1941 Rolex Oyster Recorda Vintage Mens Midsize "Boys" WWII Military Style Watch - 18K Gold Filled & Stainless Steel


Item No. 7985

Today's offering showcases this very rare and cool original World War II "boy's size" Rolex Oyster Recorda ref. 3478. We have only seen these watches with close serial numbers that suggest they were only made around c. 1941.

In the late 1930's Rolex ran an ad campaign titled "Time flies" featuring the exploits of renowned pioneering aviators wearing Rolex watches. The successful campaign created a high demand for these pieces among the pilots of the era.

As World War II came into full swing, suddenly the world found itself with a large number of pilots. The watch of choice for these aviators was the "Boy's size" Rolex Oyster with manually wound movement, red sweep seconds hand (if possible), and a luminous numbered dial. The RAF pilots won the Battle of Britain wearing these distinguished watches.*

This particular rare model, the Recorda, was sold only in Canada, often at PX stores, and they were intended for servicemen and airmen heading to Europe and the Pacific. While some of the similar styles had contract cases made in the Canada, this watch is a true all-Swiss factory Rolex creation and its movement is decorated with Cotes de Geneve.

Some of the more common similar smaller Canadian market Rolex/Oyster watches were the Pioneer, Royalite, Victory, Firefly, Raleigh, Centregraph, Skyrocket - but Recorda watches are very uncommon.

It has all original parts down to its original red seconds hand. It has a striking and desirable original 24-hour "military" dial. It presents in excellent condition. The case retains a slight pleasing patina in some spots that could be wiped off if desired.

Its Rolex production Oyster case is factory stamped with its serial no. Its caliber 59 Rolex movement with early shock resistance is signed Rolex (these are signed under the dial rather than on the bridge).

One of our watchmakers has disassembled it down to its last screw and cleaned and oiled it making it ready for immediate enjoyment. It is running very strong. We have also installed a mineral glass crystal in order to give a perfect view of the dial to the very edges.

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.

*For interesting reading on the subject see "The Best of Time: Rolex Wristwatches" by Hess and Dowling.

  • Country of origin: Switzerland
  • Maker: Rolex
  • Model: Oyster Recorda, ref. 3478
  • Serial no.: 132,444
  • Era made: c. 1941
  • Designed for: Men originally - now a unisex watch
  • Case material: Gold plated with stainless steel back
  • Case markings (outside): 132,444, 3478
  • Case condition: Excellent. Retains a slight pleasing patina in some spots that could be wiped off if desired.
  • Dimensions: 28.5mm diameter (excluding crown) by 33mm long lug tip-to-tip
  • Dial: Silver with luminous Arabic indexes, inner 24 hour markings, detailed outer minute/second division, original and untouched
  • Hands: Original, luminous batons with red seconds
  • Movement type: Rolex caliber 59, early shock resistance, manually wound, rhodium-plated, 15 jewels, straight line lever escapement, monometallic balance, self-compensating flat balance-spring
  • Band: Leather, fully stitched, excellent condition. We also stock lizard and a variety of others straps in various prints, skins, and colors. Please ask us if you're interested.
  • Width between lugs: 16mm
  • Crystal type: Crystal: Mineral glass, mint condition
  • Serviced: One of our watchmakers has disassembled it down to its last screw and cleaned and oiled it making it ready for immediate enjoyment.
  • Timing: Timed to precision on a state-of-the-art computerized system. Running very strong and keeping accurate time. 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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