While the gents Rolex Precision was Rolex’ best selling watch throughout the 1950s and ’60s, many will be surprised to learn there was also a ladies Rolex Precision, sold at the same time. These made up around 10% of all the Precisions produced. Half of these were sold on leather straps and half on integral Rolex gold bracelets. These were expensive watches at the time, due to it being much more difficult to produce the much smaller movements, to the same required levels of accuracy and reliability as those in the larger gents watches.
The watch we have here is an absolutely amazing example of the ladies Rolex Precision cocktail watch in 9ct yellow gold from 1966. This watch is complete with its original integral bracelet, also in 9ct gold and made in the UK for Rolex by the famous watch case and jewellery maker, Roy King. More on this to follow later. The condition of the bracelet, watch case and movement is superb, indicating this watch has only ever seen very light occasional and careful use.
The silver-white dial with applied ‘Pencil’ hour indices is, as can be seen in the close-up photographs, in superb condition. The dial is complete with its original ‘Lancette’ style hands which are also tip-top, especially considering the age of the watch.
The dial is framed by a beautiful crystal effect bezel insert, which catches the light wonderfully. It is crowned with the usual Rolex ‘Coronet’ at 12 and is signed ‘Rolex’ with ‘Precision’ below.
At 15mm diameter, excluding the crown, this is quite a small watch in comparison with most others, however, the dial is quite easy to read, even at arm’s length.
As this dial is in original, unrestored condition, this has been left alone and untouched by our restoration team, due to its superb condition.
The 9ct yellow gold case measures 15mm in diameter, excluding the crown. The crown is unsigned but it is correct for this watch. Please note, the winding crown stem is slightly extended but remains hidden by the bracelet. The watch is easily wound by running one’s finger along the back of the crown. The hands are then set by pulling the crown proud of the bracelet.
On the inside of the case-back, the markings are all correct and signed RCK which stands for Roy Cecil King, a famous English jewellery and watch case maker, who made the case and bracelet for this watch. Based in Watford, Hertfordshire with a showroom in Mayfair London, he was very well known for making exclusive jewellery for the rich and famous. This would therefore have been an incredibly expensive piece in 1966! The case-back also carries London UK hallmarks which date this watch to 1966.
The case is of a very solid two-piece design with an integral bezel. This design improves 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 exceptionally well cared for and has simply required a clean, thorough inspection, then a gentle hand-polish to bring it back to its current ‘like new’ condition with no scratches, dings 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 1601, 18 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 13.75mm diameter, Cal.1600 series movements performed equally as well as its larger gents Precision movements, and they succeeded! These are indeed high precision movements and the example here is running perfectly, having been calibrated to run consistently within plus 9 seconds per day! This is truly outstanding for any mechanical watch and it is no exaggeration – we have checked the test results on our electronic watch timegrapher. This movement also has an excellent power reserve of 44 hours when fully wound.
The original, integral Rolex signed bracelet is in matching solid 9ct yellow gold. The bracelet is in fantastic condition, showing no significant signs of wear or damage visible to the naked eye. 9ct gold is harder wearing than 18ct and because the bracelet is flexible, made up of hundreds of small pieces, 9ct would have been chosen to make the bracelet stronger and more resilient to wear.
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 bracelet remains at its original standard 17cm length, which means the watch and bracelet are a perfect fit for a lady with a wrist size/circumference of 17 centimetres. The original Rolex signed clasp and lock is superbly designed with a safety catch which securely locks, making the watch secure 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 note – the catch is not adjustable, meaning this watch will not fit a larger wrist. However, it could be tailored to fit a smaller wrist. If upon purchasing this watch, this becomes necessary, we will be pleased to arrange this for you at our cost price.
Please call or message us to discuss this, or 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 this watch to 1966.
The original Rolex presentation box shown in the photographs is included in the sale.
This is a superb, highly collectable and totally usable vintage watch from horology’s most famous name, which 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 on a regular basis, as you so wish.