Rolex Chronometer 18ct 1948, Spider Lugs, Oversize – 37.5mm!

£8,750

100% Genuine & All Original

Fully Inspected, Serviced & Guaranteed

A Very Well Cared For & Lightly Used Example

18ct Yellow Gold Spider Lugs, Oversize 37.5mm Case, Excl. the Rolex Crown

Wonderful Earlier Ivory Cream Restored Dial with Original Gilt Dauphine Hands

High-Grade Cal.112, 18 Jewel Hand Wound Movement in Sparkling Condition

High-Quality Black Crocodile Strap with Gold Plated Rolex Buckle

All In Absolutely Top Grade Condition From Every Aspect

Rolex Presentation Box Included, as Shown

VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee

VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty*

Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery

Free UK Special Delivery

VGW Reference: R924
Price

£8,750

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Rolex

Founded in 1905 in England by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis as Wilsdorf & Davis, the company 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.

During the 1930s and ’40s, Rolex was undoubtedly the most successful watch manufacturer in courting publicity. It managed to do this by being literally on hand, or wrist during numerous record-breaking events. For example, swimming across the English Channel (1927), the world automobile speed record (300mph, 1935), breaking the sound barrier in 1947 and the conquest of Everest in 1952.

No matter how well planned or orchestrated these events were, one can not fault Rolex for so effectively building its brand. In fact, the company was incredibly creative and ahead of the game in capitalising on every event and opportunity.  Some fascinating books have been written about these events which must have seemed just as amazing at the time, as the many modern advances in hand-held/mobile technology today. A brief section covers some of this and some of the history of Rolex, in our FAQs section found via the link at the bottom left of our homepage.

Description

Rolex hand-wound 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 for 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 incredibly 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.

Vintage Rolex Chronometers remain as equally prized today as they were when they were first made. Here we have a beautiful and amazingly well cared for example of a super rare and exceptional Oversize 18ct Gold Rolex Precision Chronometer from 1948. This is Rolex model reference 4364 which is a massively oversized and extremely large for the period at 37.5mm in diameter, excluding the Rolex crown.

Even though we sell more Rolex than any other watch this is by far the largest we have ever seen in stock. Previously, the largest was a 36.5mm Rolex Precision, although we have seen 37.5mm watches, with other dealers in the past.

Rolex Precisions were made in many sizes, starting at 30mm in diameter, excluding the crown. The majority were 32 and 33mm with some 34mm and 35mm, and very rarely, Rolex or their UK case makers produced 36mm models. But truly exceptional sizes such as this we see here are very few and far between.

These are highly sought after watches because the seemingly small difference in diameter significantly and adds to the ‘presence’ of the watch. The original unrestored dial has a wonderful even patina ivory cream dial, make this a rare and sought after watch, particularly when found in such excellent condition.

The Case

The three-piece 18ct yellow gold watch case, as described above, is of truly exceptional size, measuring 37.5mm in diameter, excluding the correct Rolex crown and is in wonderful 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 led a charmed life.

The case also has the rare Spider lugs which we often see on more the flamboyant top of the range Rolex Precisions from the 1940s. These, along with the size of the case, really do add to and enhance the character of this very exclusive watch.

The case has been carefully inspected, cleaned and lightly hand-polished to bring it back to the superb 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 correct and as expected and signed with the early ‘Rolex’ script signature, along with the Rolex model reference 4364 and Swiss Geneva 18ct hallmarks, all of which point the year of manufacture to 1948.

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

The Movement

As discussed above, this is a Rolex Precision Chronometer movement and therefore the very best of its day and the most accurate and reliable Rolex watch available at the time. These were state of the art movements which were record holders of their day and highly prized, much as the latest computer or fast sports car might be today.

As with all of 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 +4 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 17821.

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

The Dial

The dial is in classic 1940s ivory-cream, with solid gold ‘pencil’ hour indices and ‘Dauphine’ watch hands which complement the 18ct yellow gold case beautifully. The dial carries the gold Rolex Coronet and is simply signed ‘Rolex’ in the top half of the dial with ‘Precision’ below and ‘Swiss’ at the very bottom.

A new correct Rolex replacement lens has been fitted as part of the restoration.

This is the original dial which has been the subject of an earlier restoration to a very high standard. Consequently, it shows some signs of ageing which many will prefer. If however, you would like the dial freshly restoring to the highest standard, we will be pleased to arrange this for you free of charge.

The Strap and Buckle

The strap fitted is a new high-quality black Crocodile strap, with a Rolex gold plated buckle. 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 1948. 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.

In Conclusion

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 exceptional example of a 37.5mm Oversize vintage Rolex Precision Chronometer in 18ct gold, in amazing condition. The watch is ready to use and practical for evening wear or everyday use and if treated with care, it will make an excellent investment or family heirloom piece. 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.