1970s Rolex 14K Gold Filled Automatic
A fourteen carat gold filled automatic Rolex dress watch. This is a rare example of a "presentation" watch made by Rolex for companies wishing to gift watches for loyal continual service. They are two piece contract cases made in North America for North American companies such as: Hallmark Cards, Thiokol Chemical and St. Regis Paper Company. These watches, aside from being very handsome, are quite an anomaly in the Rolex watch line. Being that they were never made for retail sales, they were designed to look nothing like any other watch in their line. Rolex did not make a watch that looked like this with an automatic movement. The 'dress' offerings at the time were mainly manual wind, Precision models, which had a much flatter profile. It is also unusual in its case design; a large size for this period, and a thicker case to incorporate the automatic movement. Wide flat bezel, and quite long and wide chamfered lugs.
The overall result is a very good looking, wearable and rare watch by modern standards. The benefit of also having an automatic movement on a dress watch cannot be underestimated. As mentioned, most Rolex dress watches at this time were manual wind. The movement inside is not just any automatic movement either. The caliber 1530 movement was launched by Rolex in 1957, and was a key movement in the development of the next generation of watches. The 1520 and 1530 were the first movements to be fully made in house. This is one of the earlier generation of the movement being only seventeen jeweled, but features the upgraded 'half moon' rotor, as opposed to the early butterfly versions. They went on to make both twenty five and twenty six jeweled examples. These movements were regarded as dependable workhorses by the brand and were fitted to early Submariner and other models, such as the Air King. The movement is in excellent condition.
The case back has never been engraved for presentation, which is very rare for these watches. It has not been "polished out"! or removed because the orginal concentric polishing is still present on the watch. The case back features the 14K gold filled mark. Inside the case back is the unique serial number for this watch, and the Rolex logo. Given that these watches were not cased in Switzerland, the serial numbers do not follow that of Rolex with regard to production dates. If the number 8 is lucky for you, then this watch is a lucky one indeed. The serial number for this watch starts "888"! The case is presented in good, but worn condition, and unpolished.
The dial is a gorgeous semi-gloss off white with applied coffin shaped markers with angled detailing. There is a printed minute track around the outer edge. The dial is signed "Swiss" at the bottom and very appealing, simple "Rolex" below the applied coronet. There is luminous material applied to the dial, and in the center of the original alpha hands. All of which is present and has turned into a soft, handsome pumpkin colour. The dial is all original, and in good condition throughout.
This watch represents an interesting part of the Rolex brand history. Also, a rare one. Not many of these watches come to market, presumably as they were quite cherished possessions by their prior owners, and not many employees would have qualified for such a gift.
Case measurement: 35mm
This item is final sale.