Not To Be Outdone, Christie’s Answers The Auction Challenge

Rolex ref. 6238
Rolex ref. 6238

The 800-lb gorillas of the auction world are duking it out this weekend. Phillips, Christies, and Sotheby’s all have watch auctions going. Phillips, which we wrote about on Tuesday, and Sotheby’s are going head-to-head on Saturday, while Christie’s is waiting until Monday. The dust will have settled by then, and buyers’ disappointment over not getting the piece they wanted will have abated a little.

And what goodies does Christie’s have in store? Yes, lots of Rolex, like always. 75 lots, in fact. For instance, there’s the ref. 6238 (Lot 44) pictured above. And there’s an interesting stainless steel chronograph from 1952, a ref. 6034 in there, Lot 105. Not quite a Jean-Claude Killy, but very nice just the same.


Rolex ref. 6034

And several Paul Newman Daytonas, in both steel and gold. But we’re always writing about them, right?

OK, let’s go over to the Submariner isle. How about Lot 40, a nice 5513 with pointed crown guards and riveted bracelet from around 1962 (first production year)? Gloss, gilt, so-called ‘exclamation dial,’ which means it’s got an additional dot of lume beneath the six o’clock hour marker.

Rolex ref. 5513

Rolex ref. 5513

Not cool enough for you? Well there’s Lot 42, a 1960 ref. 5512 with an Explorer dial. Of course, you need to add a zero to what the 5513 above is expected to go for. But this one’s a beaut! Really clean. Black lacquered dial, with pointed crown guards. It’s seen some action too, as its current owner (who purchased the watch new in 1962) was a member of a police specialist firearms unit in London.


An early Rolex ref. 5512

Then there’s Lot 91, a Rolex ref. 6543 Milgauss from 1955. Yep, this is the one that can be mistaken for an early Submariner. Dauphine hands, dagger hour points at 3, 6, and 9, and a rotating bezel marked in 5 minute increments (digits at ten minute intervals). But the coup de gras is the tropical honeycomb dial.

Early Milgauss, Rolex ref. 6543

An early Milgauss, Rolex ref. 6543

And there’s even a MilSub. Lot 100 is a ref. 5513 from 1972. You know the drill on this one – sword/ stick hands, 60 minute tick marks on the bezel, encircled ‘T’ designating Tritium use on the dial, and fixed bars (NATO and Zulu straps only need apply). The dial is said to be untouched on this one, while the bezel is claimed to be “the correct version…” To us, that means the bezel is a replacement – not at all uncommon for MilSubs in service to Her Majesty. And in fact, it’s in too good a shape to be anything but. However, that doesn’t detract from the fact that this is a true Ministry of Defense MilSub, marked as such on the case back.

MilSub, Rolex ref. 5513

MilSub, Rolex ref. 5513

So there you have it. A snapshot of the watches going on the block on Monday at Christie’s in Geneva.

(Credit for all images, Christie’s)

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