Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date 1503 Engine Turned Bezel 18ct 1959
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Inspected, Serviced and Guaranteed
A Beautifully Well Cared For And Completely Original Example
Original Factory Engine Turned Bezel with Excellent Definition
Rolex Cal.1560, 26 Jewel Automatic Movement in Sparkling Condition
Officially Certified Highly Accurate Chronometer Movement
Original, Unrestored and Untouched Sunburst Gold Dial with Original ‘Dauphine’ Hands
18ct Solid Gold Case, 35mm, Including the Rolex Screw-down Crown
Blue Genuine Alligator Strap with Rolex Gold-Plated Buckle
Rolex Inner and Outer Presentation Boxes Included, As Shown
All in Absolutely Top Grade & Simply Stunning Condition
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.
Here we have an outstanding, fully original Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date Chronometer in 18ct yellow gold from 1959. This watch is complete with a rare engine turned bezel and a beautiful gold sunburst dial. This is Rolex model reference 1503, with the Rolex Calibre 1560, 26 Jewel Chronometer grade movement which is superbly accurate and reliable, even by current day standards. The movement has been overhauled and serviced and is in sparkling condition. However, undoubtedly the outstanding feature of this watch is the totally original and unrestored engine turned bezel which is in tip-top condition.
At a large sized 35mm in diameter, excluding the Rolex signed crown, this is a large-sized watch by the standards of the period.
The dial is a wonderful example of a Rolex Oyster Perpetual dial with beautiful black outlined ‘baton’ hour indices. Here in a gold sunburst finish, it looks wonderful against the gold case. The dial carries its original unrestored Rolex ‘dauphine’ hands and of course, the perennial Rolex Coronet at the very top. The dial also has the addition of a date window with a cyclops window which completes the dial beautifully. The dial shows very few other signs of ageing other than some very light spotting around the outside. Usually, we restore the dials of the watches we sell, however, we decided in this case, due to its exceptional condition, to retain its originality and charm for the many collectors who prefer this. It also helps to contrast with almost all of the other watch dials you see on our website which have been restored.
The dial is signed ‘Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date’ with ‘Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified’ below and ‘T Swiss Made T’ at the very bottom.
Please note, studio lights, professional-grade digital cameras, and macro lenses can be very unkind to an unrestored vintage watch dial. Also the dial here measures less than 1.25 inches across, so the image you see here may be between 5 – 25 times larger than the watch itself. Therefore please keep in mind you are seeing many tiny flaws which cannot be seen, or will be very hard to see with the naked eye, even under close examination. Suffice to say, on the wrist, in natural light, this dial looks much better and carries a great deal more charm than the photographs portray.
The watch carries its original, very high grade ‘Superlative Chronometer’ Calibre 1560, 26 Jewel automatic movement, which is in sparkling clean condition. The movement has been completely overhauled and serviced which involves full dismantling, ultrasonic cleaning, inspection under high magnification and replacement of parts, only with new original Rolex parts where required, then careful reassembly and oiling ready for testing and calibration. The watch is now running perfectly, having been calibrated and timed within +12 seconds per day. This is truly outstanding for any watch of this age and has been confirmed by our electronic timegrapher. It is now ready for many more years of faithful service.
The movement is correctly signed ‘Montres Rolex SA Geneva Swiss’ and ‘Twenty Six Jewels’ with the Calibre number 1560 and the reference number 48189. These movements are strong, very accurate and very reliable making this watch particularly suited to everyday use should you so wish. This particular movement is in superb A1 condition and with regular servicing, say every 4 years, we would fully expect this watch to run happily for many years to come. We are therefore pleased to offer 12 months warranty on this watch movement*.
*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the list price is paid.
The Watch Case
The 18ct yellow gold case measures 35mm, excluding the Rolex Oyster screw-down crown. The case has been carefully inspected inside and out and then restored to ‘as new’ condition by very gentle cleaning and hand-polishing by our professional watch case restorer. Even though this is an early example, no definition has been lost and all the lines, including the bezel, remain well defined. It is therefore in superb condition with no scratches, dings or similar marks visible to the naked eye.
As mentioned above, this watch is also complete with the engine turned bezel, which is much easier on the eye and looks absolutely outstanding, giving this was a beautiful presence upon the wrist. As can be seen, the bezel remains in excellent condition and is free from any marks, which is unusual as the bezel is the most prone part of the watch case and most easily damaged through nicks and scratches.
The screw-down case-back is of full-thickness, having never been inscribed. The inside of the case-back carries the Rolex model reference 1503 with 18ct Swiss Geneva hallmarks and is signed ‘Montres Rolex SA Geneva Switzerland’.
Please note, although the waterproof seals have been replaced and this watch was originally specified as waterproof when new, this has not been tested and it is not guaranteed. As always, our standard advice applies: vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
The Strap & Buckle
This watch currently has a blue genuine alligator strap fitted, in almost unused condition and this has also been fitted with a 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. 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.
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 1959.
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 Oyster inner and outer presentation boxes shown in the photographs are included in the sale.
If you would like to pay by 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 deliver your watch directly to you there.
As with all our watches, this watch will be sold under our 14 days no quibble sale or return policy.
This is a truly first-class example of a 1950s vintage Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date 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 truly rare and highly collectable vintage watch from horology’s most famous name, which is ready to wear, use, treasure and enjoy. It will provide 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.
Please note, we also welcome part exchanges. If you have a watch or a small collection for sale, please contact us as we will be happy to discuss this.
We will also be happy to Service your watch, Repair your watch or Restore your watch, all at ‘sensible’ prices. Please see here.
If you have any questions please call us on 020 7727 7095 or if calling from overseas on +44 207 727 7095.
Please take a look at our other fine vintage gold watches.