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Christie’s Important Watches Geneva Edition

Paul Altieri

A look at the spectacular Rolex watches available for sale at the upcoming Christie’s auction in Switzerland

Slated to take place 9th November, the Geneva stop of the Christie’s watch auctions always feature incredible timepieces and this season is no exception. Here are some of our top picks for rare, important and fascinating Rolex watches up for grabs.

Christie's 2015 Important Watches Auction Geneva
Christie’s Important Watches Auction Geneva (Credit: Christies.com)


Sea-Dweller 16600 “Polipetto”

Circa 2008

Estimate: $57,000 – $78,000

Sea-Dweller polipetto
Sea-Dweller 16600 “Polipetto” note the octopus icon on next to the 9 o’clock hour marker (Photo: Christies.com)

Named after the Italian word for small octopus, the Sea-Dweller “Polipetto” is a unique timepiece created to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the diving corps of the Italian state police. Only 79 pieces of the watch were ever made, making this an ultra-rare collectable.

Day-Date 18038 “Coral Day-Date”

Circa 1981

Estimate: $52,000 – $83,000

Coral Day Date at Christie's 2015
Day-Date 18038 “Coral Day-Date” (Photo: Christies.com)

A rare find, this remarkable 18k yellow gold Day-Date with a vibrant and textured coral dial uncommonly has no numerals and features an Italian calendar.

Chronograph 6238 “Pre-Daytona”

Circa 1964

Estimate: $63,000 – $100,000

Chronograph 6238 “Pre-Daytona” (Photo: Christies.com)

Manufactured from 1960 to 1967, the ref. 6238 was the last Rolex chronograph produced prior to the inception of the Daytona watch. Aesthetically, the biggest difference between the Chronograph and the future Daytona is the placement of the tachymeter scale. On the “Pre-Daytona” the scale sits on the dial and will be moved to the bezel on the first Daytona model.

Submariner 5512 “Square Crown Guards”

Circa 1959

Estimate: $73,000 – 120,000

Submariner 5512 Square Crown Guards Photo: Christies.com
Submariner 5512 “Square Crown Guards” (Photo: Christies.com)

The ref. 5512 was the first Submariner model to feature crown guards protecting the crown from any potential damage. However, the square design of the crown guards proved to be subpar as it made it difficult to unwind the crown. Rolex quickly discarded these cases and it is said that only approximate 100 of the Submariner 5512 “Square Crown Guards” were ever made.

Triple Calendar Moonphase 8171 “Padellone”

Circa 1950

Estimate: $63,000 – $100,000

Triple Calendar Moonphase 8171 Padellone Photo: Christies.com
Triple Calendar Moonphase 8171 “Padellone” (Photo: Christies.com)

Nicknamed the “Padellone”, Italian for frying pan, the ref. 8171 is one of only two different Rolex produced moonphase wristwatches. Manufactured between 1949 and 1952, most examples of the 8171 were crafted in yellow gold, making this stainless steel version even more rare.

Cosmograph Daytona 6263 “One of the Rarest Daytona Variations”

Circa 1970

Estimate: $78,000 – $160,000

Cosmograph Daytona 6263 One of the Rarest Daytona Variations Photo: Christies.com
Cosmograph Daytona 6263 “One of the Rarest Daytona Variations” (Photo: Christies.com)

An extremely rare Daytona model, this 6263 in 18k yellow gold boasts the “millerighe” pushers and the original “71” end links. The dial boosts its rarity as it doesn’t have the C.O.S.C certification label and it is estimated that less than 10 models with this case and dial combinations were ever made.

Cosmograph Daytona Paul Newman 6265 “Panda Mystery Cross”

Circa 1971

Estimate $130,000 – $230,000

Cosmograph Daytona Paul Newman 6265 Panda Mystery Cross Photo: Christies.com
Cosmograph Daytona Paul Newman 6265 “Panda Mystery Cross” (Photo: Christies.com)

Undeniably one of the great highlights of the auction, this incredible Daytona Paul Newman 6265 not only has the highly sought after “Panda” dial, but also a mysterious engraving on the caseback. Known as the “Mystery Cross”, the Swiss cross within a frame of marine ropes engraving has popped up on around a dozen watches from this era, but the meaning and origins of it still remain a mystery.

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Paul Altieri