Today's offering showcases this very rare original so-called "prototype" Bubbleback made circa 1933 with movement factory stamped with watchmaker's instructions. It is one of the rarest examples of a Bubbleback to ever pass through these halls.
Because the story of the Rolex Oyster has been so well-documented, we will only briefly summarize it here. In 1926 Rolex created their famous first Oyster waterproof watch with a design that would become legendary and still be used nearly a century later.
Then in 1931, Rolex invented and patented the world's first self-winding mechanism with a Perpetual rotor and placed it inside one of their Oyster cases, calling it an Oyster Perpetual. In order to accommodate the large rotor these first Oyster Perpetual watches had highly domed case backs, later earning them the collector name Bubblebacks.
Housed in one of Rolex's first water-tight Oyster cases, this wristwatch originally offered its owner complete protection against water and dust. Inside the ruggedly elegant case Rolex place an early self-winding Perpetual movement, keeping the watch powered by movements of the wrist.
Equipped with a 9 3/4 ''' Bubbleback movement with self-compensating Breguet mainspring, and the company's patented Super-Balance system for greater accuracy, this fine watch is the timekeeping standard of discriminating owners.
This incredibly special Rolex Bubbleback, one of the very first Bubbleback watches, differs somewhat from the watches that went into construction later.
This watch also has fixed lugs, instead of spring bars, and a wonderful Breguet numeral dial not usually seen on a Bubbleback.
Most importantly, it has the so-called "prototype" watchmaker instruction movement with watchmaker's servicing instructions stamped throughout the movement.
It is a watch that could serve as the crown jewel of an extremely very fine Bubbleback collection.
We were fortunate to acquire it in original condition. Its case is in excellent condition with only fairly light signs of previous polishing and still clearly retains its original early serial number. Its Breguet dial is original and untouched.
Our Master Watchmaker, our highest level watchmaker, has fully serviced the watch which consists of fully disassembling the movement, carefully inspecting each part, making repairs and adjustments as needed, reassembling and lubricating the movement (a $695 value). It winds very well and the crown screws down fully and is keeping generally accurate time within two to three minutes per day.
For the finishing touch we have equipped it with a 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 and a custom printed Connoisseur of Time Certificate of Authenticity.
Rolex's own recounting of their early Oyster history can be found here on their website
Country of origin: Switzerland
Year built: c. 1933
Serial no.: 29,603
Functions: Hours, Minutes, Automatic, Subsidiary Seconds
Designed for: Men
Case material: 18K gold
Case markings (inside): Oyster Watch Co., Geneve Swiss, Great Britain Patents, Swiss Patents, French Patents, USA Patents, German Patents, Rolex Coronet symbol SAR, R.W.C. Ltd., precious metal hallmarks
Case condition: Excellent with fairly light signs of previous polishing. The serial number is still well-intact.
Dimensions: 31mm wide (excluding crown), 38mm long lug tip-to-tip, 13mm thick
Dial: Silver, applied Breguet numerals, black painted outer railroad minute track, signed Rolex Oyster Perpetual, warmed to a light sepia tone, original and untouched
Hands: Original, "batons"
Movement type: High grade, signed Rolex, 8 3/4''', self-winding, compensating Breguet hairspring, early so-called "prototype" version stamped with full watchmaker's servicing instructions
Band: Leather, designed for fixed lugs use, brand new and unworn with aftermarket Rolex style buckle
Width between lugs: 17mm
Crystal type: Acrylic, excellent condition
Servicing: Our Master Watchmaker, our highest level watchmaker, has fully serviced the watch which consists of fully disassembling the movement, carefully inspecting each part, making repairs and adjustments as needed, reassembling and lubricating the movement (a $695 value). It winds very well and the crown screws down fully and is keeping generally accurate time within a two to three minutes per day.
Warranty: 1-year international warranty. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details. 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.
Box/Papers: BOX - Connoisseur of Time watch presentation box; PAPERS - Custom printed Connoisseur of Time Certificate of Authenticity
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.