1930 Rolex Oyster Rare Vintage Mens 18K Gold Watch - Very Early Oyster


Item No. 8221SH

Today's offering showcases this fine and very rare and tremendously early Rolex Oyster with original finish dial, made while the company was building its early Oyster line.

Presumably built within a handful of years of the very first Oyster in 1926, this is one of the very early Oysters Rolex made. And encased in 18K gold, this rare watch was a top-of-the-line Oyster offering.

Without question one of the company's greatest contributions to horology is in the area of waterproof cases. The Rolex Oyster case birthed the idea of the modern sport watch as we know it and was a key catalyst for the initial widespread acceptance of the wristwatch.

Several events worked to greatly popularize the watch: Sir Malcolm Campbell's land speed record attempt where he achieved a speed of 272 mpg, all done while wearing a perfectly functioning Oyster. And, of course, perhaps the most well-known early event in the company's history: Mercedes Gleitz's English Channel swim wearing an Oyster. Following the historic event, Rolex took out a full-page ad in the Daily Mail introducing the Oyster.

Unlike some watches from this era, it is not a small boys size watch. While not large, it is a mens size that measures approximately 32mm without the crown, and the large crown adds another 3mm.

All of its parts are Rolex including its original Oyster Patent crown.

Its 18K gold Oyster case with screwed down bezel and back is in excellent condition with fairly mild wear and signs of previous polishing. Its wonderful luminous dial is untouched. Note that the dial proclaims it is Ultra Prima while the ratchet wheel says Prima, an incongruency that we don't think holds significance.

Powering the watch is its very high grade Rolex caliber chronometer handwound movement. It was adjusted to six positions and for "all climates" temperatures. Photos of the inside available upon request.

One of our watchmakers has just disassembled it down to the last screw and cleaned and oiled the movement. Amazingly after more than 9 decades, It continues to keep exceptionally accurate time, keeping time on par with a brand new Rolex in our testing position.

For the finishing touch we have installed a brand new 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.

  • Manufacturer: Rolex
  • Country of origin: Switzerland
  • Serial no.: 24,383
  • Year made: c. 1930
  • Functions: Hours, Minutes, Subsidiary Seconds
  • Designed for: Men
  • Case material: 18K gold - the top of the line Oyster offering.
  • Case condition: Very good condition with fairly mild wear and old signs of polishing. Rippling to the back and some opening marks on the underside of the body. Like virtually all early wire lugs watches, the lugs have been previously reinforced. Not recently polished.
  • Case markings (inside): Rolex, 18C, 20 World's Records, Great Britain Patents 260,554, 19225, 274.739, Swiss Patents 114.948, 120.851, 24835, various hand-engraved watchmaker's marks showing a servicing history
  • Crown: Original Rolex screw-down Oyster Patent crown
  • Dial: Silver warmed to a slight sepia tone although not as much as our photos suggest, brushed finish, , signed Rolex Oyster Ultra Prima, luminous black painted Art Deco numerals, railroad minute track, sunken subsidiary seconds dial, untouched original condition
  • Dimensions: 32mm wide (excluding crown - the crown adds another approx. 3mm) by 38mm long lug tip to tip
  • Hands: Original, blue steel luminous "batons"
  • Movement type: Rolex, chronometer, adjusted for six positions and temperatures, manually wound, nickel finished, correctly signed, 15-jewel lever movement with Breguet overcoil hairspring, index regulator, signed Rolex, ratchet wheel signed "Prima"
  • Movement markings: Rolex, Swiss Made, 15 Jewels, Timed 6 Positions, For All Climates, Prima
  • Band: Genuine leather, stitched, remborde, designed for fixed lug use, brand new and unworn with unsigned buckle
  • Width between lugs: 16mm
  • Crystal type: Acrylic, excellent condition
  • Serviced: One of our watchmakers has just disassembled it down to the last screw and cleaned and oiled the movement making it ready for immediate enjoyment.
  • Timing: Timed to precision on a state-of-the-art computerized system. Amazingly after more than 9 decades, It continues to keep exceptionally accurate time, keeping time on par with a brand new Rolex in our testing position. 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 watchmakers both of whom each have over forty years of experience and a large number of parts.
  • Warranty: 1-year international warranty. Please email concierge@cotwatches.com 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.

To get an idea of how this watch will look on the wrist, please use the Watch Sizing Guide


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