Here we have the most elegant 1950s gentleman’s Rolex Oyster Perpetual dress watch with a charming unrestored dial. The original unrestored Dauphine hands pair beautifully with the dial and the applied spearhead hour indices. The absence of a date function contributes to a perfectly balanced dial, crowned of course with the perennial Rolex Coronet at 12 o’clock. The early fluted bezel here is much gentler than the later bezels which seem to get deeper and more pronounced with every passing decade.
Very rarely do we find an original unrestored dial which is in so close to ideal or perfect condition, i.e. no crazing, pitting or water staining. When we do find such a dial, we may, on balance, decide to leave it untouched, rather than restore it. This is just such a dial which has only the slightest signs of ageing in the form of some very even fading across the dial and the faintest signs of spotting. To our eyes, this does not detract from the look of the watch, but is in keeping with its age and character. In fact, we feel it adds charm and this is the reason we have left it alone. This was originally a sunburst (yellow) dial but rather than fade, this dial has turned a richer and altogether more attractive colour, like a setting sun, in fact! Please note, however, this dial has not been restored and therefore is not in perfect condition. You can compare this with other Oyster Perpetuals on this site and elsewhere with original and restored sunburst dials, to see which you prefer.
We have also left the original Dauphine hands alone as these are also in fantastic condition, considering the age of the watch. We feel the wearer will prefer this, rather than bright polished hands, when the watch is on the wrist.
Incidentally please do take a close look at all of the photographs to get a full appreciation of this amazing dial. You may notice and have some concerns on some photographs, that some areas of the dial are not as sharp as others. This is due to the focus of the camera and macro lens, rather than any fading or damage to the dial or the printing of the lower two lines for example.
The original high grade “Officially Certified Chronometer” 25 Jewels, 1560 Calibre ‘butterfly’ movement is very highly regarded for being particularly accurate and reliable and strong. Here, as can be seen, it is in sparkling condition with every sign it has been properly maintained and cared for. It is working perfectly following a thorough overhaul and service by our vintage Rolex specialist watchmaker. This involves completely dismantling the watch movement to each of its component parts, cleaning and close examination under high magnification, then replacement where necessary, with only original Rolex parts, before reassembly and oiling with the correct Rolex specified, watch movement oils. Finally, very fine adjustment to achieve the highest level of accuracy possible. After testing, this watch is now running arrow straight at +2 seconds/day, which is outstanding for any watch of this age. This is no exaggeration as this has been confirmed by our electronic Timegrapher. The movement also has a 44 hour power reserve. This watch is now ready for many more decades of faithful, reliable service and is perfectly suited for everyday use. The movement carries a 12 month warranty*
Incidentally, this movement is known as a ‘butterfly’ movement because the lightened rotor resembles a butterfly wing. The movement is all correctly signed MONTRES ROLEX SA GENEVA and TWENTY FIVE JEWELS, ADJUSTED to FIVE POSITIONS with the Calibre number 1560. It also carries the Rolex internal reference number 31280.
*Please note, our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the list price is paid.
The Watch Case
The original 14ct yellow gold case measures 34mm, not including the Rolex Oyster screw-down crown. Here we see this has the early shallow fluted bezel which is infinitely rarer and more attractive than the later, more dominant, deeper fluted bezels.
The case has been carefully inspected and very lightly restored by some sympathetic gentle cleaning and hand-polishing. It is in immaculate condition with no scratches, dings or similar marks visible to the naked eye. The screw-down case-back, importantly, is highly polished and is full thickness, having never been inscribed. Equally importantly, the case has also not been over polished, as many gold watches of this age have been. The inside of the case-back carries the Rolex model number 1005 with 18ct Swiss Geneva hallmarks and is signed Montres Rolex SA Geneva Switzerland.
The inside of the case-back is all correctly signed with the Rolex model number 1005 with 14ct Swiss Geneva hallmarks and the Montres Rolex SA Geneva Switzerland signature. The outside of the case carries a clear Rolex case serial number 712975 between the lugs at 6 o’clock, along with the model number 1005 again at 12 o’clock. The Rolex case serial number indicates the date of manufacture of the watch as mid-1957.
Please note – As part of the restoration we have replaced the rubber seals on this case, including the case-back (just visible) and the winding crown/stem (not visible). Although the watch was specified as waterproof when new, this has not been tested and this is not guaranteed. Here, our standard advice applies: Vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
Box and Papers
Although there are no original papers with the watch, the numbers and markings are all correct, dating this watch to 1957. A detailed written receipt with 12 months’ warranty* and a separate insurance valuation for the replacement value will be provided at the time of sale along with our unique ‘Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee’ which states: “If 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 Oyster presentation box shown in the photographs is included in the sale.
The Strap & Buckle
A new high quality Brown Crocodile strap has been fitted, along with a matching gold plated Rolex buckle. 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, crocodile skin or lizard skin. We can also obtain most types and colours from our partners at ‘Watch Obsession’ within 48hrs. Please take a look at their huge range of 19mm straps if you wish here.
This is a superb example of a mid 1950s vintage gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual, in immaculate condition with an amazing, original untouched dial. It is completely charming and slightly different from the norm so as to be distinctive, yet still completely classic, and completely practical for everyday use. If treated with care, this will make an excellent investment and heirloom piece, particularly if it remains in such good condition.
Even though vintage Rolex prices have risen recently, we still feel good examples such as this have a long way to go and as each year goes by, the global market for vintage Rolex watches is expanding rapidly with a subsequent effect on prices.
In summary, this is a highly collectable vintage watch from horology’s most famous name, which is ready to wear, use, treasure and enjoy. It will provide excellent reliability and a sound financial investment, as long-lasting as the watch itself!
A word on our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very highest quality watches we can find, before restoring them 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 means we will never be the cheapest, but nor will we be the most expensive. Indeed there are some well known stores in West London which are highly 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 would like to pay by UK cheque or by UK bank transfer we will be pleased to assist you with this and pass on a 3% saving to you. Similarly, if you wish to pay by International SWIFT or Bank Wire Transfer we will provide you with our BIC / Swift number and our IBAN number.
If you have any questions please call on Landline 0207 727 7095 or Mobile 07515 949250 or if calling from overseas on Landline +44 207 727 7095 or Mobile +44 7515 949250.
Please note we welcome part exchanges. If you have a watch or small collection for sale, please contact us as we will be happy to discuss.
We will also be happy to Service your watch, Repair your watch or Restore your watch, all at ‘sensible’ prices. Please see here.
Please take a look at our other fine vintage gold watches.