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Vintage watch Wednesday: Guess the Rolex Vintage

by Michael Weare
7 November, 2012
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About the author

Michael Weare has been a professional writer for 30 years, writing about Japanese technology, German and Italian cars, British tailoring and Swiss watches. Michael manages the editorial content of Click Tempus and will be keeping the magazine fresh and informative with regular features, as well as bringing great writers to the magazine. Email: michael@clicktempus.com

Oyster Veriflat

Most watch collectors and watch aficionados generally agree that if you want to buy a watch as an investment, two brands stand out above the others, and those are Patek Philippe and Rolex. In the case of Rolex, the brand enjoys the luxury of being probably the most well known name in watches in the world. They pioneered and invented several major watch concepts, such as the first ‘certified chronometer,’  the first effective ‘waterproof’ and dustproof watch casing, the first wristwatch with an automatic changing date, and they led the way with modern techniques employed today in the mass-manufacturing of premium watches. Rolex’s stunning new state of the art 92,000m² manufactory in Bienne, which we reported on last month, should see the brand retain that lead for decades to come.

The look of Rolex watches has remained so steadfastly consistent, especially for the Oyster range, that it takes a connoisseur to tell one year from another.

The Vintage Watch Company has such a wide range of vintage Rolexes available that it can offer a vintage Rolex to match the year of your birth, dating right back to the 1910s.  But what strikes you most as you scan through the years and the many watches, is the sheer consistency of the Rolex look and design codes. Among the Rolex Oysters, you can go back 50 or even 60 years, and still have a watch which has changed so little you will have great difficulty identifying the vintage.

If you doubt it, cast your eyes upon this series of Rolex Oyster watches, each from different decades starting from the 1940s. See if you can determine each watch by, never mind the year, but the decade in which it was made.

However, before you start investing heavily in vintage Rolexes, bear in mind that while Rolexes do tend to sell at a higher percentage of their original retail price than many other brands, the fact is you will lose money on just about any watch – be it Rolex, Patek Philippe or any other brand – if you purchase it brand new and then later resell.

Rolex Oyster rare dial

Rolex Thunderbird bezel

Rolex Oyster Royal

White gold bezel

Rolex Full Bubbleback

 

Michael Weare | Website

Michael Weare has been a professional writer for 30 years, writing about Japanese technology, German and Italian cars, British tailoring and Swiss watches. Michael manages the editorial content of Click Tempus and will be keeping the magazine fresh and informative with regular features, as well as bringing great writers to the magazine. Email: michael@clicktempus.com

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