Prospective buyers should be aware that the importation of Rolex watches into the United States is highly restricted. Rolex watches may not be shipped into the USA and can only be imported personally. Generally a buyer may import only one watch into the USA. For further information please contact our specialists in charge of the sale. Please note other countries may have comparable import restrictions for luxury watches.
The present collection of rare vintage watches is the result of over 25 years of passionate collecting of a European gentleman. Architect by profession, this collection is exclusively dedicated to and focusing on stainless steel chronographs made by the world's best known watch manufacturer: Rolex.
This collection narrates beautifully the history of early Rolex chronographs, starting in the 1930s with the early non-Oyster models and ending in the late 1950's, before the introduction of the celebrated Daytona. The focus was, given the professional background of the collector, on functionality, timeless design and quality. The result of these selecting criteria is indeed mouth watering. All watches are true works of art, impressing a novice by their sheer beauty and charm and the more experienced collector by their seldom seen originality and excellent condition.
These chronographs are today often rarer, especially in such condition, than their peers made by the world's most prestigious manufacturers. This is partly due to the very small size of Rolex's production in the earlier years, partly due to the many watches "lost" as a result of excessive wear or inappropriate restoration. Of certain references in this collection we have not even seen a handful of examples being offered at auction in over 30 years!
The element which will most please the scholars is to observe how Rolex chronographs developed, in design, shape and size, over a period of a quarter century. Starting "humbly" with flat pushers and cases barely larger than 30 mm. in diameter, they grow in size and appearance to over 35 mm. boasting the typical Oyster cases.
The collection will be offered in two parts; the second part will be offered in November 2013, again in this sale room. Christie's are honoured to have been chosen by this gentleman collector for the dispersion of this superb collection.