Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces

Monaco, Jul 19, 2022

LOT 308



The personal watch of René-Paul Jeanneret, Hans Wilsdorf’s right-hand man

EUR 30,000 - 50,000

USD 31,600 - 53,000 / HKD 248,000 - 414,000 / CHF 30,300 - 51,000

Sold: EUR 104,000

Extremely rare, very fine and historical, 18K yellow gold, manual winding, left-handed, vertical asymmetrical-shaped, gentleman's wristwatch with an integrated 18K yellow gold bracelet.

Reverse of the bracelet engraved: "N° 126 RENE P. JEANNERET VALLON 19 GENEVE".

Grading System
Case: 2-8

Very good

Slightly scratched

Movement: 2*

Very good

Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 2-01

Very good

HANDS Original

Brand Rolex, Geneva

Model "King Midas"

Reference 6930

Year circa 1970

Case No. 878 636

Material 18K yellow gold

Bracelet integrated 18K yellow gold Rolex bracelet with deployant clasp

Caliber 650

Height 27 mm.

Width 23 mm.

Weight 197 gr. (approx.)

Signature dial, case and movement


Rolex, “King Midas”, the personal watch of René-Paul Jeanneret

This lot is a milestone in Rolex history!

The Rolex “Midas” was named after the famous King, members of the royal house of Phrygia, immortalised in the Greek and Latin mythology, in Herodotus and Ovid writing. Son of Gordias, Midas was ruling Phrygia. The most famous story about him is time where he was gifted the ability to change everything he would touch into gold by Dionysus, who wanted to thank him for taking care of his friend and master, Silenus

Knowing this back story, it is easy to understand the name of this model, made of approximately 200 gr. of yellow gold. Designed as a Greek temple, the case being the front and the bracelet symbolising the columns, the model name is signed in Greek on the dial. It is part of the “Cellini” collection. Legend has it Gérald Genta (1931-2011) designed it. There is no tangible proof he did so. However, because he drew the Cellini, specialists would seem to agree he was indeed involved at some point for the Rolex “Midas” as well.

The provenance of the model we are presenting makes it a museum piece, because it belonged to René-Paul Jeanneret, as evidenced by the copy of the letter of his daughter.

The genius of Hans Wilsdorf (1881-1960) is to have understood the expectations of the modern man by creating first a wristwatch, then a waterproof and self-winding wristwatch.

René-Paul Jeanneret worked for Rolex from 1948 to 1978. Through his 30 years career at Rolex he was Hans Wilsdorf’s right-hand man. The two were very close even on a personal level, since, it would appear that Hans Wilsdorf was the godfather of Mr. Jeanneret’s daughter, Dominique.

Head of design and development, thanks to his network linked to the sport and art world, he set up the famous Rolex communication guideline. Passionate by diving – he was friend with Cousteau –, he took part in the creation of the “Submariner” with Hans Wilsdorf.

The wristwatch is engraved on the bracelet with his name and his address when living in Geneva.