Rolex: A Brief History

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Rolex, now known for crafting some of the world’s finest timepieces, once began as a London-based timepiece distributor named Wilsdorf and Davis.

Hans Eberhand Wilsdorf, the son of German ironmongers, founded the company in 1905, alongside friend and partner, Alred James Davis. Wilsdorf’s mission was to elevate the contemporary wristwatch by enhancing the precision of its movement. To do so, Wilsdorf introduced small and precise Swiss movements into his timepieces, establishing a niche for reliable wristwatches.

Three years after its founding, in 1908, the company would be renamed Rolex. There is much speculation as to how the founders landed on such a name. But to put it simply, Wilsdorf said “I tried combining the letters of the alphabet in every possible way. This gave me some hundred names, but none of them felt quite right. One morning, while riding on the upper deck of a horse-drawn omnibus along Cheapside in the City of London, a genie whispered ‘Rolex’ in my ear.” By 1919, the company had relocated to the watchmaking capital of the world, Geneva, where Montres Rolex S.A. was registered. Over the next several years, Rolex would continue to gain recognition for its engineering, including the first Swiss Certificate of Chronometric Precision to be awarded to a wristwatch. From its founding, the firm would continue to introduce generation after generation of advanced timepieces.

The Submariner:

Some of Rolex’s greatest innovations include the Submariner. The Submariner, in conjunction with the Explorer, was introduced in the early 1950s, marking the firm’s new focus on sport. The Submariner, which was designed for divers, was the first of its kind to reach depths of 100 meters. This innovation would mark new standards for diver’s watches.

Clars will be offering an early Rolex small crown Submariner wristwatch, reference 6205, on May 19th at their Fine Jewelry & Timepiece Sale.


An early Rolex small crown Submariner wristwatch, ref 6205.
An early Rolex small crown Submariner wristwatch, ref 6205.

The timepiece, reference number 6205, is an early model of the Rolex Submariner. It was produced only second to 6204, and was later followed by 6200. Reference 6205 is one of three early models produced in 1954, including reference numbers 6204 and 6200. Although reference 6205 was produced the same year as 6204 and 6200, it quickly ceased production, while other models continued to enter the market. These early models marked the beginning of a 60+ year evolution of the Submariner.

References 6204, 6200 and 6205, share major aesthetic differences from their later counterparts, marking a major shift in its design progression. Reference 6205, was one of the first models to display the name ‘Submariner’. The dial does not feature the Submariner’s now iconic Mercedes hands, but pencil hands which are sought-after by collectors. Reference 6205 is considered ‘small crown’, as models today are easily identified by their oversized crown, a feature beginning with reference 6200. The watch remains intact with its original riveted Rolex Oyster bracelet.

The Daytona Chronograph:

Rolex continued its innovation surrounding sport with its introduction of the Daytona Chronograph in 1963. The timepiece was designed to meet the needs of race car drivers, allowing them to gauge average speed and track elapsed time.

Clars will be offering a Rolex Daytona Chronograph wristwatch, reference 6263, on May 19th at their Fine Jewelry & Timepiece Sale.


A Rolex Daytona chronograph wristwatch, ref. 6263.
A Rolex Daytona chronograph wristwatch, ref. 6263.

This Daytona Cosmograph, reference no. 6263, began production in the early 1970s. Reference 6263, was the first model to be fitted with screw-down pushers, allowing for water protection up to 100 meters. Reference no. 6263, is one of the last to include a manually wound Valjoux movement. In 1988, the watches were equipped with automatic movements. This early model features a unique black dial, lacking the ‘Daytona’ name, but signed ‘Rolex Oyster Cosmograph’, marking the early evolution of the watch.

In its 110+ years, Rolex has pushed the advancement of timepieces. Some of these advancements include the waterproof capabilities of the Submariner, and the elegantly designed chronograph of the Daytona. Both models, developed in the mid-20th century, have undergone later evolutions, marking the timelessness of their designs.

Read More

NFT Workshop

Clars is excited to partner with MoPAr on an NFT workshop May 25th at 11AM PST. What is an NFT and How Do NFTs work?

  • Stories & News

May Highlights

The May sale will feature a Spring Fine Jewelry and Timepiece Sale on May 19th, with general auctions to follow on the 21st and 22nd.

