Rolex Cal.360 HW 18ct Pink Gold, Hooded Lugs, Art-Deco Dial, 1935

£3,950

100% Genuine & All Original

Fully Restored, Serviced and Guaranteed

A Beautifully Well Cared For & Lightly Used Example

Good Sized, Immaculate, 18ct Pink Gold, Gold Hooded Lugs Case

Size 21mm across, 30mm Length, 38mm incl. Lugs, 44mm Across Diagonal

High-Grade Cal.360 HW Hand-Wound Movement

Beautiful ‘Art Deco’ Off-White Dial with Original Blued Steel Hands

All Absolutely Top Grade and Simply Wonderful Condition

New Burgundy Lizard Strap & Pink Gold Plated Rolex Buckle

Hardwood Presentation Box included, as Shown

VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty Included*

VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee

Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery

Free UK Special Delivery

VGW Reference: R910
Price

£3,950

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The late 1920s and early ’30s saw Rolex at its most creative and dynamic. Having launched the world’s first truly waterproof and commercially successful (Oyster) watch in 1926, this relatively young company, est. 1906, went on to launch its first automatic waterproof wristwatch, the Oyster Perpetual Chronometer in 1934. These groundbreaking achievements are the foundations on which the company we know today was built. However, even at this early stage of development, this highly ambitious company offered a wide range of models to the market, many of which we seldom see today, due to relatively low production numbers.

The wristwatch we see here is just such an example, which if we take a moment to consider, bears little relationship with the pocket watch from which it descended only fifteen or twenty years earlier and which continued to remain popular right up and until the Second World War.

Though not officially referred to by Rolex as the Tank, there is little doubt the design was influenced to some degree by the success of the Cartier Tank model, released in 1919. This was so called because the outline of the watch case somewhat resembles the aerial view of the WW1 military tank. Prior to this, all watches were round, reflecting the shape of the movement. However, during the 1920s and ’30s, rectangular case design watches became hugely fashionable, which is why now perhaps, we loosely associate these designs with our Grandfather’s watch.

The example here is notable for its wonderful ‘art-deco’ dial, its immaculate and rare 18ct pink gold case, and its rare hooded lugs.

Finding good examples of any pre-WW2 Rolex has become increasingly hard over the past 10 years and finding an example of this design is very difficult. Most are in the hands of collectors and seldom come to the market.

While this was originally made and sold as a gent’s watch it would be equally suitable for a lady today, as this is not a large watch by modern-day standards.

The Watch Case

The 18ct pink gold case is very impressive with its hooded lugs and it is in spectacular condition. It measures 21mm across, excluding the correct Rolex crown, and 30mm from top to bottom. This may seem a little small, but it is, in fact, quite a large watch for the period, especially when one considers it is 38mm from lug to lug and 44mm across the diagonal. The two-piece case is not hinged, but is opened using the bottom lip and swings open, revealing the dial. The movement can then be removed without any tools by gripping the dial and gently easing it and the attached movement away from the case-back – not recommended for the inexperienced or faint at heart.

When acquiring such a rectangular or square watch, especially in gold, it is important to ensure the case shows no wear, no fatigue cracks and no pinholes, particularly around the hinge and corner areas. This type of case is prone to wear and damage in these areas, which is another reason these watches are rare, as cases become beyond repair and restoration. Fortunately, this example has been extremely well cared for and very lightly used, so other than our usual careful examination and cleaning, the case has required little work apart from some very light hand-polishing. There are no scratches or dings and no damage/wear visible to the naked eye.

The case was made for Rolex by the French FP case maker. Inside the case-back is correctly signed with French 18ct hallmarks and with the case maker’s FP stamp.

As always, our standard advice applies: Vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.

The Dial

Many rectangular watches of this period carried dials with ‘art-deco’ influences and this can be seen to a degree, in the design of the numerals. Square and rectangular watch dials present certain challenges to dial designers, but here the approach is very simple with black standard Arabic numerals on a slightly off-white dial with a subsidiary seconds dial at ‘6’. The dial carries the original blued steel hands which are in excellent condition and is also correctly signed ‘Rolex’ with ‘Swiss Made’ at the very bottom.

The Movement

The Calibre 360 HW,  better known as the HW movement, was named after the founders name, Hans Wilsdorf. This was the first tonneau, totally in-house movement, produced by Rolex after Rolex bought the Gruen’s share of Aegler. The Calibre 300 series and its derivatives were the last used by both companies.

This movement was released during the early 1930s and was used in the Rolex Prince collection which is one of the finest and most collectable ranges of watches made by Rolex.

The release of the HW coincided with the release of Omega’s T17 rectangular movement which was designed for a very similar range aimed directly at the same market. It remains, without doubt, one of the most desirable tonneau shaped Rolex movements of the art deco period and the one of the first ‘in-house’ Rolex products.

As noted from the photographs, this is the especially high grade ‘Timed to 6 Positions’ version of the HW movement as used in Rolex’ chronometer movements. 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, which is covered by our warranty. 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*.

The movement is signed ‘Rolex’, ‘Timed Six Positions’ and 17 Rubies.

*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the full list price is paid.

The Strap and Buckle

A high quality, new burgundy Lizard strap is fitted along with pink gold plated Rolex buckle. If a different colour or style of strap is preferred, we will do our best to oblige at no extra charge.

The Box and Papers

Although there is no original paperwork with this watch, the reference numbers, markings, signatures and hallmarks are all correct, dating the watch to 1935.

A detailed Particulars document will be included with the receipt, along with our 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 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 watch comes complete with high quality hardwood presentation box.

In Conclusion

We love to find, restore and make available, fine old vintage gold Rolex watches of this rarity, quality and condition. This is a superb, highly collectable and usable vintage watch from horology’s most famous name, which will provide an excellent financial investment as well as something to treasure and enjoy! It will make an excellent evening wear dress watch as well as a practical, highly accurate and reliable timepiece to use on an everyday basis.

A word on our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very highest quality watches we can find, before then 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 also welcome part exchanges. If you have a watch or small collection for sale, please contact us as we will be happy to discuss.

Please take a look at our other fine vintage gold watches.

Thank you.