For sale we have a beautiful piece of design from the mid 1950s. This excellent Rolex cocktail style watch dating to 1955, was manufactured in an outstanding 18ct white gold case with foliage leaf style design. It is adorned with 3 diamonds to the top and bottom, set within filigree finishing. The simple silver dial has beautifully balanced arrow markers with Arabic 12, 3, 6, 9. It sits upon a 1960 Britton & Sons 9ct white gold snake bracelet with patented clasp. Inside is a recently serviced high grade Rolex calibre 190 movement.
The dial is original with a silver powder base tone. It is incredibly neat and balanced with a considered design. It has clear Rolex Precision signing with the cornet logo. The applied silver tone hour markers are excellent, with arrow hour markers balanced with Arabic 12, 3, 6, 9. The lane Alpha hands are bright in a silver tone and suit the clear pointed dial design.
This watch case is beyond the usual ornate design of Rolex, with more free play, being manufactured by David Shackman & Sons under Rolex license in the UK. David Shackman & Sons produced cases for major Swiss brands such as Omega, as well as Rolex.
They were based in London and were jewellers who manufactured cases to retail Swiss made watches in the UK market. This was commonplace to avoid import costs on complete watches and gold from other countries, which were very high in this period. Swiss watch manufacturers would sell movements to Shackman, who would then case them and sell them in the UK market.
This case has only the DS&S makers mark attached, with hallmarking for 18ct white gold from 1955. It measures 18mm without crown, by 36.5mm in length end to end. The front section has a circular centre design with polished finish, whilst the sides have a strong and impressive coin edge finish which catches the light beautifully. The outstanding ornate lugs extend from the case in a leaf style with complicated cut outs to add texture. The 3 old cut diamonds to the top and bottom are set with filigree finishing. They appear to cradle the case and continue the foliage design. The snap on case back has concentric brushed circles. To the right of the case is a neat crown which appear original.
The watch is on a circa 1960 9ct white gold snake design articulated bracelet, designed by Benjamin Harry Britton & Sons. Benjamin Harry Britton & Sons were known to produce watch cases and bracelets for Rolex within the British market. The clasp is marked with the patent number 717366 which likely relates to the form of clasp which is founded on other B&S bracelets, also made for Rolex and Tudor.
The movement is a Rolex calibre 190. It is a very small calibre, one of the smallest manufactured by Rolex. It is manual wind, with a jewel count of 17. It has Incabloc shock protection and the patented Super balance. The watch has been recently serviced by ourselves with a daily gain of +45 seconds.
Please see the images as these compliment and aid the description provided below.
A further condition report is below.
The dial is original and is in good overall condition. It is a silver powder base tone which has developed some darkened areas with age. It has clear Rolex Precision signing with the cornet logo, whilst the silver tone applied numerals are good and free of corrosion.
The hands are original. They are of a Lance Alpha style in a silver tone. They have minimal corrosion and shine brightly.
The acrylic crystal is a replacement in excellent condition.
The crown appears to be original with no Rolex signing.
The front of the two-piece case is 18ct white gold. It has a circular centre design with a polished finish having light surface scratching. The sides have a robust coin edge finish which is mirror polished, shining in the light. The lugs extend from the case in ornate style and are free of bending and major scratching. The loops are good are secure with bracelet attached. The 3 old cut diamonds are well set and of good clarity.
The snap on case back is formed of 18ct white gold and is in very good condition. It has a brushed concentric circle finish, with light surface scratching associated with age.
The 9ct white gold bracelet is of a snake style with fully flexible design. It has a neat fold over clasp with bars. It is in very good condition and will fit up to a 7” wrist diameter.
The movement is a Rolex calibre 190. It is a very small calibre, one of the smallest manufactured by Rolex. It is manual wind, with a jewel count of 17. It has Incabloc shock protection and the patented Super balance.
The watch has been recently serviced by ourselves. It has a daily gain of +45 seconds, with an amplitude of 315 degrees and a beat error of 0.0m/s.
Case width: 18mm
Case width with crown: 19.5mm
Case length: 36.5mm
Case Depth: 8mm
Lug width: Loop
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