The watch we see here is an absolutely delightful example of a 1952 ladies Rolex dress or cocktail watch in 9ct yellow gold, with its original 9ct gold Rolex bracelet.
Rolex has had a line of simple, but elegant top quality ladies watches for over 100 years and during the past 10 years, we have sold a good many of these. This, however, is one of the most original and well cared for examples we have seen. It is beautifully made in 9ct gold throughout and complete with its original, high-quality Rolex bracelet, currently tailored to fit a wrist size of 15.5cm to 16.5cm.
These were expensive watches when new because it was much more difficult to produce these smaller movements to the high levels of accuracy and reliability, in line with the larger gents Rolex Precision movements.
The condition of the bracelet, watch case, original dial and movement are excellent, indicating this watch has only ever seen very occasional and careful use.
This is the perfect dress or cocktail watch, for either evening wear or regular daily use. As you so please.
The silver-white dial with 1 – 12 applied numerals is in remarkable original condition, considering its age. The dial is complete with its original Rolex ‘Alpha’ style hands which are also in A1 condition. Both the dial and hands are original, untouched and unrestored. Normally we restore the dials of all the watches listed on this website, but here because they are in such good original condition, we felt this to be completely unnecessary.
Please note: This is a small watch and we use a very high definition camera with a high magnification macro lens to provide you with the best images possible. While this the most honest policy, this can be a little cruel in exposing every tiny flaw on a vintage watch which the naked eye would not normally notice. In truth, you would not see these on your wrist unless you held the watch very close to your eye and you have 20:20 vision!
Although this is quite a small watch in comparison with most others, the dial, gilt hands, and gilt hour indices make the dial easy to read, even at arm’s length.
The dial is signed ‘Rolex’ with the usual Rolex ‘Coronet’ at 12 and ‘Swiss’ at the very bottom of the dial.
During the late 1940s and ’50s, pretty much all of the major watch brands, including Rolex, Omega, IWC, Longines, Zenith and Vacheron Constantin, introduced ‘Cioccolatone’ style watches to the market. These were very popular at the time. These rounded corner, square chocolate shaped watches were named ‘Cioccolatone’, from the Italian for chocolate.
The 9ct yellow gold case measures 16mm across, excluding the correct Rolex unsigned crown. Please note, the size of the winding crown may look slightly large in certain photographs. This is because the watch is small in comparison and the crown needs to be of adequate size in order to wind it. However please be assured, it is the correct original Rolex crown for this watch.
On the inside of the case-back, the markings are all correct for a Rolex Swiss made case. The case is signed R.W.Co.Ltd. for Rolex Watch Co Ltd. The case-back also carries the case reference number 74139 and UK 9ct hallmarks, which date this watch to 1952. The case is of a very solid two-piece design with an integral bezel which was designed to improve water and dust resistance. The press-fit case-back clicks into place with a firm and satisfying ‘pop’, indicating it is a nice tight fit. The case-back is of full thickness and has never been inscribed.
This watch has been exceptionally well cared for and so the case has simply required a clean, thorough inspection, and then a gentle hand-polish to bring it back to its current ‘like new’ condition with no scratches, dings or dimples, or other forms of damage visible to the naked eye.
Please note – our standard advice applies: Vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
The high grade Calibre 250, 15 Jewel, hand-wound movement is in incredibly clean and sparkling condition and has just been fully overhauled and serviced by our expert vintage Rolex specialist watchmaker.
Rolex went to considerable lengths and expense to ensure its smaller series movements perform equally as well as its larger gents Precision movements. These are high precision movements and the example here is running perfectly, having been calibrated to run consistently within plus or minus 16 seconds per day! This is excellent for any small mechanical watch and is no exaggeration – we have checked and confirmed the test results on our electronic watch timegrapher. This movement also has an excellent power reserve of 44 hours when fully wound.
The movement is signed Rolex, ‘Swiss Made’ and ‘15 Rubis’ (Jewels) and is marked with the Calibre number 250. This particular movement is in beautiful condition and with similar care and regular servicing, say every 3 to 4 years, we would fully expect this watch to continue to run very happily for another 50+ years!
The original, integral, full-sized Rolex signed bracelet is also in matching solid 9ct yellow gold. This is quite a heavy bracelet, in immaculate condition, showing no signs of wear or damage visible to the naked eye.
The bracelet remains at its original standard 16cm length, which means the watch and bracelet are a perfect fit for a lady with a wrist size/circumference of 16 centimetres. The Rolex signed clasp and lock provide an adjustment of 0.5 centimetres either way, meaning the watch will fit a wrist size 15.5cm – 16.5cm or 6 inches to 6.5 inches. Please note, the bracelet can easily be made smaller by our jeweller, by removing one or two links.
The bracelet is, as expected, superbly made and quite weighty and substantial. It is also in wonderful condition. While the links do not stretch, they are just flexible enough to hug the wrist beautifully with no gaps or unevenness in any of the links.
The original Rolex signed clasp is also superbly designed and substantial, with a secure second catch which effectively locks the bracelet on the wrist. This means it is impossible for the clasp to become accidentally undone and for the watch to become loose on the wrist. Please call or message us to discuss this, if you have any queries about the bracelet or any other aspect of the watch.
Box and Papers
Although there are no original papers with the watch, the numbers and markings are all correct, dating it to 1952.
The Rolex green felt purse as shown in the photographs is included in the sale.
One of the nicest ladies Rolex dress/cocktail watches we have seen, from horology’s most famous name. This will provide an excellent financial investment as well as be something to treasure and enjoy! It will make the perfect gift as well as a practical, accurate and reliable timepiece to use for evening wear, on a regular basis, as you so wish.
A word on our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very best quality watches we can find, before then restoring these 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.