Rolex Oyster Pocket Watch
Is it the missing link, or is it the answer to the question that no-one ever asked?
I am talking about one of the most rare watches ever made by Rolex; the 1926/27 Oyster Pocket Watch.
“An Oyster Pocket Watch??” I hear you exclaim, what exactly would be the point of that; let’s be honest, how many people go swimming whilst wearing a waistcoat (vest, for the colonials)?
As is well known, the serial numbers for the Oyster wristwatches began at 20,001; here we can see that the serial numbers for the pocket watch version began at 2,000,001. This is only the fifth one of these that I have owned in almost 30 years and only the eighth one I have ever seen; all had serial numbers below 2,000,300, so my guess is that few were ever made, and probably even fewer sold.
Despite being a complete flop (in sales terms) the watch played a very important role for Rolex and for another firm too; a few years after the watch was abandoned, Rolex took the design, turned it through 90 degrees, added wire lugs and sold it as the reference 2533.
The 2533 was also not very successful, in fact I am aware of only two examples extant (although probably more were made) but it is without a doubt, the origin of the Panerai as we know it. The 2533 was the very first watch sold by Rolex to Panerai, and in fact, these first watches were also 9ct gold. Which leads me to believe that these first 2533 watches were in fact unsold converted Oyster pocket watches.
Which is why I call it the ‘Missing Link’; just look at the shape of the winding crown on the pocket watch and on the 3646.
The rear of the case back is hand engraved with the words “Ich Dien” (German for “I Serve”) and the motto under the crest of The Prince of Wales. below the motto are the initials R. G-C. 1927-61 and below that the initials W. L. and the dates 1961-. I do not know to whom these refer, sorry. The quality of the hand engraving is of the very highest quality, normally only seen on very high end presentation items. The initial date of 1927 is very interesting as it is the year after the Oyster was launched, and when this would have been the ultimate in modern technology.
The watch is very special as it has just returned from a full restoration by Rebecca and Craig Struthers, arguably the best watch restorers in the UK and is covered by their warranty for 12 months.
The case is 90% (there are some small dents in the case back); the dial is 90+% and the movement is 95+%.
It measures 46mm width, 46mm high (or 57.5mm including the bow & winder) and 11mm thick.
£35,500.00 (approx. $43,500.00 US)