Rolex Oyster Perpetual Model Ref.1003 9ct 1957 Thunderbird Bezel
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Inspected, Serviced & Guaranteed
A Carefully Owned & Lightly Used Example
Rolex Oyster Perpetual, Rolex Model Ref 1003
Swiss Hallmarked 9ct Solid Yellow Gold Rolex Oyster Case
Officially Certified Chronometer, Highly Accurate Movement
High Grade Cal.1560, 26 Jewel Chronometer Automatic Movement
Original, Unrestored and Untouched Dial with ‘Stick’ Hands and ‘Baton’ Hour Indices
35mm Diameter Case, Excluding the Rolex Super Oyster Non-Screw-Down Crown
Thunderbird Bezel, Case Body and Screw-Back, all in Tip-Top Condition
High Quality Brown Lizard Strap & Rolex Gold-Plated Buckle
Rolex Presentation Box Included, as Shown
VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee
VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty*
Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery
Free UK Special Delivery
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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.
A highly attractive 9ct gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual Chronometer in beautiful condition from 1957. This incredible example has been completely left alone, rather than fully restored as the watch, dial and case are all in completely good, honest and original condition. This Rolex model reference 1003 has the most wonderful gold dial and original ‘stick’ hands which pair beautifully with the ‘baton’ hour indices. As mentioned above, the dial is original, unrestored and untouched and has been left this way, due to its extraordinary good condition and because some collectors prefer the originality of an unrestored dial.
This watch case also carries the very sought after original ‘Thunderbird’ bezel which, along with the rest of the watch, is in superb condition
The original Rolex Calibre 1560, 26 Jewel Chronometer grade automatic movement is superbly accurate and reliable even by current day standards. The watch has just been fully inspected and overhauled by our team and as can be seen, the movement is sparkling clean, following its service by our vintage Rolex specialist watchmaker.
This incredible 1950s Oyster Perpetual dial is totally captivating and looks outstanding. This is an early forerunner to the classic Rolex design which carries through to this day. The dial looks wonderful against the gold case and the original unrestored ‘stick’ hands are completed with a red seconds hand. The dial carries the Rolex Coronet at the very top of the dial and is correctly signed ‘Rolex Oyster Perpetual’ and ‘Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified’ with ‘Swiss’ at the very bottom.
This dial is original, unrestored and untouched. It is also in really excellent condition considering the age of the watch, with almost no fading, spotting or crazing and with an even overall patina. Due to its relatively good condition and for reasons of retaining the character and the originality of the watch, we have left it completely alone.
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 carries its original very high grade ‘Superlative Chronometer’ Calibre 1560, 26 Jewel automatic movement which is in sparklingly clean condition and has been fully overhauled and serviced by our watchmaker. This means it has been fully dismantled to all its component parts, before ultrasonic cleaning, microscope inspection and replacement of parts with new originals where required. Then careful reassembly and oiling ready for final testing and calibration. The watch is now running perfectly having been calibrated and timed at +10 seconds per day, which is truly outstanding for any watch of this age. The movement has a 44 hour power reserve when fully wound and is ready for many more years of reliable service.
The movement is all correctly signed ‘Montres Rolex SA Geneva Swiss’ and ‘Twenty Six Jewels’ with the Calibre number 1560 and the serial number 50889.
These Chronometer grade movements are very strong, accurate and reliable making this watch perfectly suitable for evening wear and everyday use. This particular movement is in superb A1 condition and with regular servicing, every 3 – 4 years, we would fully expect this watch to run happily for many more years to come! We are pleased to offer a 12 month warranty on this watch movement*.
*Please note – our 12 month warranty is only applicable if the list price is paid.
The 9ct yellow gold case is in tip-top condition and measures 35mm, excluding the original Rolex signed Oyster screw-down crown. This would have been a quite a large watch by 1950s standards.
The case carries the rare Metropolitan bezel, sometimes often referred to as the ‘Thunderbird’ bezel. This carries a light radial engraving which is in perfect 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 been professionally cleaned and carefully inspected, and has required only light polishing as it is in superb condition with no scratches, dings or other damage, visible to the naked eye.
Inside the case-back, all the markings are as expected and correct with ‘Montres Rolex SA Geneva Switzerland’, ‘R.W.C. LTD.’, Swiss Geneva 9ct hallmarks and the model reference number 1003. The watch also carries a clear case serial number 640567 between the lugs at 6 o’clock, which confirms the date of manufacture of this watch as 1957.
Please note – even though this watch was specified as waterproof when new, and the rubber seals have been replaced on the case-back and crown, the water-resistance of this watch has not been tested and is not guaranteed.
As ever, our standard advice applies: Vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
The Strap & Buckle
A new, very high quality 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 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 1957.
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”.
As with all our watches, this watch will be sold under our 14 days no quibble sale or return policy.
The Rolex presentation box as shown in the photographs is included in the sale.
This is a wonderful example of a 1950s vintage Rolex Oyster Perpetual dress watch 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.
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.
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 us 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.