When it comes to vintage Rolex, there are several subdivisions that each have their own devoted group of collectors. You have for example your “Paul Newman” Daytona’s, red-printed Submariners and Sea-Dwellers, and Day-Date’s with Stella dials. But among Rolex most coveted pieces are also their famed cloisonné enamel dials, such as fitted on this ref. 6085, nicknamed “The Dragon.”
The dial on this particular watch was made in collaboration with Stern Frères, the renowned dial makers of Geneva. Thanks to records well kept, we can even identify the enamel artist who created this particular dial as Mrs. Nelly Richard. When it comes to cloisonné enamel dials, she is somewhat of a legend, having created the dials for some of the most captivating pieces by Rolex, Omega, as well as other brands.
The beauty about a cloisonné enamel dials is the depth and subtlety of their color. When you look at the limbs and tail of the dragon you see that they are subtlety highlighted in a gradient tone. This exposes the hand of a master at work. The depth of the dial is even enhanced by the gold applique Arabic numerals, hour indexes, and Rolex crown.
To date, only five cloisonné enamel dials are featuring a dragon are known, yet each fitted on a different Rolex reference, making them, in essence, all unique pieces. This in more than one way, because of the multiple layers of enamel applied, and the different firing sequences, even the same image, created by the same artist, will never look the same. That is part of the charm of the very complex art that is cloisonné enamel.
Charming is also that this Rolex retained its original 18K gold bracelet. It adds to the originality of the watch, as well as its appearance. This Rolex ref. 6085 “The Dragon” was part of Philips November auction in 2016, in Geneva. The Rolex ref. 6085 “The Dragon” was estimated between CHF 500.000,- and 1.000.000,- and sold for CHF. 670.000,-