1920s 9ct rose gold octagonal vintage Rolex Oyster watch (4035)
An extremely early 9ct rose gold octagonal vintage Rolex Oyster watch. The case, with a knurled front bezel, measures 32 x 34 mm (excluding lugs). The case is signed RWC Ltd (Rolex Watch Company Limited), Rolex 7 World’s Records, hallmarked Glasgow 1927. The Rolex Extra Prima manual wind movement is signed, with 15 jewels, timed to 3 positions, for all climates. The crown having an ‘Oyster Patent’. The guilloche (silvered, engine-turned) 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 seconds dial.
A truly stunning early example of the iconic Rolex Oyster wristwatch!
The Rolex Oyster watch
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.