Rolex Oyster Perpetual Thunderbird Bezel, Bubbleback 10ct 1952


100% Genuine & All Original

Fully Restored, Serviced & Guaranteed

Rolex Model Reference 6085

Superb 10ct ‘Large’ Bubbleback Case with Thunderbird Bezel

Rare ‘Dagger’ and ‘Spearhead’ Indices Dial with the Rolex Coronet at 12

Size 34mm Diameter, Excluding the Original Rolex Oyster Crown

Beautifully Restored Silver-White Dial with Original Restored ‘Lance’ Hands

High Grade Cal.10½” A269, 19 Jewel Chronometer Automatic Movement

Case Body, Bezel and Case-Back all in Wonderful Condition Throughout

High Quality Hirsch Lizard Strap and Rolex Gold-Plated Buckle

Vintage Rolex Oyster Presentation Box Included

VGWL 12 months’ Written Warranty Included*

VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee

Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery

Free UK Special Delivery

Sold 13th April '21
VGW Reference: R817
Price £5,250 Sold


Out of stock

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Founded in 1905 in England by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis as Wilsdorf & Davis, the partnership became known as the Rolex Watch Company in 1915, and moved 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 Oyster Perpetual Bubblebacks draw their name from the bulbous case-back designed to accommodate Rolex’ early Calibre 10½” A269 automatic movement and rotor. The movements were deeper on the earlier Oyster Perpetuals, produced between 1950 and circa 1954, and these are popularly known as the large, or big bubblebacks, as these watches had a 34mm Oyster case, as opposed to the ‘small’ Rolex Bubblebacks with a 32mm case, produced between 1934 and 1950.

We have here a classic Rolex Oyster Perpetual Large Bubbleback, complete with a charming silver-white dial, with ‘dagger’ and ‘spearhead’ hour indices, matched by rare original ‘lance’ hands. This is Rolex model reference 6085 with the Calibre 10½” A269 automatic movement. This watch also features the rare and sought after ‘Thunderbird’ bezel, which along with the rest of the case, is in wonderful condition.

This watch has been fully restored by ourselves, and is therefore in wonderful condition and now ready for many more years of faithful service!

The Dial

1950s vintage Rolex dials are, we feel, the most wonderful examples of Rolex style, simplicity and elegance. This particular dial with Dagger and Spearhead hour indices is difficult to find and quite sought after. Here in silver-white, it contrasts beautifully with the yellow gold case and the applied yellow gilt Rolex Coronet at 12 o’clock. It is full of character and 1950s Rolex charm and the original Lance hands and yellow gilt centre seconds hand complete the dial perfectly. The absence of a date window only adds to the beauty, symmetry and perfection of this dial.

The hour indices and hands have been carefully hand-painted with green luminous paint, to match its look during the 1950s. The modern Luminova paint used is completely safe as it uses phosphor as a light bank, rather than any kind of the radioactive materials of the original paint. The hands and hour indices have therefore been restored to reproduce the faint luminous glow, very similar to the original effect.

The lens has been replaced with a new original Rolex part and so it is fresh and scratch-free.

This dial is in stunning condition due to the superb work of our dial restorers. This is the original dial which has been expertly restored to the very highest standards by our dial restorers who are considered to be the best in the UK.

The Case

The Rolex Oyster, 10ct yellow gold Bubbleback watch case measures 34mm in diameter, excluding the Rolex Oyster screw-down crown. This watch case has the sought after ‘Thunderbird’ bezel which, along with the rest of the case, is in excellent condition.  The bezel is always one of the most prone parts of a watch to damage, however here it is in excellent condition and shows very few signs of corrective polishing. This indicates this watch has only seen careful, occasional use. The case has simply been given a careful professional inspection, clean and very gentle hand-polishing to bring it to the wonderful condition you see here.

The screw-down case-back is nicely polished, of full-thickness and has never been engraved.

Inside the case-back all is correct and as expected: Signed ‘Rolex Montres SA Geneva Swiss’, with the early Rolex scroll signature and Swiss Geneva 10ct hallmarks. The case also carries the model reference number 6085. This number can also be found, clear and distinct between the lugs at ’12’.

The case serial number 838643 is very clear and distinct on the outside of the case, between the lugs at ‘6’. This number dates the watch to 1952.

The case has the screw-down Rolex Oyster crown and screw-down case-back, each complete with new rubber seals. However, although this watch was specified as waterproof when new, this has not been tested and it is not guaranteed.

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

The Movement

The high grade, Rolex Calibre 10½” A269, 19 Jewel automatic movement is running perfectly following a complete overhaul and service by our vintage Rolex specialist watchmaker. This involves completely dismantling the movement to all its component parts, close examination under high magnification, then using only genuine Rolex replacement parts where required, careful reassembly and lubrication using Rolex specified lubricants.

This particular movement is sparkling clean and winds, sets and runs perfectly, just as it should. When final tested following its overhaul, this watch was found to be keeping superb time to within +11 seconds per day! This is outstanding for any watch of this age. We are therefore highly confident in offering this watch with a 12 months warranty on the movement* and we will also be very happy to assist you with competitively priced servicing in the future.

These Chronometer grade movements are very strong, very accurate and very reliable making this watch perfectly suitable for both evening wear and everyday use. This movement is in superb, sparkling clean, A1 condition and with regular servicing, say every 3 – 4 years, we would fully expect this watch to run happily another lifetime!

The movement is again all correctly signed: Rolex Perpetual Chronometer, Swiss Made, ‘SWISS’, with the reference number 00147.

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

The Strap & Buckle

A new, very high quality Hirsch brown Lizard strap has been fitted, along with a matching, gold-plated Rolex 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 and can also obtain most colours and types of strap from our partners at ‘Watch Obsession’ within 48hrs. Please take a look at their huge range of 19mm 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 1952.

Detailed particulars 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”.

As with all our watches, this watch will be sold under our 14 days no quibble sale or return policy.

The matching vintage Rolex Oyster presentation box as shown in the photographs is included in the sale.

In Conclusion

This is a wonderful example of a 1950s vintage Rolex Oyster Perpetual Bubbleback automatic which is ready to wear and very appropriate and practical for regular everyday use. It is a highly collectable timepiece from horology’s most famous name, which will provide an excellent financial investment as well as be something to treasure and enjoy! 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 excellent 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.

A word about our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very best quality watches we can find before restoring these to the highest possible standards. We then offer these watches 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 choose to pay by UK bank transfer, we will be pleased to pass on a 3% transaction saving to you – Please contact us to reserve the watch and request our bank details. 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 note, we 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 on 020 7727 7095 or mobile 07515 949 250 or if calling from overseas on our landline +44 207 727 7095 or mobile +44 7515 949 250.

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. We await your call!

Finally, please enjoy some time spent viewing our other fine vintage gold watches!

Thank you.