Rolex Precision Metropolitan Chronometer Sub-Dial 14ct 1953



In stock

Listed 3 years ago

Edited 3 years ago


Vintage Gold Watches

Bayswater, GB


020 7727 7095


View Seller Shop


Seller typeTrade
Reference number4325
ConditionVery good
ScopeWatch only
Case material14ct Yellow Gold
Bracelet material9ct Yellow Gold


Rolex Precision Chronometers are very special watches, due to the precision of their movements which were designed to meet the highest standards of accuracy and reliability for their day. This was independently tested and certified by an official Observatory, usually Swiss or British, such as Neuchatel Observatory, Geneva Observatory, or Kew Observatory in London. Tests of the accuracy and reliability of individual watches were carried out over numerous weeks in 6 positions and over a range of temperatures. Only individual watches which passed these very strict tests qualified and were granted permission to be classed as “Chronometer grade” watches. Furthermore, each year special Prizes were awarded to the manufacturer who submitted the most accurate wristwatch, and the manufacturer who submitted the highest number of watches to qualify as Chronometers. Manufacturers competed fiercely for these prizes as they were highly coveted and publicised. Just as with the motor manufacturers associated with Formula 1 Grand Prix winners of yesteryear and today, the publicity was priceless. Rolex, Omega, Longines and Zenith were the most successful manufacturers in submitting watches which passed these tests and also winning prizes as outright winners.

During the 1930s and ’40s, Rolex was also undoubtedly the most successful watch manufacturer in courting publicity. It managed this by being on hand, or wrist, during many record-breaking events. For example, swimming across the English Channel (1927), world automobile speed record (300mph, 1935), breaking the sound barrier in 1947 and the conquest of Everest in 1952.

No matter how pre-planned or well-orchestrated these events were, one cannot blame Rolex for building its brand. In fact, the company was creative and ahead of the game in capitalising on every event and opportunity.  Some fascinating books have been written about these events, which were just as amazing at the time as the many modern advances in hand-held/mobile technology today. A brief section covers some of these events, as well as some of the history of Rolex, in our FAQs section found via the link at the bottom left of this page.

Rolex Precision Chronometers remain as equally prized today as they were when they were made. Today Rolex produces more Chronometer watches than any other manufacturer and indeed it has done so for quite a few decades. To be classed as a Chronometer today, watches are required to be submitted to an independent Swiss body called the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute, for testing over 15 days at a range of temperatures.

Here we have one of the most beautiful Rolex Precisions in the form of the ‘Metropolitan’ 14ct Oversize with the milled bezel. This is also often known as a ‘Thunderbird’ bezel.

This 1953 watch has just completed a full restoration by our team, including the movement, watch case and watch dial. This involves three different sets of skills. Our watchmaker has restored and serviced the watch movement, our watch case-maker has sympathetically restored the case and our dial restorer has restored the dial.

The Dial

Large Rolex Precision dials with a subsidiary seconds dial at 6 o’clock are always something special and here, the dial, Metropolitan case and straight lugs lend the watch something of a Patek Phillipe Calatrava look.

The applied gilt batons and original ‘Dauphine’ hands over an ivory cream dial with a sub-seconds dial, all elevate this watch to something quite special. Once again, pure simple style and classic timeless elegance is a perfect example of how vintage beats modern, hands down, every time!

The Rolex Coronet crowns the dial which is signed ‘Rolex’ and ‘Chronometer’ with ‘Swiss’ at the very bottom.

This is the original dial which has been sympathetically and beautifully restored to the highest standards by our dial restorers, who are regarded the best in the UK.

The Watch Case

The 14ct solid yellow gold case measures 35mm in diameter, excluding the Rolex nipple crown, making this one of the rare oversized Rolex dress watches. At 8mm deep, including the lens, this is also quite a slim cased watch.

This is a Rolex Precision Metropolitan and model reference 4325 is quite a rare reference. The milled bezel carries very fine radial grooves along with larger marks at each hour, which accentuate the hours around the dial.

Bezels are always prone to damage and particularly those with any kind of decoration. However, the bezel here really is in excellent condition and not overly polished which is unusual to say the least. This, along with the clean and nicely polished case-back, indicates the watch has been well cared for and seen very little use.

The straight lugs are also notable as they are beautifully elegant in design. They are very nicely swept-back, raising the watch a little, making it sit higher on the wrist. Lastly, the beautiful case-back is also in amazing condition and just like the rest of the case, carries no scratches, dings or any other damage visible to the naked eye.

Inside the case-back is the early Rolex scroll signature, as well as Swiss 14ct hallmarks. The case also carries the number 629 along with the Rolex model reference number 4325 and Swiss Geneva 14ct hallmarks.

The watch case is very clean and all its lines are very distinct, indicating only very light hand-polishing. The watch shows only the very slightest signs of wear with no scratches, dings or other marks visible to the naked eye. The case has only required some very gentle hand polishing to bring it back to the condition you see here.

As ever, our standard advice applies: Vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.

The Movement

As can be seen, the high-grade Rolex Superbalance, 17 Jewel, hand-wound chronometer grade movement is in incredibly clean and sparkling condition. It has just completed an overhaul and service by our vintage Rolex specialist watchmaker and winds, sets and runs perfectly.

Following its service, the movement was calibrated and final tested and was found to be running arrow straight at -6 seconds per day! This is truly excellent and has been checked on our electronic watch timegrapher. This movement also has an excellent 42 hour power reserve when fully wound.

The movement is signed ’17 Seventeen Jewels’, ‘Rolex Geneva’, ‘Chronometer’ and ‘Adjusted to 7 Seven Positions’ and is marked with the serial number E49264. This particular movement is in superb condition and with regular servicing, say every 3 or 4 years, we would fully expect this watch to run quite happily and provide very faithful service for another 60+ years or so to come!

The Strap and Buckle

This watch is fitted with a genuine vintage 9ct gold bracelet suitable for a gent’s dress watch with 18mm lugs such as a Rolex Precision or any other slimmer dress watch.

The Box and Papers

Although there are no original papers with this watch, all the numbers and markings on watch date the watch to circa 1953.

The watch comes complete with a Rolex presentation box.

In Conclusion

This is a rare and first class example of a highly collectable and highly practical vintage watch from horology’s most famous name, which will provide an excellent financial investment as well as something to use, wear, treasure and enjoy! It will make an excellent evening wear dress watch as well as a practical highly accurate and reliable timepiece to use on an everyday basis.

Vintage gold Rolex Precision Chronometers are highly collectable and the rarity of this watch means the value will always remain strong. This watch will make an excellent investment and family heirloom piece and even though vintage Rolex prices have risen markedly recently, we feel fine examples such as this still remain undervalued. As each year goes by and the world market for vintage watches expands, availability will become more limited so prices are surely destined to climb ever higher!

Offer History

No activity yet, be the first!

Ask a question

You must be logged in to submit questions