Rolex Precision Chronometer 18ct 1947 34mm
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Restored, Serviced & Guaranteed
A Carefully Owned & Lightly Used Example
Rolex Precision Chronometer in 18ct Yellow Gold
Immaculate Rolex, Swiss Made 34mm Case, Excluding the Crown
Beautifully Restored Silver-White ‘Technical’ Dial with Dauphine Hands
Very High-Grade Rolex 18 Jewels, Chronometer, Super Balance Movement
All in Absolutely Top Grade & Simply Stunning Freshly Restored Condition
New High-Quality Crocodile Strap with Rolex Gold Plated Buckle
Rolex Presentation Box Included, As Shown
VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty Included*
VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee
Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery
Free UK Special Delivery
Founded in 1905 in England by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis as Wilsdorf & Davis, it became known as the Rolex Watch Company in 1915, moving to its new Geneva headquarters in 1919. The success of the wristwatch can be largely attributed to many of Rolex’s innovations which made the company one of the most respected and well-known of all luxury brands. These have included its famous “Oyster” case — the world’s first water-resistant and dustproof watch case, invented in 1926 — and its “Perpetual” — the world’s first reliable, self-winding movement for the wristwatch, launched in 1933. These would form the foundation for Rolex’s Datejust and Day-Date, respectively introduced in 1945 and 1956. Also and equally importantly, Rolex is known for its sports watches, such as the Explorer, Submariner and GMT-Master launched in the mid-1950s.
Of course, Rolex is now so ubiquitous it is almost its own kind of its currency. A Rolex is the watch you want on your wrist when you’re in a Third World country when revolution breaks out and there’s only one seat on the plane, – and there’s a guy standing there with a machine gun! You give him a Rolex and he’ll give you the seat!
Rolex Precision Chronometers are very special watches, due to the precision of their movements which were designed to meet the highest standards of accuracy and reliability for their day. This was independently tested and certified by an official Observatory, usually Swiss or British, such as Neuchatel Observatory, Geneva Observatory, or Kew Observatory in London. Tests of the accuracy and reliability of individual watches were carried out over numerous weeks in 6 positions and over a range of temperatures. Only individual watches which passed these very strict tests qualified and were granted permission to be classed as “Chronometer grade” watches. Furthermore, each year special Prizes were awarded to the manufacturer who submitted the most accurate wristwatch, and the manufacturer who submitted the highest number of watches to qualify as Chronometers. Manufacturers competed fiercely for these prizes as they were highly coveted and publicised. Just as with the motor manufacturers associated with Formula 1 Grand Prix winners of yesteryear and today, the publicity was priceless. Rolex, Omega, Longines and Zenith were the most successful manufacturers in submitting watches which passed these tests and also winning prizes as outright winners.
During the 1930s and ’40s, Rolex was also undoubtedly the most successful watch manufacturer in courting publicity. It managed this by being on hand, or wrist, during many record-breaking events. For example, swimming across the English Channel (1927), world automobile speed record (300mph, 1935), breaking the sound barrier in 1947 and the conquest of Everest in 1952.
No matter how pre-planned or well-orchestrated these events were, one cannot blame Rolex for building its brand. In fact, the company was creative and ahead of the game in capitalising on every event and opportunity. Some fascinating books have been written about these events, which were just as amazing at the time as the many modern advances in hand-held/mobile technology today. A brief section covers some of these events, as well as some of the history of Rolex, in our FAQs section found via the link at the bottom left of this page.
Rolex Precision Chronometers remain as equally prized today as they were when they were made. Today Rolex produces more Chronometer watches than any other manufacturer and indeed it has done so for quite a few decades. To be classed as a Chronometer today, watches are required to be submitted to an independent Swiss body called the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute, for testing over 15 days at a range of temperatures.
Here we have a beautiful and amazingly well cared for example of a super rare, early 18ct Yellow Gold Rolex Precision Chronometer from 1947. This oversize example was a very large watch for the period at 34mm, excluding the crown and is one of the earliest Rolex Precisions we have seen.
This watch has just completed a full restoration by ourselves, including the movement, dial and case. It is now looking wonderful with its rare classic ‘Technical’ dial. Signed ‘Officially Certified Chronometer’, it looks every inch, the very special watch that it is.
The oversize two-piece 18ct yellow gold watch case has a classic 1940s honesty and simplicity with flared lugs which were popular during the period. The case measures 34mm in diameter, excluding the correct Rolex crown and is in perfect condition. Even under high magnification, it is very hard to find any signs of wear, indicating this watch has seen very little use and has had a charmed life.
The case has been inspected, cleaned and lightly hand-polished to bring it back to the immaculate condition you see here, with no scratches, dimples or marks visible to the naked eye. The case-back is of full-thickness and has never been inscribed. Inside the case-back, all is as expected and is correctly signed: ‘Rolex’, along with the Rolex model reference 4411 and the number 981. Also with Swiss Geneva 18ct hallmarks.
As ever, our standard advice applies: Vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
The silver-white ‘Technical’ dial has gilt standard Arabic 1 – 12 numerals matched with the original restored Dauphine hands. It carries the early Rolex signature and Coronet, along with ‘Officially Certified Chronometer’ below. The outer minutes and seconds track is subdivided into fifths of a second and provides the dial with an added level of technical precision.
This is a rare dial, although we have seen this before on a Rolex Chronometer watch of this period.
This is the original dial which has been previously restored to a very high standard.
As referred to above, this is a Rolex Precision Chronometer movement. This was the best of its day and is highly accurate and reliable. As with all our watches, this is the original movement which has been completely overhauled and undergone close examination and servicing, before testing and calibration by our vintage Rolex specialist watchmaker. The movement is in superb condition having had the benefit of proper care and maintenance and light use throughout its life. When tested on our electronic timegrapher machine, it was found to be running within +5 seconds per day which is outstanding for any watch of this age. We are therefore highly confident in offering a 12-month warranty with this watch movement*. This watch is perfectly suited for evening wear or everyday use should you so wish.
The movement is signed exactly as it should be: ‘Rolex Chronometer’, ’18 Rubies’, ‘Timed in 6 Positions’, ‘Patented Super Balance’ and ‘Swiss Made’ with the Calibre number 112, and the movement reference number E14022.
*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the full list price is paid.
The Strap and Buckle
The strap fitted is a new high-quality dark brown Crocodile strap, with a Rolex gold plated buckle which we feel contrasts nicely with the watch. 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, but can also obtain most types and colours of strap from our partners at ‘Watch Obsession’ within 48hrs. Please take a look at their huge range of 18mm straps if you wish, here.
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 very close to 1947. 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 watch comes complete with a Rolex presentation box, as shown.
A beautiful, rare, and highly collectable vintage gold watch from horology’s most famous name, which will provide an excellent financial investment as well as be something to use, wear, treasure and enjoy!
This is a truly first-class example of an early vintage Rolex Precision Chronometer in 18ct yellow gold, in amazing condition. The watch is ready to use and practical for evening wear or everyday use, as you wish. If treated with care, it will make an excellent investment or family heirloom piece and even though vintage gold Rolex prices have risen markedly in the past few years, we still feel great examples such as this are greatly undervalued. As each year goes by and the world market for vintage gold Rolex watches continues to expand, prices will continue to climb ever higher.
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 us on 0207 727 7095 or if calling from overseas on +44 207 727 7095. We await your call and we will be happy to help with any questions you may have about this watch or any of our collection.
Please note, we also welcome part exchanges. We will also be happy to service your vintage watch or assist with repairs or restoration as necessary.
Please also take a look at our other fine vintage gold watches.