Rolex Model.8044 Chronometer Cal.700 18ct 1951
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Inspected, Serviced and Guaranteed
A Simply Stunning Off-White Dial with Subsidiary Seconds Dial
Classic, High Grade Calibre 700 Movement in Superb Condition
A Beautifully, Rare and Well Cared For and Lightly Used Example
All in Absolutely Top Grade & Simply Stunning, Beautiful Previously Restored Condition
Beautiful, 29mm x 29mm, 18ct Solid Yellow Gold Rolex Swiss Case with ‘Rococo’ Style Lugs
A Classic 1950s Dial with Yellow Gold ‘Baton’ Hour Indices in Simply Beautiful Condition
New, Good Quality Black Leather Strap with Rolex Gold-Plated Buckle
High Quality Hardwood 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, the partnership soon 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.
Rolex 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. These were 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.
Here we have a very special and rare Rolex Model Reference 8044 in a beautiful 18ct square yellow gold case, which carries the most wonderful square case and curved lens. The watch is a good size at 29mm in diameter, excluding the nipple crown, and features a wonderfully clean, elegant and perfectly balanced off-white dial.
This was a typical sized gentleman dress watch in this period. However today, given the popularity among ladies to wear gent’s watches, this could equally be considered a suitable watch for a lady.
The wonderful, original Rolex dial with yellow gold baton hour indices are matched with original period ‘leaf’ hands, all of which look simply wonderful. This off-white dial has black minute marks around the outer edge of the dial and a subsidiary seconds dial at six, which all complete the dial perfectly. The dial is very clear and easy to read even in low light and beautifully elegant.
This particular watch has a curved lens which curves the watch beautifully to the wrist.
The dial is signed ‘Rolex’ with ‘Officially Certified Chronometer’ below and ‘Swiss Made’ at the very bottom.
This is the original dial which has been previously restored to a very high standard and remains in beautiful condition.
The high grade Cal.700 manual wind movement is incredibly clean and also in incredibly good condition. It has just been overhauled and serviced by our expert watchmaker and is running perfectly. These movements are very highly regarded for their accuracy and reliability and this movement has been calibrated to run arrow straight within +13 seconds per day – checked and confirmed on our electronic watch timer. This movement also has an excellent 45-hour power reserve when fully wound.
The movement is signed ‘Rolex Chronometer’, ‘Swiss Made’, and ’18 Rubis’ and is marked with the serial number 17442. This particular movement is in superb condition and with regular servicing, say every 2-3 years, we would fully expect this watch to run quite happily for many more decades to come. We are therefore very confident in offering this watch with a 12-month written warranty*.
*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only included if the list price is paid.
The rare 18ct gold, square case, measures 29mm in diameter, not including the nipple crown, 29mm from top to bottom, this may seem like a small watch but in fact, when measured across the diagonal, including the ‘Rococo’ lugs, it measures 42mm, this makes the watch perfectly sized. The watch case is in tip-top condition and even the case-back looks pristine.
The watch has been beautifully well cared for and so after a close inspection has simply required a careful clean and a gentle polish to bring it back to its current, almost as new condition. As can be seen, the case, case-back, and bezel are all in superb condition with very few marks or scratches visible to the naked eye. 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 is of full-thickness and has never been inscribed. Inside the case-back, all the markings are correct for a Rolex Swiss made case of this period and carries the earlier and beautifully ornate Rolex Coronet Scroll signature, the model reference 8094 and the Swiss 18ct hallmarks.
As ever, our standard advice applies: vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
The Strap & Buckle
A new black leather strap has been fitted, along with a Rolex gold-plated 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 straps if you wish here.
The Box and Papers
Although there are no original papers with this watch, the reference numbers, markings, signatures and hallmarks are all correct, dating this watch to 1951.
Detailed particulars will be included with our purchase receipt for your interest and security. A separate insurance valuation for the replacement value of this watch 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 100% genuine, authentic and original, a full refund will be given at any time”.
The Rolex presentation box as shown in the photographs is included in the sale.
This is a truly first class example of a 1951 vintage Rolex Chronometer which is ready to wear and completely practical for everyday use. If treated with care, it will make an excellent investment or heirloom piece and even though vintage gold Rolex prices have risen markedly recently, we still feel good examples such as this are still 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.
To summarise, this is a highly collectable vintage watch from horology’s most famous name, which is ready to wear, use, treasure and enjoy, providing 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. 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 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.
If you have any questions please call on our 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.