Early Rolex Pocket Watch - Help Please

OwnedOnLiquid

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Hi All,

So I have a pocket watch and im trying to find out as much as I can. Received it as a gift on my 21st.

The Watch was bought in Preston from a reputable jewellers called Hacklers. We were told that the watch had repairs over its life.
I myself think that the Dial has either
1. Been replaced fully and the Rolex branding has been shoddily added.
2. It is the original Dial. But the Rolex branding has been replaced as it may have been worn out.
While I do believe it to be a Rolex movement, the only questionable part is the Dial.

If people have concise information they can provide about its movement, marks, case, dial, I would be very thankful. I have provided pictures.

-Liquid

Dial1.jpg Dial2.jpg movement Cover.jpg Movement.jpg Outmostcover.jpg
 

Jim Haney

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Very Nice Watch, all looks in order to me. Someone can tell you where & when it was made by the hall marks inside the lid.

The Gold content is Marked 9K (.375). You will have to remove the dial to verify if it is Enamel or a reproduction.

It looks like a legit dial from your pictures. The Case is by Dennison (ALD)
 
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svenedin

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Looks like the Birmingham date letter "P" for 1939 but the letter P for 1914 is very similar. It does indeed look like something has happened to the dial where the name Rolex is written. I am no Rolex expert but I think in 1939 it was more usual for the dial to show the retailer than the actual maker certainly in the British market. Perhaps the retailer's name has been removed and Rolex added instead. Alternatively it may have been redone and originally did say Rolex. Certainly I have post-war pocket watches that have the movement maker's name on the dial rather than the retailer. I also have Omega pocket watches from around the time of your Rolex that do say Omega on the dial. I think it's hard to be definitive but perhaps a Rolex expert will reply here. To further confuse matters I do not think Rolex made that movement even though they signed it. It's a Revue 30 I believe. See here (and scroll down to see figure 3): bidfun-db Archive: Watch Movements: Revue 30 open face

It's a nice pocket watch but the connection to Rolex is subject to knowing whether Rolex did use movements made by the company Revue Thommen. I believe Rolex did.
 
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roughbarked

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I have the same movement but not with Rolex on the dial. It has the name of the retailer. It does look similar to Revue movements but we'd need to see it undressed of its dial to determine that factor.
Rolex did use Cortebert PW movements, according to Ranfft. (Rolex 5513, Cortebert 618, 16''', H=4.7mm)
 
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John Matthews

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I agree the 'P' is probably1939/40.

I found the identical 17J movement in a Dennison silver case hallmarked Birmingham 1928/29 and an earlier 15j model (no centre jewelling) in a silver case stamped RWC Ltd with imported hallmarks for 1924/25.

You may find this page helpful containing information on the history of Rolex pocket watches.

John
 
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Dr. Jon

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Its an interesting page but he/she has the Kew A certificate wrong. Kew certificates were for watches and were very demanding. Getting one in a wrist watch was vey big deal.

Kew did not rate marine chronometers. Greenwich did that and they did not test in positions.

Ironically, Kew did rate Torpedo boat watches but not as such. These were oversize timepieces for small very fast ocean going torpedo boats and destroyers of these, from which evolved destroyers.

These had a very rough ride used oversize lever watches for navigation. Makers like Longines and Movado and Ditisheim realized that these could be adjusted to very high precision in positoins too although it was a not a high priority for their original use. These were called "chronomtres du Bord".

These were the Neuchatel makers. There were two Swiss rating sites, Geneva and Neuchatel. The top grade watches were tested, scored on a point system and they competed. Neuchatel makers competed there and Geneva makers there and they went at each other at Kew.

In the 1920's the Neuchatel makers brought in the highly adjusted marine nav watches and blew away the more prestigious Geneva makers like Patek and V&C.

Patek stopped competing but enentually made their own oversize watch. V&C also made a large watch and they made a real business of them selling them to both the British and Nazi Navies.

But the author of the page has it wrong, Kew A was not a marine chronometer certification. It was probbaly more demanding than that. Getting one for a wrist watch was a very big thing.
 
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John Cote

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I think the "Rolex" was added to this dial after the original name was sanded off. I don't think I have ever seen "Rolex" on a dial in this type face.

You need to simply open the front bezel of the watch and rub a finger over the "Rolex" script. I think it will feel a bit raised and it will not feel like a glaze is over the print as it should.
 

Incroyable

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That Rolex logo definitely looks strange. It almost appears printed on and disproportionately large.

My feeling is that it had a retailer signed dial.
 

PJQL

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Looks very much like a Buren movement....?
I'd certainly be very sceptical about this being a genuine Rolex timepiece. As far as I am aware,
their later pre-war and WW2 era movements were supplied by Cortebert.

Piers
 

svenedin

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I have the same movement but not with Rolex on the dial. It has the name of the retailer. It does look similar to Revue movements but we'd need to see it undressed of its dial to determine that factor.
Rolex did use Cortebert PW movements, according to Ranfft. (Rolex 5513, Cortebert 618, 16''', H=4.7mm)
Let’s see under your dial! I remain very sure the OP's watch is a Revue 30. I have ended up with a lot of pocket watches with Revue movements in my collection and have taken many of them apart recently. It screams Revue to me.

