Rolex Oyster Perpetual ‘Lady’ Datejust Ref.6517 18ct 1955
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Inspected, Serviced and Guaranteed
A Beautifully Well Cared For And Lightly Used Example
Incredible Lightly Polished Case with Beautiful Fluted Bezel
Remarkable Example of ‘Lady’ Datejust with Red Date Wheel
Rolex Model Ref.6517, Cal.1130, 26 Jewel Automatic Movement
Officially Certified Highly Accurate Chronometer Rolex Datejust Movement
Original, Unrestored and Untouched Honey Dial with Original ‘Lance’ Hands & ‘Arrowhead’ Indices
Beautiful 18ct Solid Gold Case, 30mm, Excluding the Rolex Screw-down Crown
18ct Yellow Gold Rolex Rivet Bracelet with Rolex Signed Clasp
All in Absolutely Top Grade & Simply Stunning Condition
Original 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, 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.
A highly elegant Ladies Rolex Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust Chronometer in 18ct yellow gold from 1955. This is Rolex model reference 6517, with the Rolex Calibre 1130, 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. This remarkable watch carries a wonderful fluted bezel along with a Rolex signed rivet bracelet which carries beautifully decorated centre links.
At 30mm in diameter, excluding the Rolex Oyster screw-down crown, this is a good-sized ladies watch by the standards of the period.
The watch carries a wonderful example of a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust dial with beautiful ‘arrowhead’ hour indices. This is the forerunner to the iconic Rolex design which carries through to this day. The completely original, unrestored and untouched honey dial matches perfectly with the gold case and carries original unrestored 1950s ‘lance’ hands and applied ‘arrowhead’ hour indices. Of course, the perennial Rolex Coronet is shown at the very top of the dial. This dial has the addition of a date feature which shows the date of the month in red, complete with a cyclops window.
This dial carries wonderful signs of aging in the unique speckled effect you can see across the dial, we decided to leave this dial completely alone as we feel this retains originality and charm.
The dial is signed ‘Rolex Oyster-Perpetual’, ‘Lady-Datejust’ with ‘Officially Certified Chronometer’ below and ‘Swiss’ at the very bottom.
As the dial is original and unrestored, this has been left untouched by our restoration team due to its superb condition. Usually, we restore the dials of the watches we sell, however we decided in this case to leave it alone. It also helps to contrast with almost all of the other watch dials you see on our website, which have been restored. The hands, likewise, have also been left in their original condition.
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’re seeing 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 Movement
The original high grade “Officially Certified Chronometer” 26 Jewels, Rolex Calibre 1130 ‘butterfly’ movement is very highly regarded for being particularly accurate, reliable and strong. This movement is known as a ‘butterfly’ movement, due to the lightened rotor which resembles a butterfly wing. Here, it is in sparkling condition and working perfectly following a thorough overhaul and service by our vintage Rolex specialist watchmaker. This includes dismantling the watch to all its component parts and careful inspection under high magnification, replacement where necessary with only genuine Rolex parts, then careful reassembly and adjustment before final calibration in 5 positions. The watch winds, sets and runs accurately and reliably and after final testing and calibration, is running strongly and accurately within +8 seconds/day, which is outstanding for a watch movement of this age! The power reserve of this watch is 42 hours.
The movement is signed ‘Rolex Perpetual’, ‘Twenty Six Jewels’, ‘Adjusted to Five Positions’ and carries the movement reference number 78768 and the Calibre number 1130.
This watch movement is now ready for many more years of faithful service and is perfectly suited for everyday use. We are therefore very confident in offering this watch with our extendable 12-month warranty on the movement*.
*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the full list price is paid.
The Watch Case
The 18ct yellow gold case measures 30mm, 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 over 50 years old, no definition has been lost and all the lines, including the fluted bezel, remain well defined. It is therefore in superb condition with no scratches, dings or similar marks visible to the naked eye.
This watch is complete with its early shallow fluted bezel, which is much easier on the eye and has more subtle flutes than the later, more heavily fluted bezels. This gives the watch a more refined appearance and defines this watch as a typical 1950s ‘Lady-Datejust’. 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 number 6517 with 18ct Swiss Geneva hallmarks and is signed ‘Montres Rolex SA Geneva Switzerland’. Very importantly, the case also carries its clearly defined serial number, 360588, between the lugs at ‘6’, along with the Rolex model reference number 6517, (again) at ’12’. The case serial number confirms the date of manufacture of the watch to 1955.
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 original rivet bracelet is very special as it carries decorated center links and remains in very close to perfect condition. The bracelet has simply been cleaned and lightly polished to bring it back to the condition you see here.
Setting the catch to the shortest adjustment the bracelet will fit an 14.6cm wrist, then when setting the catch to the longest adjustment the bracelet will fit a 15.2cm wrist.
Box and Papers
Although there are no original papers with this watch, the reference numbers, markings, signatures and hallmarks are all correct, dating the watch to 1955.
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”.
This watch comes complete with the Rolex presentation box shown in the photographs.
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 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 ladies 1950s vintage Rolex Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust 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.