Ladies Rolex Cal.10½ 9ct 1920
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Inspected, Serviced and Guaranteed
A Beautifully Well Cared For & Lightly Used Example
Size 25mm across, 25mm Length and 30mm Across the Diagonal
High Grade Cal.10½ Hand-Wound Movement in Tip-Top Condition
Good Sized, Immaculate, 9ct Yellow Gold, Beautiful Rounded Edge Case
Beautiful White Dial with Original Blued Steel Hands and Arabic Numerals
High Quality Hardwood Presentation Box included, as Shown
All Absolutely Top Grade and Simply Wonderful Condition
New Black Lizard Strap & Plain Gold-Plated Buckle
VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty Included*
VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee
Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery
Free UK Special Delivery
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It is not quite so well known that Rolex was actually founded in the UK in London in 1905 and it was not until 1919 that the company transferred its base of operations to Geneva, Switzerland. It is also a misconception that the world of luxury watches is a gentlemans one, as the first recorded wristwatch was actually designed for a lady. In June 1810, Abraham-Louis Breguet made a watch for Caroline Murat, Queen of Naples. For many decades, women have proudly worn Rolex watches and have been integral to the brand’s success.
Here we have a rare and historic Ladies Rolex wristwatch in 9ct yellow gold from 1920. The watch case is double signed both ‘W&D’ and ‘Rolex’ just as it should be, as this 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 white dial is very typical of the period with Breguet style numerals and the ‘red 12’ which was almost always used on these very early watches. This example has a rail track minute register around the outer edge of the dial and the beautiful addition of a subsidiary seconds dial at 6, which we believe adds flare and style to the watch.
The dial is simply signed ‘Rolex’ and carries original blued steel hands. This is, all in all, a clear and highly legible dial for such a small watch.
This is the original dial which has been previously restored to the highest standards and as can be seen remains in wonderful condition.
The movement fitted to this watch is the original 10½ Hunter, 15 Jewel hand-wound movement used in Rolex’s highest quality watches of this period. The movement is in very clean condition having just completed a full overhaul and service by our vintage Rolex specialist watchmaker. This means it has been completely dismantled to each of its component parts before cleaning and inspection under high magnification, replacement where necessary with only genuine Rolex parts, then careful reassembly, adjustments and oiling to Rolex specification, before final calibration and testing.
The movement is therefore now running accurately and within expectations of 30 seconds per day. The timing expected of a Rolex movement of this period is within 1 minute per day, and this is our guarantee. The power reserve when fully wound on this movement is 30 hours. We are therefore confident in offering this watch with a 12-month written warranty*. Please note, Rolex watches of this period are reliable and accurate by the standards of their day, however they do need to be treated with extra care.
The movement is simply and delicately signed ‘Rolex’ and ‘Swiss’.
*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the full list price is paid.
The original 9ct yellow gold case measures 25mm in width, excluding the crown, 25mm in length and 30mm across the diagonal. This makes this a small-sized ladies watch by modern standards. The beautiful onion crown is correct for this watch and is unsigned, as was usual at the time. The watch case is double hinged to reveal the movement and dial.
Inside, the case-back is signed with the earlier ‘W&D’ (Wilsdorf and Davies) signature, along with ‘Rolex’ and also carries the case serial number 1189030 and 9ct hallmarks for 1920. 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 approaching 100 years old.
As always our standard advice applies, vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
The Strap & Buckle
A new high quality, black lizard strap has been fitted, along with a plain gold-plated buckle. 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 1920.
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 high quality hardwood presentation box 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 and one which will make an excellent investment as well as be 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, 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. Paying by bank transfer for a 3% saving will not affect your 12 months warranty. 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 check the import duties and any taxes your government may apply, these are different for each country and unfortunately out of our control.
We understand there may be some ‘loopholes’ that may help you avoid these charges, however attempting to use these could impact our ongoing ability to serve our growing international customer base.
For those that happen to visit the UK on occasion we are of course more than happy to store your watch until we can meet you in our offices in Kensington, London, and your watch directly to you there.
Please note, we also 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!