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For sale we have a very unusual and possibly unique 1930s Tudor Rolled gold case tonneau watch. It is of ornate Art Deco design with its barrel shaped case with flared lug design. It has engraved boarder to the front and the sides. The case is signed R.W.C. LTD, with an unusual trifold case back design. It has a silver guilloche textured sunburst dial, with Tudor “long T” logo. Inside is a 15 jewel, manual wind Swiss lever calibre, with Viceroy signing. It has been recently serviced.

 

It is unusual and appealing due to its impressive Art Deco design and its place in Tudors early history. Find another example of this beautiful design, with such a large case. It is a one-off opportunity.

 

The dial is exceptional with its guilloche textured sunburst finish. It has a barrel shaped railroad minute track, which follows the shape of the case. The hour markers are in a playful font, with elongated edges. They have a luminous painted in-fill. The sub-second register has the same continuity with its barrel shape. The dial is signed with the Tudor “long T” logo, with swiss made to the base of the dial.

The hands are a beautifully thermally blued tone, with original aged luminous in-fill. The sub-second hand is also bright and original with lollipop counterbalance.

 

The Rolled gold case is well proportioned, measuring 25mm wide x 30mm in length. It has a large lug-to-lug measurement of 40.75mm. This is a well sized watch for the era and as such, is very much suitable as a modern dress watch. It has a beautiful tonneau shape, with curving sides and unusual lugs flared outwards. The Rolled gold has a beautiful, bright tone. There are engraved boarders to the top and bottom of the front of the case, with curvatious, polished sides flanking them. The flat sides have an Art Deco designed engraved boarder with diamond pattern. The rear is signed “Rolled Gold”, with “R.W.C. LTD”. The back snaps in place and hinges to reveal the dial. The dial and movement section then folds outwards so that the movement can be viewed. This is a most unusual case design. Inside it is signed Rolex Quality Guaranteed with serial numbers. To the right is the original coin edge crown.

 

Inside is the 15 jewel, Swiss lever movement, marked Viceroy. It is manually wound and has a frequency of 18,000 BPH. It has been recently serviced, although it is reasonably worn, meaning it has a low amplitude.

 

Hans Wilsdorf and his sub-brands:

 

In 1952, Hans Wilsdorf is reported as saying “For some years now I have been considering the idea of making a watch that our agents could sell at a more modest price than our Rolex watches, and yet one that would attain the standards of dependability for which Rolex is famous for. I decided to form a separate company with the object of making and marketing this new watch. It is called the Tudor Watch Company.”

The significant point here is that the Tudor watch was to be sold by Rolex agents alongside Rolex watches. Tudor watches were differentiated from Rolex. A 1947 Rolex advert states, “Available in Britain today are a limited number of Rolex Oysters – first and still foremost waterproof watch in the world – and Tudor Oysters, ideal in the lower-price field and manufactured under strict Rolex supervision”.

 

By this time, Wilsdorf had been selling Marconi, Unicorn and all sort of other branded watches. He created a confused picture of sub-brands, associated with Rolex.

 

Tudor were officially a separate entity as of 1946, but the history prior is somewhat murky.

The first mention of the Tudor name was in 1926. The widow of Philippe Huther has been using the name Tudor, but Wilsdorf has proved a prior claim to it, so she agreed to register the brand and that Wilsdorfs company would have exclusive rights.

The brand was little used, prior to WW2, except for watches sold in Australia. The dials were signed Tudor, yet cases still had Rolex signing.

 

And with a movement signed Viceroy, we begin to see the murky nature of Wildorfs use of other branding. By 1934 Rolex were using Viceroy as a model name. But before that, there were some trench style watches with RWC on the caseback and Viceroy as the brand.

 

Subsequently, this marks this an unusual, historic 1930s example of a Tudor branded watch. It also has an incredible and potentially unique design, which makes this a standout Art Deco design.

 

*Credit to David Boettcher and his Vintage Watch Straps website section on Rolex sub-brands*

 

Full condition report below. Please see the images as these compliment and aid the description provided below.

 

Dial:

The dial is original and is in good condition for the age. It has some areas that have darkened with dirt and age.  It has a guilloche textured sunburst finish. It has the original signing which is good and clear. The hour markers have been relumed some time ago.

 

Hands:

The thermally blued hands are original and are in very good condition, with a bright tone. They have the original luminous in-fill which has aged.   

 

Glass:

The acrylic crystal is original and is in good condition with some light marks.

 

Crown:

The crown is original, nicely designed with a neat, curved coin edge finish. The gold plated finish is good.

 

Case:

The case is formed of rolled gold. It is in good condition for the age, with no wear to the plate. It has only light surface scratching associated with age. The engraving on the case is original and is good and well defined. The tone is a deep Yellow gold.

 

The back snaps in place and hinges to reveal the dial. The dial and movement section then folds outwards so that the movement can be viewed. This is a most unusual case design. Inside it is signed Rolex Quality Guaranteed with serial numbers. The gold plate is good on every aspect, as are the hinges.

 

Caseback:

The case back is formed of rolled gold and is in good condition, with clear engravings and only light surface scratching.  

 

Strap:

The watch comes on a new genuine leather strap which is non-Tudor.

 

Movement:

The movement is marked Viceroy, with a jewel count of 15. It is manually wound and has a frequency of 18,000 BPH.

 

The movement has been recently serviced by ourselves. It’s keeping time to within +60 seconds deviation a day, with an amplitude of 200 degrees and a beat error of 3.0m/s.

 

Case dimensions:

Case width: 25mm

Case width with crown: 27.25mm

Case length: 30mm

Case length lug to lug: 40.75mm

Case Depth: 9.5mm

Lug width: 16mm

1930s Tudor Rolled Gold Art Deco Tonneau watch, R.W.C. LTD case Viceroy serviced

£1,400.00Price
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