ROLEX Daytona
Prototype « Oyster Alpina » tropical dial
Ref. 6240

It is estimated that about 1.750 Daytona of the reference 6240 were ever produced. It was the only Daytona reference produced in just 1 metal (steel). The reason is simple: the 6240 is a true prototype. It was made to answer the demand from Rolex’s clients for a true waterproof Daytona. The manufacture went through an iteration process explaning the main 3 dial variants but also the even rarer « Solo » and « Oyster Alpina » dials.

At the end of 1965, Rolex decided to use as a base its existing Daytona reference 6239 and fit it with some new screw-down pushers « millerighe » (in italian « thousand lines ») by sawing the case. As Rolex progressed in its prototyping iterations the brand’s dialmaker Singer made some different dials to anticipate the success of making the 6240 waterproof. This is one of the explanation for these exceedingly rare « Oyster Alpina » dials with the key word « OYSTER » added below the usual « Rolex Cosmograph » inscription. Only very few have surfaced so far and this one is similar to the one auctioned at Phillips’ « Start-Stop-Reset » in May2016.

It should be noted that Rolex only communicated officially on the reference 6240 once it managed to achieve the waterproof. This happened a year later during the 1.6m serial (1967) and Rolex chose then to feature the 6240 with another and definitive 3 lines dial from Singer also used for the early 6263s.

Serial: 1.29x.xxx (1966)

Dial:  not only this dial configuration is extremely rare but the subdials have turned into a microscope checked natural brown color named « tropical ». Tritium luminous have aged as they should during most tropicalisation. They all react well under the UV test (glow green & vanish quickly) for both dots and hands.The positionning of the luminous at 6h below the « T SWISS T » is matching the late 1.2m serial.

Case: sharp and has retained its original proportions. Distance of the holes from the edges is large & equidistant. The caseback is engraved 6239 as most of the early 6240.

Pushers: original MK0 « millerighe » matching the period and original large crown with no dots

Mouvement: Valjoux 72B and 5 lines engraved on the bridge are matching for the 1.2m serial

Bracelet: oyster bracelet 7205, clasp 1 69.

Box & Papers: Rolex service card and invoice. Presentation box.

A rare bird for its reference but even more so for the natural warm tropical brown.