The words Rolex and complicated very rarely appear together. Rolex stands for professional watchmaking. Originally tools for purpose, elevated throughout the decades to objects of luxury. In all the coronet’s magnificent lore, there are only a handful of references that fall into the general definition of complicated. Offhand, there’s the recent Sky-Dweller, incredibly gorgeous 6062 (still waiting for a good stelline to feature), things like the 4113 split-seconds, one or two others, and this: the Jean-Claude Killy. Despite their scarcity, these efforts demonstrate Rolex sure knew how to pull together truly haute movements with grace. And this 6236 represents one of the shortest production, most significant, and most complicated Rolex references of all time.
French alpine skier Jean-Claude Killy took home a trifecta of golds in the 1968 Winter Olympics, a dominant force on the slopes. This skill rocketed the man to public consciousness and early 70s limelight. Rolex have a habit of sponsoring the most established athletes, whatever the discipline. This strategy was in play even then, and Killy was in fact a Rolex ambassador. Moreover, he was eventually on the board. And yet, the Rolex which bears his name has hardly been seen on his wrist. It is reported that Killy owned a 6236, but photographic evidence is slim. Nonetheless, the connection is now firm established and collectors rarely let a good name go free.
The Datocompax evolution is comprised of five references: 4768, 4767, 5036, 6036, and this 6236. All boasted a triple calendar and chronograph, all anti-magnetic, and some in Oyster cases. The run covered mid 1940s until the early 60s, or in Rolex years no time at all. This 6236 is the final evolution with a three-piece 36mm Oyster case, close 6s and 9s, and luminous hands. The 6236 was in production for four years but total numbers remain unknown. Despite the horological significance, these still trade hands well below top Daytona values and that alone should pique interest. Whatever intrinsic value one can say a half-million-dollar 1960s watch presents, this possesses.
This example is quite strong overall. Its case is full and has probably seen a light polish. Light surface wear is visible throughout. Its been worn and loved. It appears on a exansion-rivet bracelet with 71 endlinks. Its dial is spectacular, not refinished, and remarkably well-preserved. All printing is clear, no visible corrosion, and no signs of tampering. The sides of the indices being covered in a white paint that matches the dial is a not that they have not been removed, and mark of Rolex’s production at the time. Paint would be applied and polished off indice tops. It comes as part of Phillips new spring auctions.
Find this 6236 here as part of Phillips 2022 Geneva Auction XV set to hammer 7 May 2022 (estimated 265,000-531,000).