In the first decade after the turn of the twentieth century when someone referred to a gentleman's watch they most often meant one object - a large, timing instrument kept in the pocket. That changed in part because of Hans Wilsdorf, a true legend in timekeeping history, who founded Rolex Watch Co. in 1908. When the first World War erupted, demand rose sharply for these novel watches as Allied servicemen needed a more suitable way to a access their vital timepieces.
Today's offering showcases this rare and Rolex demi-hunter "trench watch" built during World War I in 1914, only six years after the founding of Rolex. It is stamped with a Birmingham hallmark.
We believe these more than a century old Rolex are underappreciated: At a time when Rolex values are climbing finding an original one of these is very difficult, their military style is exceedingly cool, and they are one of the first Rolex wristwatches made, yet they often sell for less than a ubiquitous 70's Oysterdate.
Often referred to as a Trench Watch, watches like this one enabled an officer to coordinate his men's activities with precision with just a glance at his wrist. With its circular case, easy to read porcelain dial with large numerals, and small "onion" winding crown, it clearly showcases its resemblance to a pocket watch.
This particular example Takes the pocketwatch design even further. Designed to capture the best qualities of both the hunter cased and open face pocket watches from the era, it features a half-hunter case construction which offered the protection of a hunter cased watch with the convenient time reading of an open faced watch.
The centerpiece of the watch when the case is closed is the demi-hunter bezel with engraved numbers, and the centerpiece of the watch when the cover is open is its beautiful original porcelain dial with black Roman numerals and distinctive red 12.
Born before the days of constant brand focused marketing, these very early pieces are often not outwardly signed Rolex - they are only signed on the movement and the case. The case was made for Rolex by A.L. Dennison. Dennison built many Rolex cases during the period for their English market watches, so it bears the Dennison's name.
While watches from this era were often quite small, this watch is closer to the size of most watches four decades later. While not a large watch it measures 32mm in diameter without the large crown.
Its very early, sterling silver case is in honest condition. It doesn't not appear to have ever been polished. It has tarnished with a nice patina, so we have left it on for the sale. If you would like removed so that the case is a shiny silver tone, please let us know.
Its dial is in beautiful condition. It has no cracks or hairlines and one thin chip on the very edge.
Its original, signed Rolex Rebberg "hunter" movement is running very true.
All four of our team of Master Watchmakers worked together for two years to restore the movement to proper functioning. Our Master Fabricator hand-crafted factory quality parts to replace ones that were no longer available.
One of our Master Watchmakers, who used to be the watchmaker for an authorized Rolex dealer and was given special training by Rolex at their Beverly Hills Service Center to be an authorized Rolex watchmaker (for many years now Rolex has not "certified" watchmakers, they only "train" them), did the final full servicing which included installing a new mainspring, and extensive timing testing and regulation (the total restoration cost if we were to bill it would have exceeded $2,500 USD).
For the finishing touch it comes equipped with a new Hirsch leather strap making it ready for immediate enjoyment.
Included with the purchase is a one-year C.O.T. international warranty on the movement and its function, a full-page custom printed Connoisseur of Time Certificate of Authenticity, and a new timing certificate.
Don't miss this opportunity to own and enjoy an original historical vintage Rolex.
Country of origin: Switzerland
Year built: 1914 - Birmingham hallmark
Model: Trench Style Watch
Functions: Hours, Minutes, Subsidiary Seconds
Designed for: Men
Case material: Sterling silver
Case markings (inside): Dennison Watch Co., A.L.D. for A.L. Dennison Rolex's British case manufacturer Swiss, 218,688, silver content, silver hallmarks
Case condition: Honest condition. A few pin prick indentions on bezel and light rippling in back from a previously installed one piece band. We have left the classic patina on the case.
Dial: White enamel with black painted Arabic numerals with a red 12, outer railroad minute track, excellent condition with one small sliver chip on the edge and no light hairline or cracks. Born before the days of constant brand focused marketing, these very early pieces are often not outwardly signed Rolex.
Hands: Blued steel "spades", original
Movement type: Fine Swiss quality, Rolex Rebberg hunter, signed Rolex, decorated with pearling, 15 jewels, index regulator
Movement markings: Rolex, Swiss Made, 15 Jewels
Jewels: 15 rubies
Band: Leather with Java grain, remborde, made by Hirsch one of Europe's long running band companies, designed for fixed lug watches, new
Crystal: Acrylic, vintage, excellent condition.
Serviced: All four of our team of Master Watchmakers worked together for two years to restore the movement to proper functioning. Our Master Fabricator hand-crafted factory quality parts to replace ones that were no longer available. One of our Master Watchmakers, who used to be the watchmaker for an authorized Rolex dealer and was given special training by Rolex at their Beverly Hills Service Center to be an authorized Rolex watchmaker (for many years now Rolex has not "certified" watchmakers, they only "train" them), did the final full servicing which included installing a new mainspring, and extensive timing testing and regulation (the total restoration cost if we were to bill it would have exceeded $2,500 USD).
Timing: Timed on a state-of-the-art computerized system. Your watch is important to us, and we will take care of it for its lifetime. We provide the best after sale care in the business with an experienced team of four watchmakers all of whom each have over thirty-five years of experience and a large number of parts.
Warranty: 1-year international warranty. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Box/Papers: BOX - Connoisseur of Time watch presentation box; PAPERS - Custom printed Connoisseur of Time Certificate of Authenticity; New timing certificate
Returns: 7 days full refund. 100% satisfaction guarantee
We offer a 100%
satisfaction guarantee for all of our watches. If you are in any way
unsatisfied with the watch we will fully refund the purchase price anytime
within 7 days after the watch has been received. Our goal is to exceed our
client's expectations throughout the buying experience.
All watches are packaged carefully and mailed double boxed in specially
constructed, reinforced shipping boxes designed for high value items. All
watches are sent fully insured with signature required. Most of our domestic
shipping is done through FedEx. At times we will also use USPS Express Mail,
and we can accommodate most requests for your preferred carrier.
International shipments are sent USPS International Express Mail or FedEx.
The purchase price will be the declared value of the merchandise on any
required customs forms. The payment of all customs duties, tariffs, and
taxes are the responsibility of the buyer.
Also note that water resistance of vintage watches can no longer be
guaranteed and is not covered under the watch's warranty. We do not
recommend getting a vintage watch wet, even one that was originally designed
to be waterproof.