Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces

Hong Kong, Apr 25, 2021

LOT 140

Ref. 1559, patented purse-watch, three-tone sector dial; “Sporting Prince” “Chronomètre”; 18K white gold and stainless steel

HKD 65,000 - 110,760

USD 8,300 - 14,280 / CHF 7,800 - 13,280

Sold: HKD 81,250

18K white gold and stainless steel, manual-winding, horizontal rectangular-shaped, purse-watch, with silver three-tone sector dial, with suspended Arabic numerals and subsidiary seconds at 3; with hinged central section allowing the watch to be used as a desk timepiece (“bed side clock” function).
Spring-loaded case, with guilloché (engine-turned) lines décor; patented sliding mechanism, with stainless steel inner case with spring suspension.

Grading System
Grade: AAA


Case: 2

Very good

Movement: 2*

Very good

Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 2-01

Very good

HANDS Original

Brand Rolex, Geneva

Model “Sporting Prince” “Chronomètre”; made for Verga, Rome (Italy)

Reference 1559

Year Circa 1930-1935

Case No. 2 451 (by Schmitz & Cie, Nidau; with Glasgow import marks for 1931-1932)

Caliber TS 300, 7’’’ ½, “Extra Prima”, “Observatory Quality”, lateral lever escapement, timed 6 positions (with stainless steel protective dust cap)

Dimensions 33.1 x 47.8 mm.

Signature dial, case and movement

Accessories stainless steel fine chain and “crocodile” clip


Rolex, “montre de sac”, “Sporting Princess” or “Sporting Prince”
The design of this purse-watch was invented by Hans Wilsdorf (1881-1960, the founder of Rolex, and registered in Switzerland on December 26, 1929. The patent was granted almost two years later. It employs simple and reliable closing mechanism and the “Prince” dial and movement.

Found in a variety of case finishes, plain silver, lacquer or reptile skin, these rare travel watches made by Rolex were prone to damage. This particular example retailed by Verga has remained in close to mint condition, with a particularly attractive two-tone “tuxedo”-style or “Prince” dial and an ever rarer 18K white gold case.