Sotheby’s is offering a varied selection of wristwatches, ranging from divers to rare chronographs in their Spring sale, taking place on 14th May, 2014 in Geneva.
The morning auction will kick off with an array of modern Rolex Daytonas, which offer a variety of dial styles. The reference 16520 is well represented with two well-preserved watches, lots 34 and 35, featuring a “floating Cosmograph” dial. The so-called “floating dial” shows the designation “Cosmograph” with a marked distance from the “Officially Certified” line above. Another reference 16520 (lot 53) from a transitional period, believed to have been produced for one year only, displays a rare dial which does not include the “Officially Certified” feature.
In the afternoon, vintage sports model wristwatches will be the stars of the rostrum. A beautifully preserved Rolex Daytona reference 6263 in stainless steel, lot 289, will be one of the first key elements of the sale for Daytona Collectors.
Also notable is an exceptional Daytona reference 6239 with exotic Paul Newman dial that will capture the attention of all connoisseurs, lot 305. This model displays a very rare dial, featuring colour-changed registers and outer track. The discoloration, a result of age and patination, fades the usual black color to a shade of chocolate brown which enhances the watch, giving it a stunning vintage appearance.
This will be followed by the ultimate Rolex Daytona Paul Newman reference 6263/6262 in stainless steel, Lot 341. This rare and exceptional wristwatch is the ultimate trophy for any Rolex enthusiast. The outstanding condition of the watch, combined with a complete set of accessories, makes it very desirable. Furthermore, the black and white Panda is the rarest version of Paul Newman dials.
Geoffroy Ader, Sotheby’s Head of Watches for Europe, says of the watch: “This is the first time I can remember seeing a reference 6263 complete with guarantee and presentation case.”
But the sale is not only about Rolex Daytona. It also comprises a selection of 20 stunning Rolex Submariners covering the whole evolution of this model. The Submariner entered production in 1953 and 2014 marks the 60th anniversary of its official launch at the 1954 Basel Fair. Opening with the reference 6204, lot 224, featuring a bezel without the minute graduation and original hands, this section presents collectors the opportunity to acquire one of the legendary Submariner models in original condition.
Finally, the auction also offers two incredible examples of the Italian brand Panerai. The first example, lot 295, is an experimental titanium prototype of the Mille Metri, handmade in the Officine Panerai Laboratory in Florence under the guidance of Alessandro Bettarini in the mid-80’s. The second example, lot 298, is a Luminor reference 6152/1 featuring a unique prototype polycarbonate see-through bezel.
This very rare and historical reference was unknown until recently when it was rediscovered by scholars, and in particular through the research of Dino Zei, ex-chairman of Panerai SPA. This lot is presented by a descendant of Admiral Birindelli who probably received the watch when serving in the Italian Royal Naval Academy.