Prototype « small Daytona »
It is estimated that about 1.750 Daytona of the 6240 reference 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 of Rolex’s clients for a true waterproof Daytona. The manufacture went through an iteration process explaning the 3 dial variants.
Initially at the end of 1965, Rolex decided to take the existing Daytona ref. 6239 and fit it with some new screw-down pushers « millerighe » (in italian « thousand lines ») by sawing the case. The rest of the 6240 is perfectly identical to the 6239 (« small Daytona dial » = type 1) with either 6h tritium dot on the « W » of « T SWISS T » for serial 1.2m or below the « T SWISS T » for serial 1.4m (which is the case of the present timepiece).
In late 1966 the 6239 dial featured a « large Daytona » (type 2) so are all the 6240 of that period. It is still not waterproof. The serial for that dial type is 1.4m to 1.6m. By mid 1967, the watch is finally waterproof and Rolex decided to celebrate this achievement by a new dial for the 6240 adding the word « Oyster »! This is the type 3 dial of 6240 and one year after (1969) this very same dial will be used for the launch of Rolex’s best seller: the Daytona 6263. Serial should (always conditional with Rolex) be exclusively 1.6m for this type 3 dial.
It should be noted that Rolex only communicated officially on the reference 6240 once it managed to achieve the waterproof. Hence only the type 3 dial was officially displayed for this reference on advertizing making timepieces with type 1 and type 2 dials true prototypes.
Serial: 1.439.xxx (1966)
Dial: flawless type 1 « small Daytona » dial with a shinny silver finish called « argenté » by collectors. The positionning of the luminous at 6h below the « T SWISS T » is matching the 1.4m serial. The thin hand for second on the 9 o’clock subregister is also typical and original for this reference. Tritium luminous all react well under the UV test (glow green & vanish quickly) for both dots and hands.
Case: very thick proportions and sharp beveled edges with satin finish still visible. Distance of the holes from the edges is large & equidistant. The caseback is engraved 6239 as most 6240.
Pushers: original MK0 « millerighe » matching the period
Mouvement: Valjoux 722 also matching the 1.4m serial
Bracelet: oyster bracelet 7205, clasp 1 69.
Box & Papers: Rolex presentation box.
A rare reference which is still undervalued compared with the 6263 Big Red given its historical importance and the major production number difference.
PRICE: 89.000 EUR