An extraordinarily rare and historic rose gold Rolex wristwatch from 1913, with an original porcelain dial which is in perfect condition! The case is double signed both ‘W&D’ and ‘Rolex’ just as it should be, as the watch was produced during the very earliest days of Rolex history. The two original partners were named Wilsdorf & Davis and traded under this name from 1905 onwards. In 1908 they registered the Rolex trademark, however, it was not until 1919 that the Rolex company as we know it today became properly established. This was when Hans Wilsdorf bought out his partner and moved the headquarters to 18 Rue du Marche, Geneva, and formed the manufacturing company, Montres Rolex S.A.
The dial is made of porcelain. The early dials of expensive watches were often made of porcelain because they suffer none of the effects of ageing such as fading, pitting and staining. Manufacturing a porcelain dial has always been a fine art, but this is seldom undertaken today, simply due to the expense and difficulties involved in the process. The example here is particularly fine, having sustained absolutely no damage during its 100 year life. Roman numerals with the ‘red 12’ were almost always used on these early watches and this example also has the minute indices highlighted in the form of yellow gold dots around the outer edge of the dial. The dial carries original blued steel hands and is signed ‘Rolex’. This is all in all, a highly legible and attractive dial.
The original 9ct rose gold case measures 28mm in diameter, excluding the crown, making this a medium-sized ladies watch by modern standards. The crown is correct for this watch and is unsigned, as was usual at the time. The watch case is double hinged to reveal the dial and the movement and the inside of the case is double signed with both the earlier ‘W&D’ Wilsdorf and Davies signature and the later ‘Rolex’ signature. It is also signed with the case serial number 552898 and the inside of the case-back also carries U.K. London 9ct hallmarks for 1913. The watch case is in tip-top condition with no scratches, dings or dimples visible to the naked eye. The integrity of the case and case hinges is first class. This is all quite amazing, considering this watch is over 100 years old.
As always our standard advice applies, vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
The original movement here is referred to as a Rolex Rebberg movement and it was this movement which helped establish Rolex and made the company famous. It was made by the Swiss Aegler company, with which Rolex formed a partnership. Rebberg is a Swiss district where the factory which produced these movements was located. The movement is a 15 Jewel, 10 1/2 Ligne, meaning this is the mid-size Rolex Rebburg movement, which is identical in design to its larger 13 ligne sibling which was found in full-size Officer’s watches of the same period. The movement is properly signed ‘Rolex’ and ‘Swiss Made’.
As part of the restoration of this watch, the movement has been overhauled and serviced by our vintage watch specialist watchmaker. This involves dismantling the watch to all its component parts and careful inspection under high magnification, then replacement where necessary with only original parts and careful reassembly and adjustment.
Please note, Rolex watches of this period are reliable and accurate by the standards of their day. However, they need to be treated with some care, so while perfectly suited for special occasions, we would not recommend this watch for everyday use.
The Strap & Buckle
A new high quality, Black ‘Croc’ leather strap has been fitted. Please note, we feel this strap matches the watch nicely, however, if a different colour or style of strap is preferred, please let us know and we will do our best to oblige free of charge. We carry tan, conker, dark brown and black in stock in plain padded leather, and crocodile skin or lizard skin. However, we can also obtain most types and colours at short notice.
The Box and Papers
Although there are no original papers with this watch, all the numbers and markings on the watch are correct, dating the watch to 1913. A detailed ‘Particulars’ document will be included in the sale, along with our detailed receipt and 12 months Warranty*. A separate insurance valuation for the replacement value of this watch will also be provided at the time of sale, along with our unique ‘Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee’ which states: “If at any time, this watch proves to be anything less than totally authentic, or not as described, Vintage Gold Watches of London will offer you a full refund at any time”.
The Rolex Green Velvet purse shown in the photographs is included with the watch.
This is a beautiful example of a very early Rolex which is in remarkable mechanical and cosmetic condition which will make an excellent investment as well as something to wear, use, treasure and enjoy. Vintage Rolex prices have risen markedly of late, but we still feel fine and special examples such as this are undervalued. As each year goes by and the world market for vintage watches expands and availability becomes more limited, so prices are surely destined to climb ever higher!
A word about our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very highest quality watches we can find, before restoring these to the highest possible standards. We then offer these at the fairest prices we can, taking into account our pre and post sales care and service. This approach inevitably means we will never be the cheapest, but nor will we be the most expensive. Indeed there are a number of well-known stores in West London which are very successful, charging between two to three times the price you see here. We therefore consider our prices to be fair, given the quality of watches we have to offer.
We are happy to accept Paypal as this is the quickest method of payment. However, if you wish to pay by bank transfer, we will be pleased to pass on a 3% transaction saving to you. Similarly, if you wish to pay by International SWIFT or International Bank Wire Transfer, we will provide you with our BIC / Swift number and our IBAN number.
Please note we welcome part exchanges and if you have a watch or small collection for sale, please contact us as we will be happy to discuss this.
We will be happy to Service, Repair or Restore your watch, all at ‘sensible’ prices. Please see here.
If you have any questions, please call our landline 020 7727 7095 or mobile 07515 949 250 or if calling from overseas our landline number is +44 207 727 7095 or mobile +44 7515 949 250.
We await your call! We will be happy to answer any questions and offer advice about this or any of our watches listed for sale. If you would like some general advice regarding any aspect of vintage watches, including buying, selling, or collecting, we will also be very happy to hear from you.
Finally, please enjoy some time spent viewing our other fine Vintage Gold Watches!