An Ultra-Rare Asymmetrical Yellow Gold Triangular Rolex

9:53 AM

Asymmetrical Yellow Gold 1960s Rolex 79412 (photo: Phillips)
A watch that looks like it came straight out of a 1960s science fiction movie, the asymmetrical yellow gold Rolex in the photo above is an ultra-rare example of the watchmaker stepping out of their classical aesthetic. This creation came at a time when watchmakers were experimenting with modern designs. Due to a lack of commercial success, they have become anomalies as far as vintage Rolex watches go. 

In the catalog entry for the Phillips auction where it was up presented last year in Geneva, this piece and the three others in this collection (shown below) were described as unicorns. Designed and executed by a French goldsmith, this group of watches was auctioned in Geneva in 1987 and were presented for auction again last year. Their futuristic lines and unique shapes are not for the timid, catering to the sensibilities of artists and those with an affinity for modernity. 

Set of 4 Asymmetrical Yellow Gold Rolex Watches (photo: Phillips)
What I find interesting about this lot of vintage Rolex watches is that they still appear futuristic even half a century after their creation. They came to the world during the space race of the 1960s, when countries were racing to get to the moon and beyond. What these watches lack in practicality they make up for in charm, evoking an era when society was focused on achieving the impossible. They may not have been a commercial success, but these unique wristwatches prove that companies like Rolex are willing to take risks. We will have to wait for Baselworld 2017 to see what risks they are willing to take in this century. 

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