1920s 9ct gold cushion vintage Rolex Oyster watch (3967)
An early cushion 9ct gold vintage Rolex Oyster watch. The case measures 32 x 32 mm, and has an Oyster patent winding crown. The case is signed Rolex, RWC Ltd. (Rolex Watch Company Limited), 20 Worlds Records, hallmarked Glasgow 1929, and numbered. The Rolex Prima manual wind movement has 15 jewels, Timed to 6 Positions, For all Climates and numbered. The two-tone silvered dial has black Arabic numerals, with a subsidiary seconds dial and fine blued steel ‘Breguet’ style hands. The dial is signed Rolex Oyster above the centre.
A wonderful example of the early iconic Rolex Oyster watch!
The Rolex Oyster
Following the end of World War I, global trading resumed and Rolex watches were being sent abroad, particularly to the the hot and humid tropical countries of the British Empire. Many of the watches were found to have rusted on arrival following a long damp voyage!
Hans Wilsdorf (co-founder of Rolex) was determined to produce a ‘water-proof’ watch and commented;
“We must succeed in making a watch case so tight that our movements will be permanently guaranteed against damage caused by dust, perspiration, heat and cold. Only then will the perfect accuracy of the Rolex watch be secured.”
The Rolex Oyster watch was produced a few years later in 1926 with a ‘three-piece’ case, (the front and back screwing into the body). An iconic design that has become probably the best selling waterproof wristwatch.
The ‘Oyster’ name was registered in 1926, an inspiration of Wilsdorf when he struggled to open an oyster at dinner.