Hong Kong, May 29, 2022

LOT 351

Ref. 8788, lady’s wristwatch, gold and varicoloured leather bracelets; “Precision” “Chameleon”; 18K yellow gold

HKD 24,900 - 41,500

EUR 3,000 - 5,000 / CHF 3,200 - 5,300 / USD 3,200 - 5,300


Sold: HKD 30,000

18K yellow gold, manual-winding, round-shaped, small lady’s wristwatch, with fluted case-band, snap-on case-back.

Grading System
Grade: AAA


Case: 3


Movement: 3*


Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 3-01


HANDS Original

Brand Rolex, Geneva

Model  “Precision” “Chameleon”

Reference 8788

Year circa 1955-1960

Movement No. unnumbered

Case No. unnumbered (by Manufacture Favre & Perret, La Chaux-de-Fonds)

Material 18K yellow gold

Bracelet 18K yellow gold bracelet à mailles milanaises (mesh links)

Diameter 15.8 mm. (approx.)

Caliber 6’’’

Weight 44.6 gr. (approx.; with the gold bracelet)

Signature dial, case and movement

Accessories five leather Rolex straps (pink No. 345; green No. 432; yellow-brown No. 489; white No. 572; chocolate-brown No. 771), two Rolex gilded brass buckles and four additional velvet straps (black; turquoise; green; yellow)


Rolex “Chameleon”

This unusual lady’s wristwatch was launched by Rolex in the early 1950’s and remained in production until the 70’s. The model allows the user to change the leather strap almost instantly from one colour to another.

At the time, Rolex promoted the model in America as:

“… the only watch in the world with a WARDROBE. You dress for luncheon … your Chamaleon dresses to match. You change for dinner … so does your Chameleon. Because Chameleon has interchangeable straps. (You can have as many as twenty-eight different colors and materials!) But, quick change artist though it is, this distinctive 18Kt. gold Rolex never varies in accuracy. At the finest Jewelers only.”

The Rolex “Chameleon” was offered in a wide variety of models and was very popular at the time. It is found with round, square or navette-shaped cases, some set with brilliant-cut diamonds.

In many ways the Apple Watch which has a similar feature is reminiscent of this mid-century modern masterpiece.