1948 Rolex Vintage Mens Two-Tone Bubbleback, Ref. 5011 with California Dial - Stainless Steel & 18K Gold


Item No. 6472H

Today's offering showcases this classic and uncommon Ref. 5011 Bubbleback made circa 1948.

Named "Bubblebacks" by watch collectors, due to the heavily domed case backs needed to accommodate the large automatic movements, these were Rolex's first Oyster Perpetual (waterproof and automatic) watches.

Housed in one of Rolex's watertight Oyster cases, this wristwatch originally offered its owner protection against water, dust, and perspiration. Inside the rugged case Rolex put into service their early self-winding so-called Perpetual Chronometer movement, keeping the watch powered by movements of the wrist. Equipped with nineteen jewels and a self-compensating Breguet mainspring, this fine movement achieved chronometer status.

This watch has an uncommon black "California" gilt dial that matches the bezel and makes a beautiful combination.

It is fully Rolex down to the original Rolex + Oyster crown.

We purchased an impressive collection of sixteen special Pateks and Rolexes including this one from a doctor who was a collector's collector - a gentleman with tremendous knowledge, discerning taste, and a disciplined eye for detail. Each watch has an original buckle and many have original boxes.

Its massive and thick, stainless steel case is very well-preserved. Its black, "California" gilt dial looks to be a perfect previous refinishing. And its high-grade, Rolex Perpetual movement is clean and keeping time.

Our watchmaker has just disassembled it down to its last screw and cleaned and oiled it. For the finishing touch we have equipped it with a brand new crocodile 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 and a custom printed Connoisseur of Time Certificate of Authenticity.

Note: Published examples of this model can be found in Osvaldo Patrizzi's work Rolex, Collecting Wristwatches, 2001 Edition, Guido Mondani editor, Vol. 2, pg. 123-126.

  • Manufacturer: Rolex
  • Country of origin: Switzerland
  • Serial no.: 631,528
  • Year built: c. 1948
  • Model: Reference 5011, Oyster Perpetual
  • Functions: Hours, Minutes, Automatic, Sweep Seconds
  • Designed for: Men
  • Case material: Stainless steel and gold
  • Case condition: Better than near mint
  • Dial: Gloss black, luminous so-called "California" dial with mixed Arabic and Roman indexes, gilt printing, outer minute/seconds divisions, appears to be a perfect previous restoration
  • Dimensions: 32mm wide (excluding crown), 39.5mm long lug tip-to-tip
  • Hands: Appear to be original blue steel "Mercedes" luminous hour and minute hands, gold seconds may be a replacement
  • Movement type: Rhodium plated, self-winding, straight line lever escapement, self-compensating Breguet hairspring, index regulator
  • Jewels: 19 rubies
  • Band: Crocodile, fully stitched, padded, brand new and unworn
  • Width between lugs: 18mm
  • Crystal: Acrylic, very good condition
  • Servicing: Our watchmaker has just disassembled the movement down to its last screw and cleaned and oiled it.
  • Timing: Timed to precision on a state-of-the-art computerized system.
  • 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
  • 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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