  • Stories & News

五月拍卖精品一览
Featured May Highlights

Browse some exciting Fine Jewelry, Timepiece and Asian Art lots that will be available for bidding this month!

  • Stories & News

Girl with Candy on NBC

NBC media interview with Senior Fine Art Specialist Alexa Malvino, on the incredible results of the photograph Girl with Candy.

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Spring Fine Jewelry & Timepiece Sale Highlights

Clars will hold its Spring Fine Jewelry & Timepiece Sale on May 19th, 10AM PST.

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五月拍卖精品一览
Featured May Highlights

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Clars拍卖行将于5月19日10时举办春季精品珠宝名表拍卖。此次精选跨越百年呈现一系列钻石宝石首饰、品牌设计珠宝以及精致名表,汇集了卡地亚、蒂凡尼、梵克雅宝、Seaman Schepps、法贝热等名家风采。详情敬请点击这里浏览完整图录,欢迎通过以下联系方式垂询。Lauren Della Croce:[email protected] Yao Jiang 江湛瑶:[email protected] 微信:yaoj423

Clars will hold its Spring Fine Jewelry & Timepiece Sale on May 19th, 10AM PST. The collection includes a wide selection of diamond, colored gemstone and signed jewelry spanning over a century. Maker’s such as Cartier, Tiffany & Co, Van Cleef & Arpels, Seaman Schepps, Fabergé, Rolex and more are represented in the dynamic collection. To view the full catalog, please visit here. For inquiries, please reach out to Lauren Della Croce at [email protected] and Yao Jiang at [email protected] or WeChat yaoj423.

Clars拍卖行5月22日(星期日)拍卖会将呈现多件精品亚洲艺术品,拍品将包括瓷器,玉石,家具,书画,绣品,金属制品,以及各类杂项。点击这里浏览完整图录。拍卖垂询Harry Huang 黄曦 [email protected] 及Megan Ma 马艺铭 [email protected] (微信mayiming0723)。

The May 22nd sale at Clars will offer numerous highlights from the Asian Art Department include porcelains, jade and stones, furniture, paintings, embroideries, metalwork, among others. To view the full catalog, please visit here. For inquiries, please reach out to Harry Huang at [email protected] and Megan Ma at [email protected] or WeChat mayiming0723.


A 2.03 Carats Fancy Blue VVS2 Modified Rectangular Step Cut Diamond.
2.03克拉混合长方形阶梯切割彩蓝VVS钻石
A 2.03 Carats Fancy Blue VVS2 Modified Rectangular Step Cut Diamond.
Chinese cloisonné enamel conjoined moon flask vase.
景泰蓝双联山水花鸟长颈抱
Chinese cloisonné enamel conjoined moon flask vase.
A 7.67 carats Colombian emerald and diamond.
7.67克拉哥伦比亚祖母绿及钻石戒指
A 7.67 carats Colombian emerald and diamond ring.
Chinese white jade pendant plaque.
清代白玉梅花珮饰
Chinese white jade pendant plaque.
An early Rolex small crown Submariner wristwatch, ref 6205.
初代劳力士小表冠潜航者腕表, 型号6205
An early Rolex small crown Submariner wristwatch, ref 6205.
Chinese archaistic russet jade plaque.
仿古玉牌
Chinese archaistic russet jade plaque.
A Rolex Daytona chronograph wristwatch, ref. 6263.
劳力士迪通拿宇宙型计时腕表,型号6263
A Rolex Daytona chronograph wristwatch, ref. 6263.
Chinese white jade brush washer.
白玉雕桃型小笔洗
Chinese white jade brush washer.
A ruby, diamond and eighteen karat white gold brooch.
红宝石及钻石18K白金胸针
A ruby, diamond and eighteen karat white gold brooch.
Pair of Chinese famille rose fish bowls.
粉彩鱼缸一对
Pair of Chinese famille rose fish bowls.
A sapphire and eighteen karat gold ring, Cartier.
蓝宝石18K黄金“猎豹”戒指,卡地亚设计
A sapphire and eighteen karat gold ring, Cartier.
Chinese embroidered blue-ground ‘dragon’ robe.
蓝底龙纹绣袍
Chinese embroidered blue-ground ‘dragon’ robe.
A pair of sapphire, diamond and platinum earrings.
一对蓝宝石及钻石铂金耳坠
A pair of sapphire, diamond and platinum earrings.
Kawase Hasui, woodblock print, Zojo-ji Temple in Shiba.
川濑巴水,木刻版画,《东京二十景 – 芝增上寺》
Kawase Hasui, woodblock print, Zojo-ji Temple in Shiba.
An eighteen karat gold necklace, Seaman Schepps.
18K黄金项链,Seaman Schepps 设计
An eighteen karat gold necklace, Seaman Schepps.
Chinese celadon jade footed water coupe.
青玉水盂
Chinese celadon jade footed water coupe.
A pair of ruby and diamond earrings.
一对红宝石及钻石耳坠
A pair of ruby and diamond earrings.
Set of three Chinese white jade scepter plaques.
白玉浮雕葫芦牌(一组三个)
Set of three Chinese white jade scepter plaques.
Art Deco diamond and black chalcedony brooch.
装饰艺术时期钻石及黑玉髓胸针
Art Deco diamond and black chalcedony brooch.
Chinese white jade pendant.
白玉吉祥结珮饰
Chinese white jade pendant.

