1942 Rolex Oyster Imperial Chronometer Vintage Mens Midsize World War II Era Watch - 9K Gold


Item No. 8394SH

Today's offering showcases this very fine and rare Rolex Oyster Imperial Chronometer ref. 2574, made while the company was building its early Oyster line made circa 1937 and bought in 1942. If it could talk we would love to hear the stories it could tell about World War II and it's owner A.C. Atwill.

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 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.

Originally intended for men, this midsize or "boys size" watch measures 29mm wide excluding the crown.

The centerpiece of this watch is the original and untouched "sector dial" with silvered track and chronometer signature. It has a wonderful aesthetic and desirable collect-ability.

Powering the watch is its original high-grade Rolex Chronometer movement, adjusted for six positions and higher grade than in many Rolexes from the era.

We were fortunate to acquire it in all-original condition down to its original Oyster Patent crown.

Its solid gold Oyster case with screw down back is in beautiful condition. Its very pleasing untouched original dial shows only fairly mild aging for the time period. Its original blued steel "diamond" hands retain a gorgeous blue tone.

One of our watchmakers has just disassembled it down to the last screw and cleaned and oiled the movement. It is very clean. It continues to run strong and true keeping very accurate time.

For the finishing touch we have equipped it with a new Hirsch calf leather strap making it ready for immediate enjoyment.

Included with the purchase is a one-year C.O.T. warranty on the movement and its function, a custom printed Connoisseur of Time Certificate of Authenticity, and a new timing certificate attesting to its performance.

  • Manufacturer: Rolex
  • Country of origin: Switzerland
  • Model: Oyster Imperial Chronometer, ref. 2574
  • Serial no: 41,189
  • Year built: c. 1937 - sold c. 11-8-1942
  • Functions: Hours, Minutes, Subsidiary Seconds
  • Designed for: Men
  • Case material: 9K gold
  • Case markings (outside): 41,189, 2574, personalized "A.C. Atwill - 11-8-42"
  • Case markings (inside): Oyster Watch Co., Geneva Swiss, Great Britain Patents, Swiss Patents, French Patents, USA Patents, German Patents, Rolex Watch Co. - various hand-engraved watchmakers marks showing a service history
  • Case condition: Beautiful condition and fully retains its original stamped serial and reference numbers.
  • Crown: Original rare Rolex "Oyster Patent" screws down with about a half of a turn.
  • Dial: Silver, signed Rolex Oyster Imperial Chronometer and Swiss Made, black painted radial Arabic numerals, outer railroad minute track and metallic silver sectors, original and untouched, excellent condition with fairly mild aging for the time period
  • Dimensions: 29mm wide (excluding crown - the crown adds another approx. 3mm) by 36mm long lug tip to tip
  • Hands: Original, blue steel, "diamonds
  • Movement type: Signed Rolex Chronometer, manually wound, nickel finished, patented Super Balance system, 18-jewel lever movement with Breguet overcoil hairspring, index regulator, timed in six positions
  • Band: Calf leather, fully stitched, designed for fixed lug use, brand new and unused
  • 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.
  • Timing: Timed to precision on a state-of-the-art computerized system. It continues to keep very 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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