ROLEX. A VERY FINE AND EXTREMELY RARE STAINLESS STEEL CHRONOGRAPH WRISTWATCH WITH BLACK DIAL AND “FLOATING DAYTONA”
SIGNED ROLEX, COSMOGRAPH, DAYTONA, REF. 6239, CASE NO. 1’091’031, MANUFACTURED IN 1964
Cal. 722-1 mechanical lever movement, 17 jewels, black matte dial, applied baton numerals with luminous accents, luminous hands, outer fifths of a second divisions, three engine-turned silvered dials for constant seconds, 30 minutes and 12 hours registers, tonneau-shaped water-resistant-type case, blank bezel calibrated for 300 units, screw back, screw down crown, two round chronograph buttons in the band, stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet, case, dial and movement signed.
1964: Rolex’s overall production is now estimated at 105.000 examples, with serial numbers from 1.000.000 to 1.105.000.
Throughout 1964, the bezel still sports the 300 tachymeter scale, however the graduation has become simpler, the 275 mark has disappeared and it has a mirror-polish as opposed to the radial satin-fnish that can be found on earlier versions. The white version of the dial now displays a ‘soleil’ finish in the background, instead of the previous argente matt, while the black version remains unchanged. The overall design starts to move away from its origins. For example, the indexes are now applied by means of a bearing and are positioned slightly closer to the rim.
Throughout 1964, Rolex becomes the offcial timekeeper of the Daytona race, a name destined to make horology history. With public interest in space exploration waning, only to be rekindled five years later with the conquest of the moon, a new name for their chronometers is needed to accompany “Cosmograph”. The choice is obvious and so, for the frst time, Rolex associates its timepieces with the famous American racetrack. Indeed, this particular 6239 example is the very frst known to incorporate the legendary name, still quite small and veering towards the centre of the dial. Another novelty is the two “T”s before and after the “SWISS” designation. They identify which luminescent substance has been used, tritium, and will replace the underline sign.
A scholarly inspection reveals that this rare dial was printed in three stages: frstly, the white main graphics featuring the outer SWISS script, secondly, the inner silver SWISS text and lastly, the ‘Daytona’ designation and the two T’s in a hue slightly darker than “SWISS”.
Furthermore, the 3-bodied case of this watch, composed of case back, middle case and bezel is preserved in excellent condition.
Courtesy of Christie's