Read More

NFT Workshop

Clars is excited to partner with MoPAr on an NFT workshop May 25th at 11AM PST. What is an NFT and How Do NFTs work?

  • Stories & News

May Highlights

The May sale will feature a Spring Fine Jewelry and Timepiece Sale on May 19th, with general auctions to follow on the 21st and 22nd.

  • Stories & News

Rolex: A Brief History

Clars will be offering two extraordinary Rolex wristwatches at the Spring Fine Jewelry & Timepiece Sale on May 19th.

  • Stories & News

Girl with Candy on NBC

NBC media interview with Senior Fine Art Specialist Alexa Malvino, on the incredible results of the photograph Girl with Candy.

  • Stories & News

Spring Fine Jewelry & Timepiece Sale Highlights

Clars will hold its Spring Fine Jewelry & Timepiece Sale on May 19th, 10AM PST.

  • Stories & News

Spring Fine Jewelry & Timepiece Sale Highlights

  • Stories & News

Clars will hold its Spring Fine Jewelry & Timepiece Sale on May 19th, 10AM PST.

The collection includes a wide selection of diamond, colored gemstone and signed jewelry spanning over a century. Maker’s such as Cartier, Tiffany & Co, Seaman Schepps, Fabergé, Rolex and more are represented in the dynamic collection.


An early Rolex small crown Submariner wristwatch, ref 6205.
An early Rolex small crown Submariner wristwatch, ref 6205.
A 2.03 Carats Fancy Blue VVS2 Modified Rectangular Step Cut Diamond.
A 2.03 Carats Fancy Blue VVS2 Modified Rectangular Step Cut Diamond.
A 7.67 carats Colombian emerald and diamond.
A 7.67 carats Colombian emerald and diamond ring.
An eighteen karat gold necklace, Seaman Schepps.
An eighteen karat gold necklace, Seaman Schepps.
A Rolex Daytona chronograph wristwatch, ref. 6263.
A Rolex Daytona chronograph wristwatch, ref. 6263.

Read More

NFT Workshop

Clars is excited to partner with MoPAr on an NFT workshop May 25th at 11AM PST. What is an NFT and How Do NFTs work?

  • Stories & News

May Highlights

The May sale will feature a Spring Fine Jewelry and Timepiece Sale on May 19th, with general auctions to follow on the 21st and 22nd.

  • Stories & News

Rolex: A Brief History

Clars will be offering two extraordinary Rolex wristwatches at the Spring Fine Jewelry & Timepiece Sale on May 19th.

  • Stories & News

五月拍卖精品一览
Featured May Highlights

Browse some exciting Fine Jewelry, Timepiece and Asian Art lots that will be available for bidding this month!

  • Stories & News

Girl with Candy on NBC

NBC media interview with Senior Fine Art Specialist Alexa Malvino, on the incredible results of the photograph Girl with Candy.

  • Stories & News

How to Care For Your Jewelry

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The beauty of jewelry can last hundreds, even thousands of years if loved and cared for properly.

These attractive gemstones and precious metals are built into everyday forms, intended to withstand wear. There are simple steps you can take to ensure the safety and care of their precious jewels. This article will review simple at-home steps you can take to ensure the sparkle and longevity of their pieces.


