Reference 6298, an updated version of the Explorer prototype reference 6098, was launched in the early 1950s, its case comparable to the large size bubble back wristwatches. Being the largest, hence most practical and readable of all models in production at the time, it is well understandable that Rolex chose references 6098 and 6298 for further development of a robust watch. It is therefore by no surprise that watches from both references 6098 and 6298 were used during several Everest expeditions, most notably members of the successful expedition in 1953 lead by Sir Edmund Hillary, Sir John Hunt and Sherpa Tenzing. Early examples featured a white dial and gilt numerals and hands, later models were fitted with the typical Explorer-type black dial with Arabic quarters.
Predominantly made in stainless steel, material of choice for sport's watches because of its resistance to extreme conditions, few examples fitted with gold bezels, the present watch is believed to be the first and possibly so far only reference 6298 in pink gold to appear in public to date. The early version dagger and baton numerals combined with the black dial and the much sought-after signature S&L, all rarities by themselves, lead to the conclusion that it must have been a special order made for one of the celebrated retailer's distinguished clients.
Preserved in superb overall condition, still retaining the original "Brevet" crown, the watch offered here for sale reveals the best of all ingredients this landmark model can possibly offer to any connoisseur collector. The black gloss dial shows an incredibly charismatic grainy patina which has formed naturally over the years, most probably due to various atmospheric influences and sunlight, beautifully harmonizing with the gilt printing of signature and scales. Another particularly appealing feature are the attractively discoloured luminous hour markers, now displaying a fascinating sand tone.
The case, never exposed to careless polishing, impresses any beholder with its full body, crisp numerals between the lugs and hallmark stamped to the outside of the case back. The retailer's signature "S&L" has slightly faded over the years but is still in place.
The present reference 6298 represents the scarce opportunity to acquire an exceedingly rare variant of the early "Explorer" model.