Early Rolex???

Thread: Early Rolex???

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  1. #1
    Member Marrick's Avatar
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    Early Rolex???

    What do you think? The movement is dead. But is it for real?

    This was on auction at Bonhams in 2003:

    http://www.artfact.com/catalog/viewL...tCode=DUTT051U
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    Last edited by Marrick; March 15th, 2008 at 11:03.

  2. #2
    Member JohnF's Avatar
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    Re: Early Rolex???

    Hi -

    Hard to call. Rolex and low jewel movements? Of course, given the date of manufacture (during the Great Depression) this could well be the case (no pun intended), but unusual. Haven't been able to ID the movement as such: this was in the days when Rolex didn't actually make any of its own movements (they bought Aigler much later).

    JohnF
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  3. #3
    Member Marrick's Avatar
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    Re: Early Rolex???

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnF View Post
    Hi -

    Hard to call. Rolex and low jewel movements? Of course, given the date of manufacture (during the Great Depression) this could well be the case (no pun intended), but unusual. Haven't been able to ID the movement as such: this was in the days when Rolex didn't actually make any of its own movements (they bought Aigler much later).

    JohnF
    Thanks John. It has one jewel that I can see. The balance staff seems OK, and the winding gear seems fine, so it probably just needs a clean. Maybe. Perhaps. And a £150/$300 dial repair.

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  5. #4
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: Early Rolex???

    I woild have dated this one to the 1910s myself. You don't see many porcelain dials from the 1930s and the movement looks like a pocket watch. More like a transition model I should think.
    Times were also tough for the Swiss watchmakers during and immediately after WWI so it's possible this is a very early Rolex.

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  6. #5
    Member Marrick's Avatar
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    Re: Early Rolex???

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray MacDonald View Post
    I woild have dated this one to the 1910s myself. You don't see many porcelain dials from the 1930s and the movement looks like a pocket watch. More like a transition model I should think.
    Times were also tough for the Swiss watchmakers during and immediately after WWI so it's possible this is a very early Rolex.
    There has been a much nicer one sold on Italian ebay recently:

    http://cgi.ebay.it/SPLENDIDO-E-RARO-...QQcmdZViewItem

    He reckoned 1930, but I agree it could be earlier. The Italian one has the same hands and case maker - but his is in a nice silver case and fully Rolex marked. The pallets on mine have jewels, as has the balance wheel, but that's it. I'm now fairly confident its genuine - now to try and get a small profit on it! Many thanks.

  7. #6
    Member JohnF's Avatar
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    Re: Early Rolex???

    Hi -

    Agree completely that the porcelain dial points to an earlier date. But I'm inclined, in the absence of better knowledge, to speculate that this may well be something put together by Rolex to increase sales during the post-war (WWI) economic slump, given the low jewel count and the paucity of wristwatches pre-war: if anything, Rolex is a seller that develops watches to meet market needs (especially those needs that the market isn't consciously aware of), and I'm guessing that this is, so to speak, a watch of convenience: perhaps a supply (or supplier) of porcelain dials with no brand imprint, coupled with non-precious metal case and low-jewel movement. For me, that all points to increased sales for market share.

    Again, it's speculatin in the face of a lack of data.

    JohnF
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    Re: Early Rolex???

    I also would date this one 1910 -1915. You may want to take a look under the dial, sometimes early Rolexes were signed there.

  9. #8
    Member Marrick's Avatar
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    Re: Early Rolex???

    Quote Originally Posted by trebor View Post
    I also would date this one 1910 -1915. You may want to take a look under the dial, sometimes early Rolexes were signed there.
    Cheers. The dial looks like it would fall apart quite easilly; I'll think about it it!

  10. #9
    Member Neil(UK)'s Avatar
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    Re: Early Rolex???

    I'm not so sure.

    That movement worries me.

    It could of course just be a Rolex signed winding wheel that has been replaced on the movement pictured.
    Cheers,
    Neil.

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  11. #10
    Member Marrick's Avatar
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    Re: Early Rolex???

    Quote Originally Posted by Neil(UK) View Post
    I'm not so sure.

    That movement worries me.

    It could of course just be a Rolex signed winding wheel that has been replaced on the movement pictured.
    True. But I've found quite a few pictures of examples with the 'Sporting Model' dial - which leading auction houses like Bonhams and Sothebys have sold as Rolexes. And, as has been mentioned, Rolex weren't making their own movements in the early days. Anyway, the dial is too damaged for me to want to keep it so I'll let the market decide.

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