Vintage Rolex "Aqua"
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  1. #1
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    Confused Vintage Rolex "Aqua"

    Hi guys,

    I have the opportunity of buying a vintage gold Rolex "Aqua" circa 1950s. I've never heard -- or even seen -- this model before, in all my years of casually browsing internet sales and the like. Something tells me it's not a common oldie, but I might be mistaken here. These are the only pictures and information I can find online about this watch:

    Brisbane Vintage Watches - Rolex Aqua

    In person, it's quite a stunner. The blued second hand is gorgeous. Any vintage Rolex experts care to chime in regarding the history of said piece? To me, the "Aqua" labeling is interesting... Also,the fact that it is 10ct gold; most of the solid gold vintage Rolexes/Tudors seem to be 9ct or significantly higher.

    Any information and comments much appreciated

    Cheers.

  2. #2
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Rolex "Aqua"

    No movement pics on a multi thousand dollar watch that is in a class of watches where authenticity is always in doubt... seems risky to me!
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

  3. #3
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Rolex "Aqua"

    There are a couple of things wrong with this that concern me. The main one is the fact that it's not in an oyster case. Rolex used to market a watch here in Canada through the T. Eatons company called the Solar Aqua; it used a Tudor movement in a genuine oyster case.

    Now as I understand it, the reason the Canadian version was sold as a "tudor" movement had to do with licensing agreements Rolex had; only their authorized dealers were allowed to sell "Rolex" watches in Canada, hence the difference. Since is from Australia, that restriction may not have existed.

    On the plus side, the dial of this watch shows signs of radiation burns from the (i assume) radium hands; that's not something that can be "faked" easily, and it takes a few years for that to appear once the watch stops. So the dial is old and may be legit. But I'm less convinced that it's the original case. The Tudor Aqua movement was a modifed and finished ebauche from one of the ebauche companies, and as such you could swap the dial or movement from the Tudor to any number of other, lesser watches.

    Bottom line: no movement shot isn't worth the risk unless you have a deeper knowledge of this brand that convinces you it might be genuine.
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

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  5. #4
    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Rolex "Aqua"

    Hi
    To me the case and crown are wrong
    I never saw a Rolex with that type of case back, Rolex always used a knurled screw back case (or pop on case).
    also even with Tudor and Canadian type 59 Caliber made by Fontainmelon they always had the Rolex signed crown

    It does not look correct to me
    sincerely
    Adam
    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT. FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL. THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.

    "Failure is not an option" - Gene Kranz
    "Owning a vintage watch is great, understanding where it sits in Horology is magnificent"
    and
    "By Teaching Others, We Teach Ourselves"
    Adam

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    Re: Vintage Rolex "Aqua"

    Quote Originally Posted by HOROLOGIST007 View Post
    Hi
    To me the case and crown are wrong
    I never saw a Rolex with that type of case back, Rolex always used a knurled screw back case (or pop on case).
    also even with Tudor and Canadian type 59 Caliber made by Fontainmelon they always had the Rolex signed crown

    It does not look correct to me
    sincerely
    Adam
    I work at a watchmakers (I'm not a watchmaker myself per se -- long story) and the watch I've linked ya'll to in pics is NOT the actual one up for sale.

    It is however, essentially the same. The case and caseback are identical, (screw on jaxa style), the dial and hands are the same -- but in better condition in the one I'm thinking of buying -- and the movement has been authenticated by the experts on our team; it is Rolex signed. But again,nobody on our team has seen anything quite like it before.

    If the one up for sale is a fake, I'd be suprised.... finding one online and one in the flesh that are practically identical seems highly unlikely.



    The crown is also a replacement on the one I'm considering buying.

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    Re: Vintage Rolex "Aqua"

    I'm quite excited by this; I do appreciate all of your input guys. If you're 100% sure it's a dud then I'll stay away.... but something's telling me there might be more to this story.

  8. #7
    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Rolex "Aqua"

    Quote Originally Posted by Vincero View Post
    I'm quite excited by this; I do appreciate all of your input guys. If you're 100% sure it's a dud then I'll stay away.... but something's telling me there might be more to this story.
    Yes there may be, but I would want to confirm it.
    Wilsdorf registered the brand Aqua in March 1922, four years before "oyster"
    So a non locking crown was originally used.

    A
    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT. FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL. THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.

    "Failure is not an option" - Gene Kranz
    "Owning a vintage watch is great, understanding where it sits in Horology is magnificent"
    and
    "By Teaching Others, We Teach Ourselves"
    Adam

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    Re: Vintage Rolex "Aqua"

    Thanks Adam. Very interesting; when I saw it I looked at the caseback and thought "odd". The idea of a replacement case came to mind, but after finding another picture of this model online I'm tempted to say that the case is in fact original.

    Decisions decisions....

  10. #9
    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Rolex "Aqua"

    Quote Originally Posted by Vincero View Post
    Thanks Adam. Very interesting; when I saw it I looked at the caseback and thought "odd". The idea of a replacement case came to mind, but after finding another picture of this model online I'm tempted to say that the case is in fact original.

    Decisions decisions....
    It may be. Many weird things happen with Rolex.
    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT. FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL. THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.

    "Failure is not an option" - Gene Kranz
    "Owning a vintage watch is great, understanding where it sits in Horology is magnificent"
    and
    "By Teaching Others, We Teach Ourselves"
    Adam

  11. #10
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    Re: Vintage Rolex "Aqua"

    Any chance of it appearing in old catalogs and the like?

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