Cleaning:

Gemstones were cut to sparkle, so it is important to keep jewelry clean. With over 3,000 species of gemstones, it is important to take note of which gemstones one has in their possession, and what sort of care they require.

Left: A Retro aquamarine, diamond and platinum pendant brooch.<br>Right: A pair of gemstone and fourteen karat gold earrings.
Left: A Retro aquamarine, diamond and platinum pendant brooch.
Right: A pair of gemstone and fourteen karat gold earrings.

Clean by hand:

Diamonds are famous for their brilliance, and ironically, heavily attract grease. Therefore it is important to be diligent about keeping diamonds clean in order for them to sparkle. Specialized jewelry cleanings products are not necessary to accomplish this. A household grease cutter, such as non-fragranced Dawn dish detergent in warm water, following by a soft-bristled toothbrush, will help to get the diamonds’ sparkle back. Make sure to also scrub underneath the diamond and in-between prongs.


A fancy light yellow and platinum diamond ring.
A fancy light yellow and platinum diamond ring.

For durable gemstones such as sapphires or rubies, which are still relatively less durable than diamonds, the same process but with a mild non-fragranced hand soap will do the trick.


Left: A pair of multi-hued sapphire and eighteen karat gold earclips.<br>Right: A pair of ruby, diamond and platinum earrings.
Left: A pair of multi-hued sapphire and eighteen karat gold earclips.
Right: A pair of ruby, diamond and platinum earrings.

For relatively soft gemstones, which are highly porous, such as emeralds, opals, and pearls, special care must be taken. The content of moisture is essential to for the gemstones to remain intact and retain their beauty. Dehydrating a gemstone like these can result in crazing, cracks or even breakage. Do not utilize abrasive products that include alcohol or grease cutters. This can reduce moisture in these stones, causing irreversible damage. When cleaning these jewels, use warm water with a household non-fragranced hand soap on a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean the setting around the stone.


Left: A black opal, diamond and eighteen karat white gold ring.<br>Right: A Tahitian black South Sea pearl necklace.
Left: A black opal, diamond and eighteen karat white gold ring.
Right: A Tahitian black South Sea pearl necklace.

Ultrasonic cleaners:

With so many personal and at-home adaptions of the ultrasonic cleaner available on the market, it may be a tempting purchase. However, not all ultrasonic cleaners are considered equal. Most commercial level ultrasonic cleaners can risk shaking gemstones loose from their mountings, risking a sparkly gemstone going down the drain! It is best to wash by hand in a contained space. Or, stop by the original retailer and ask for a quick cleaning!

Over 90% of the gemstones on the market have received some form of treatment to enhance their beauty. It is important to be informed about the treatment associated with the stones. Specifically, know (or assume) that your emerald is fracture-filled and do not place it in the ultrasonic cleaner. Fillers, which help enhanced the clarity (and color in some cases) of the gemstone can shake loose.


A pair of Colombian emerald, diamond and platinum earrings.
A pair of Colombian emerald, diamond and platinum earrings.

Polishing:

A loved piece of jewelry will eventually appear worn, with hundreds of little light scuffs and scratches. This is easily reconciled with a touch of metal polish. A standard metal polish, such as Noxon, can revive the brightness of the metal. Use a microfiber cloth to do the buffing. Be mindful that every time a piece is polished, a little bit of metal is removed from the piece. So it is important not to over polish. You should also be mindful about vintage and antique jewelry. An old patina is something that takes years to form and carries the beauty of history. Be sure to contemplate what you find attractive before taking out the metal polish.


Left: A fourteen karat gold bracelet.<br>Right: A Georgian diamond and silver brooch.
Left: A fourteen karat gold bracelet.
Right: A Georgian diamond and silver brooch.

Storage:

Storage is important to maintain the integrity of jewelry. Consider factors such as form, materials, and the characteristics of the gemstones. Always be sure that precious materials are not stored with non-precious materials. Gold will not normally tarnish, however if that gold bracelet is stored next to some loose change, that metal will eventually turn! For costume jewelry, it is important to keep the area clean and dry to avoid tarnishing.

