter, incorporating crown guards and a sapphire crystal. As for the bezel, it carried the engraved tachymeter scale. The first series Mk1, seen on the present timepiece, featured a 200 unit graduation scale and the “units per hour” text located at 3 o’clock, the second Mk2 and third Mk3 generation series displayed a 400 calibration with the “units per hour text” moving up to 1 o’clock, the difference being the presence of the intermediate 225 only on the Mk2 bezel. The bracelet of the reference was also subject to innovations, moving from the design seen on manual Daytonas and featuring brush-finished links. In production from 1988 to 1989 the bracelets were engraved 78360 for steel versions, 78363 for steel and gold (the present watch), and equipped with a non-fliplock clasp.
During the first year of production of the self-winding chronograph, small changes in manufacturing were made by Rolex, enabling collectors to spot what are now considered truly rare and collectible examples of the reference. Although the chronograph was released with multiple dial variants, the earliest examples fitted with white dials made of white lacquer are best known today as “porcelain dials” due to their tridimensional effect, with a dial layout nicknamed “floating” due to the five-row layout with Cosmograph script floating below the main field of the text. Furthermore, the subsidiary register at six o’clock features the number 6 upside down, resembling a 9 and later referred to by collectors as “inverted six”. An added peculiarity of early models, the minute recorder at 3 o’clock had four “dash” markings as opposed to later dials, which only had three. Due to the Tritium luminous material used for hands and hour makers, the dials displayed the “T Swiss Made T” text at 6 o’clock.

Visually striking and of extreme rarity, the present wristwatch can be considered one of the most important representatives of the reference 16523 through its captivating rare dial and the presence of the Tiffany & Co. signature at 6 o’clock. Very well preserved, with its rare Mk1 bezel graduated to 200 units, correct bracelet and deployant clasp, it is amongst the rare Rolex timepieces symbolizing the collaboration between Rolex and Tiffany & Co., two of the most recognizable names in the luxury industry.

Tiffany & Co.
Originally founded as Tiffany & Young by Charles Lewis Tiffany and John B. Young in 1837, the firm is now one of the world’s foremost jewelers.

Few companies have captured the public imagination to such an extent as Tiffany & Co. The firm’s creations have been worn by members of some of the wealthiest nineteenth and twentieth century’s families, including the Astors, the Vanderbilts, and the prominent banker and watch enthusiast Henry Graves Junior.

Tiffany & Co. is strongly associated with its colour “Tiffany Blue”, a specific shade of light blue, very similar to robin’s egg blue. Tiffany Blue is a trademarked colour and bears the same number, 1837, on the Pantone Matching System as the foundation year of Tiffany & Co. Exuding the material symbolism or romance, Tiffany Blue has been a very notable hue at celebrity weddings.

The house’s fame was further immortalized by the 1961 movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s starring Audrey Hepburn, and the song Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend sung by Marilyn Monroe in 1953s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

The cooperation between Tiffany & Co. and Rolex is longstanding but extremely scarce. Examples signed by Tiffany, such as the present lot, are exceedingly rare an only a scace number Daytonas retailed by Tiffany appear at auction.


We would like to thank Pucci Papaleo, Naomi Ornstein and Fabio Santinelli for providing the images and assist with the presentation of the present timepiece.

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