1930 silver vintage Rolex Prince ‘Brancard’ watch
A stunning early vintage silver Rolex Prince Brancard watch. The Brancard case (ref. 971u) measures 25 x 42 mm, is signed Rolex, 25 World’s Records, Geneva-Suisse RWCLtd. (Rolex Watch Company Ltd), hallmarked Glasgow 1930 and numbered. The Rolex movement is Observatory quality with 15 Rubies, Timed to 6 positions, For All Climates and numbered. The silvered two-tone dial has open black Arabic numerals with a large subsidiary seconds dial and fine blued steel hands. The dial is signed Rolex Prince above the centre.This is a very early fine example of the Rolex Prince.
The stylish Brancard case, which is flared and curved, is in wonderful condition. A real must-have for any watch enthusiast.
The Rolex Prince
The Rolex Prince with the two dials is often referred to as a ‘doctors watch’ or ‘duo-dial’. The large seconds dial enabling the wearer to time heart beats, etc more accurately.
The Rolex Prince was first produced in 1929 and it has a special movement, initially made by Aegler and Wilsdorf , when in 1927 a patent was filed for a “shaped watch movement with a seconds dial”. In this new watch the winding barrel and the balance wheel were at opposite ends of the movement allowing for a larger balance wheel and thus more accuracy. A larger winding barrel also meant that the watch could run for longer on a single wind. This allowed most Princes to be chronometer rated and most were indeed sold with a chronometer certificate.
The variation of the Prince models available, even though most movements were similar ( besides the rare Jump Hour model) the cases came in a few different shapes and metals. The Brancard case in silver, gold, platinum and stainless steel, also two colour and ‘tiger-stripe’, the Railway case with stepped sides and also a straight sided case design.
Rolex say there was a limited number of Prince watches ‘as such fine watches cannot be produced quickly or in large quantities’.