Also this thread may be of interest: https://mb.nawcc.org/threads/help-with-rolex-pocket-watch.142855/
 
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roughbarked

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Let’s see under your dial! I remain very sure the OP's watch is a Revue 30. I have ended up with a lot of pocket watches with Revue movements in my collection and have taken many of them apart recently. It screams Revue to me.

Also this thread may be of interest: https://mb.nawcc.org/threads/help-with-rolex-pocket-watch.142855/
Yes I know but I was asking the OP to do that. The thread you linked to has the images I posted but here we go again.

Anyway, here 'tis.
Yes it is definitely a Revue 31.

Here's the Revue 31 dial side from Dr Ranfft's site.

This is the Revue 30


so clearly by the coverplate it is a revue 31.

PA026128.JPG PA026125.JPG

and in this thread, I have a box of parts that was clearly well used because most of the parts are gone.
 
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roughbarked

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Hi All,

So I have a pocket watch and im trying to find out as much as I can. Received it as a gift on my 21st.

The Watch was bought in Preston from a reputable jewellers called Hacklers. We were told that the watch had repairs over its life.
View attachment 729070
The back only shows one possible repairer's mark. if it had been repaired more than once there would be more marks. I know that some people dislike this practice but it is what watch repairers have done to let them know when they open the back, whether they have been in here before.
 
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svenedin

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The back only shows one possible repairer's mark. if it had been repaired more than once there would be more marks. I know that some people dislike this practice but it is what watch repairers have done to let them know when they open the back, whether they have been in here before.
It looks like it is only a single-backed case too. These were quite common in the 1930's but the best cases retained an inner cuvette (dome) as well. These were always in the same metal as the rest of the case in British cases, never in base metal if the case was gold or silver so dispensing with the cuvette made the case cheaper by using less gold.
 
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OwnedOnLiquid

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It looks like it is only a single-backed case too. These were quite common in the 1930's but the best cases retained an inner cuvette (dome) as well. These were always in the same metal as the rest of the case in British cases, never in base metal if the case was gold or silver so dispensing with the cuvette made the case cheaper by using less gold.
Hey thank you for Replying to my Post :) , The Watch does actually have 2 Backs. I have no skill when it comes to trying to see under the dial unfortunately. Is it something I can do myself ?

Case.jpg
 

OwnedOnLiquid

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Looks like the Birmingham date letter "P" for 1939 but the letter P for 1914 is very similar. It does indeed look like something has happened to the dial where the name Rolex is written. I am no Rolex expert but I think in 1939 it was more usual for the dial to show the retailer than the actual maker certainly in the British market. Perhaps the retailer's name has been removed and Rolex added instead. Alternatively it may have been redone and originally did say Rolex. Certainly I have post-war pocket watches that have the movement maker's name on the dial rather than the retailer. I also have Omega pocket watches from around the time of your Rolex that do say Omega on the dial. I think it's hard to be definitive but perhaps a Rolex expert will reply here. To further confuse matters I do not think Rolex made that movement even though they signed it. It's a Revue 30 I believe. See here (and scroll down to see figure 3): bidfun-db Archive: Watch Movements: Revue 30 open face

It's a nice pocket watch but the connection to Rolex is subject to knowing whether Rolex did use movements made by the company Revue Thommen. I believe Rolex did.
I Contacted the Assay Office in Birmingham just before posting this thread. Through talks, the curator has been able to confirm that the Date Letter P is from 1914-1915 which is great news to me. It was my understanding that Rolex at that time would buy the movements and then "Finish" them.
 

OwnedOnLiquid

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I think the "Rolex" was added to this dial after the original name was sanded off. I don't think I have ever seen "Rolex" on a dial in this type face.

You need to simply open the front bezel of the watch and rub a finger over the "Rolex" script. I think it will feel a bit raised and it will not feel like a glaze is over the print as it should.
Thank you for replying to the thread. I opened the front and the script is slightly raised.
 

OwnedOnLiquid

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The back only shows one possible repairer's mark. if it had been repaired more than once there would be more marks. I know that some people dislike this practice but it is what watch repairers have done to let them know when they open the back, whether they have been in here before.
As far as I can see there are 2 repairers marks. 1 of them I cant really make out. however the other is seemingly 21 m ut.

21mut.jpg hy1x.jpg
 

svenedin

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Hey thank you for Replying to my Post :) , The Watch does actually have 2 Backs. I have no skill when it comes to trying to see under the dial unfortunately. Is it something I can do myself ?


Unless you have some watchmaking skills I would not attempt to remove the dial. To do so you have to take the movement out of the case, remove the hands (without damaging them or the dial) and then put everything back together again. It is is not worth the risk just to satisfy curiosity. When your watch needs a service, ask the watchmaker to take a picture of the movement with the dial removed.

So your earlier post says the assay office said 1914/15. Fair enough. That does fit well with a Revue 30 movement and it is too early for Rolex to have signed the dial so it must have said the retailer on the dial.
 

svenedin

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Without needing to lift the dial, we know it is a Revue. Be it 30 or 31 is hardly important at this stage.
[/QUOTE
I had a look in my Revue 30 parts box. Here is a Revue 30 that has keyless works that look like a Revue 31.......

Edit: now I have actually confused myself....I think there are other Revue variants that are not listed on Ranfft. The JW Benson movements I have are actually marked with the movement model number, the one below is not Benson and not marked either.

IMG_9239.jpeg IMG_9240.jpeg [/QUOTE]
 
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