Rarer than the silver dial, is its black alternative. This is a common thread that runs through these Pre-Daytona models: the rarity and quality of the black dials has proven to be a significant draw for collectors over the years. According to Edmond Saran, of Le Monde Edmond, these black dialled 6034s were often glossy, with gilt lettering. Glossy and gilt are two words most vintage Rolex collectors love to hear. Saran also points out, in his various detailed articles on these watches, that the lettering was applied in an unusual and difficult way. He observes that the Rolex signature and the scales around the outside of the dial are not simply printed on a black lacquered background, but are rather applied underneath and shine through in negative relief. As Christie’s point out in one of their catalogues, “such lacquered black dials must be regarded as the ultimate state of the art in dial manufacturing.”
Now, let’s take a look at the next progression in the Pre-Daytona family, the 6234. It’s another one of those references that doesn’t get much attention from the general public, or get frequently shared on social media, but does nevertheless achieve strong prices at auction when the right examples come up. Rolex started its production in 1955, and wrapped things up in 1961, with an estimated total of 2,300 made in steel, and two karat weights of yellow gold. We spoke with Teddy Dewitte, a collector, dealer and Pre-Daytona enthusiast. According to Dewitte, who has managed to collect a large amount of data on these rare references, Rolex made 2,250 in steel, 36 in 18k yellow gold and 108 in 14k yellow gold. This just goes to show just how rare it can be to find these in gold and in good condition.