Separate gemstones. Gemstones of differing hardness can cause damage to one another when rubbed together. To prevent your sapphires from chipping your emeralds, or your diamonds and chipping your diamonds, keep them separated. A nice and easy way to prevent this is to individually store your jewelry in plastic bags. However, best to keep your pearls in linen to prevent deterioration.

A little bit of tender love and care can make a jewelry collection last generations. Be sure to understand what you have, what its needs are, and take the time for care for them. And when in doubt, ask a professional!

Read More

NFT Workshop

Clars is excited to partner with MoPAr on an NFT workshop May 25th at 11AM PST. What is an NFT and How Do NFTs work?

  • Stories & News

May Highlights

The May sale will feature a Spring Fine Jewelry and Timepiece Sale on May 19th, with general auctions to follow on the 21st and 22nd.

  • Stories & News

Rolex: A Brief History

Clars will be offering two extraordinary Rolex wristwatches at the Spring Fine Jewelry & Timepiece Sale on May 19th.

  • Stories & News

五月拍卖精品一览
Featured May Highlights

Browse some exciting Fine Jewelry, Timepiece and Asian Art lots that will be available for bidding this month!

  • Stories & News

Girl with Candy on NBC

NBC media interview with Senior Fine Art Specialist Alexa Malvino, on the incredible results of the photograph Girl with Candy.

  • Stories & News

The Significance of Origin: Rubies

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A gemstone is defined by its beauty. Factors such as size, shape, cut and color all assist in defining a gemstone’s beauty. The most influential of which is color. The ruby, a variety of corundum, is defined by its red hue component. Rubies can range from orangey red to purplish red in color. Among this wide range, the finest rubies show a pure red to slightly purplish red, enhanced by vivid saturation. Many imaginative names have been used to describe a ruby’s color. The most notable being ‘pigeon’s blood’. This term characterizes the red fluorescence sometimes displayed in a ruby or ‘freshly killed pigeon’.

A 4.02 Carats Burmese Ruby and Diamond Ring.
For Sale Thursday, February 17th 2022 at 10AM PST

Although production can vary greatly even within an individual mine, some sources have become synonymous with a particular color and quality. The Mogok region of Myanmar, formerly Burma, produces ‘Burmese’ rubies. This is one of the world’s most important sources for fine rubies. These stones typically rest at the top of the market, often displaying exceptional color and quality. They typically show a red to slightly purplish red hue, vivid saturation and medium-dark tone. They often display a signature red fluorescence and a softness that is a result of internal inclusions. The most exceptional examples of Burmese rubies display a red hue and vivid saturation in addition to its softness and fluorescence.

The ruby market is also shared with the mines of Thailand and Cambodia. These sources produce ‘Thai’ or ‘Pailin’ rubies. They can show a pure red, but typically fall in the range of brownish red to purplish red, with a medium-dark to very dark tone. These stones often face up relatively dark as they commonly display areas of extinction.

Since its discovery in recent decades, the Mozambique mines of Africa, have become the world’s leading supplier of rubies. The introduction of these stones, which tend to range from purplish red to red, sometimes with a tint of orange, have forced the trade’s language to adjust. The Gemological Institute of America is now utilizing terms such as ‘crimson’, a slightly purplish red and ‘scarlet’, a red reflecting an orange tint, to characterize these increasingly common stones.

Many factors contribute to the beauty of a gemstone, including size, shape and cut. Nevertheless, color and origin, which are often tied together, remain the most important.

Read More

NFT Workshop

Clars is excited to partner with MoPAr on an NFT workshop May 25th at 11AM PST. What is an NFT and How Do NFTs work?

  • Stories & News

May Highlights

The May sale will feature a Spring Fine Jewelry and Timepiece Sale on May 19th, with general auctions to follow on the 21st and 22nd.

  • Stories & News

Rolex: A Brief History

Clars will be offering two extraordinary Rolex wristwatches at the Spring Fine Jewelry & Timepiece Sale on May 19th.

  • Stories & News

五月拍卖精品一览
Featured May Highlights

Browse some exciting Fine Jewelry, Timepiece and Asian Art lots that will be available for bidding this month!

  • Stories & News

Girl with Candy on NBC

NBC media interview with Senior Fine Art Specialist Alexa Malvino, on the incredible results of the photograph Girl with Candy.

  • Stories & News