Rolex 6238 'pre-Daytona'

Museum Piece
If a sporty Rolex Daytona -even a vintage one- is too ordinary and lacks a bit of elegance, you might opt for its predecessor; especially the black-dialed versions are exceptional.

If a sporty Rolex Daytona -even a vintage one- is too ordinary and lacks a bit of elegance, you might opt for its predecessor; especially the black-dialed versions are exceptional.

A rare, very sought-after and historically important model; being the father of the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona as we know it today. The reference 6238 belongs to the the last line of watches that didn’t bear a model name on the dial. However, it’s known among collectors and aficionados as the ‘Pre-Daytona’; albeit this reference being in production alongside the 6239.

This 36mm measuring timepiece has a lot to offer; both aesthetically and mechanically. It is powered by a celebrated Valjoux caliber, housed in a sleek Oyster case with round pump-pushers. The slightly domed, smooth bezel gives it a pleasant sophistication, unknown to most toolwatches. The monochrome dial is unostentatious and pragmatism seems paramount, unlike the less comprehensible and more crowded dial design of most earlier Rolex chronographs.

These 60's chronographs without the tachymeter scale on the bezel, always flew a bit under the radar. In terms of collectability, most attention goes out to the well-known and often studied Cosmograph Daytona. But there is a huge exception: the black dialled versions. Only a couple thousand 6238's have ever been produced, but the lion share of that small number (most likely over 95%) feature a light coloured dial.

We are thrilled to showcase this incredible example that provides a perfect balance between austerity and elegance. The "-T SWISS T-" dial is incredibly appealing with gilt printing, complementing the creamy tritium plots; which are all present. The periphery of the dial has some inconsiderable oil spills, but overall it maintains in a vibrant condition. The correct small minute hand is mounted and the original thin register hands are too. The white lacquer on these, including the arrow of the second counter, is still perfect.

The case is well-preserved and the original riveted Oyster bracelet dates back to the same year as the watch: 1964. Opportunities to own a "Black night" don't come around very often and most of the times they are trading hands during auctions. This one has never been hammered and resided in a collection of a French connoisseur for well over a decade.