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A rare and beautiful 1965 Rolex Chronograph in solid stainless steel with stunning original silver dial, high grade calibre Valjoux 72B movement and original Oyster bracelet in superb condition throughout, freshly serviced and keeping great time. This model has a revered place in history, known as the "Pre-Daytona", it was created just before the release of the famed reference 6239 "Daytona" of which Paul Newman's was one, manufactured in 1968. You can see in the 6238 many of the most important design features were already in place with the most notable difference being that the 6238 was the last Rolex chronograph to place the Tachymeter on the dial rather then stamped on the exterior of the watch on the much wider bezel. The classically shaped waterproof Oyster case, pump pushers, crown and even the dial indexes on some models are nearly identical to the 6239. In other words, this model is not only a truly beautiful timepiece in and of its own right, it was also an incredibly important building block upon which numerous future Rolex chronographs were designed and built.
This example is in wonderful cosmetic condition throughout with a bright original factory printed silver dial with a striking, lightly polished case and original bracelet with a near perfect movement within. A superb example of Rolex's famous craftsmanship and design of which less then 2000 examples were ever produced, far fewer then most of its successors. A truly beautiful, slightly understated Rolex chronograph for both sport and dress occasions, you just can't go wrong.
Case: Superb solid stainless steel case measuring 36mm in diameter excluding the original signed crown and pump pushers. Near perfect lightly polished and brushed condition throughout. Stamped between the lugs at 12:00, Registered Design 6238, then at 6:00 with the serial number in the 1.16 million range dating it to 1965. Inside the back it is also signed Montres Rolex SA, Geneve, Switzerland, Patented, Stainless Steel, 6238. The original bracelet is also in superb condition with very little stretch and correct Rolex U.S.A, C&I stamped on the clasp blade. It is full length with 14 links including the endlinks which fit the 19mm lug spacing to perfection.
Dial: Original factory printed silver dial with outer base 1000 tachymeter scale, printed 1/5th seconds, applied baton hour markers and 3 sub-dials for constant seconds as well as 30-minute and hour recording counters. Stunning bright, clean condition with very few signs of age aside from a slight imperfection just past 2:00 where the dial has a very minor dimple. The hands are also in excellent condition with the correct thin "stick" shaped sub-dial hands with long hour, minute and chronograph hands to match. The one variation here is that the previous owner needed to see the hands in the dark so had the luminous changed in the hour and minute to superluminova rather then the orignal tritium.
Movement: Beautifully preserved, near perfect original Valjoux caliber 72B (stamped below the balance) manually wound movement with KIF incabloc protection, correctly signed Rolex Geneve, 17 Rubis, Swiss Made, Fabr Suisse with 6538 stamped on the main plate below the balance wheel. Incredible cosmetic and mechanical condition throughout freshly serviced and keeping excellent time with all chronograph functions working as they should.
For a very informative and well written article about this famous Rolex chronograph click here.