Today's offering showcases this very rare Lund & Blockley Oyster Aqua by Rolex, made while the company was building its early Oyster line. If it could talk we would love to hear the stories it could tell about World War II.
Lund & Blockley was composed of John Alexander Lund and Herbert Blockley who worked at 42 Pall Mall London from 1872-1876 (successors to Viner), and had a branch in Mumbai, India.
A high-end watch and clock retailer they sold watches to Queen Victoria, the Royal family, Admiralty, and foreign officials.
The firm was also highly regarded for its specialized travel and expedition watches where the cases were sealed with cork or leather; the watches also all had a protection cap over the winding crown. They were purchased by the dozens by the Royal Geographical Society to be lent out to expedition leaders for all the explorations it sponsored at the time.
The Lund & Blockley company was somewhat connected to Barraud, the renowned chronometer makers, or rather their successor Barraud & Lund: Major J.A. Lund of Lund & Blockley is believed likely a son of Mr. Lund of Barraud & Lund. When this timepiece was made, Major Lund was mainly stationed in Bombay in India, where Lund & Blockley still traded after the end of World War II. The company of the same name at 42 Pall Mall in London was originally lead by both men and later by Herbert Blockley, a former star student at the British Horological Institute, on his own.
The fact they the company had Rolex make and privately label one of their cutting edge Oyster watches makes complete sense given their selling of clocks for adventures.
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.
Originally intended for men, this midsize or "boys size" Lund & Blockley Aqua watch by Rolex measures 29mm wide excluding the crown. Its dial features 1/5 second markings for precision timing, the most precise recording a watch of the era could have as it beat five times per second and each beat is recorded on the dial.
These watches should not be confused with the Rolex watches with various branding made for the Canadian market.
We were fortunate to acquire it in all-original condition down to its original Oyster Patent crown.
Its very pleasing untouched original dial shows only fairly mild aging for the time period.
Its steel Oyster case has some wear to the grooves and some aging to the metal underneath and between the lugs hidden by the band and back. On the wrist it presents in beautiful condition.
One of our watchmakers has just disassembled it down to the last screw and cleaned and oiled the movement. Photos of the inside available upon request.
For the finishing touch we have equipped it with a new lizard 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.
One of the more obscure Rolex products of the 20th century. You will be the only person you know who owns one of these.
Country of origin: Switzerland
Model: Lund & Blockley Aqua, ref. 3136
Serial no: 255,259
Year built: c. 1943
Functions: Hours, Minutes, Sweep Seconds
Designed for: Men
Case material: Stainless steel
Case markings (outside): 255,259
Case markings (inside): Oyster Watch Co., Geneva Swiss, Rolex Watch Co., Patented in All Countries, 3136
Case condition: It has some wear to the grooves and some aging to the metal underneath and between the lugs hidden by the band and back. On the wrist it presents in beautiful condition.
Crown: Original rare Rolex "Oyster Patent"
Dial: Light silver, signed Lund & Blockley Aqua and Swiss Made, steel applied baton and dots indices, outer minute/seconds track with 1/5 second markings, original and untouched, excellent condition with fairly mild aging for the time period
Dimensions: 30mm wide (excluding crown - the crown adds another approx. 3mm) by 39mm long lug tip to tip
Hands: Original, steel, batons
Movement type: Signed Rolex under the dial, Rolex caliber 59, manually wound, nickel finished, 15-jewel lever movement, index regulator
Band: Java lizard, fully stitched, padded, 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. 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 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.