Rolex Oyster Perpetual Ref. 1018 Gilt
Wow, that dial !
The dial is one of the most significant determinants of value and desirability in vintage watches. When the watch in case is as minimalist as a Ref. 1018 Oyster Perpetual, the dial becomes even more prominent and important. And boy, this one exceeds all expectations…
This is a gilt dial. Not gilt-printed, like many vintage-inspired modern watches. This is actual gilt, meaning a brass dial that first has its printing done in transparent lacquer, to be black galvanized later. The result is text and minute markers in exposed brass, within the black surrounds. A very attractive and desirable dial style that was typical for the sixties.
But then this example has patinated overtime and has the Dauphine hands, absolutely stunning. Come and check it out in real life if you can, it is well worth the effort.
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The Oyster Perpetual models by Rolex offer the purest, distilled form of Rolex magic. No complications, no frills. Just that superb quality we know and love from the house in simple, three-hand wristwatches.
The name Oyster Perpetual refers to two important Rolex technologies present in the watch. Oyster indicates the presence of several water-proofing technologies such as a screw-down crown and a screw-in case back. (Of course, any vintage watch should be treated as not water-resistant). Perpetual refers to a rotor-powered self-winding movement, which will be perpetually wound when worn. The nomenclature is a strong nod to Rolex history, as the Oyster case was patented in 1926 and their perpetual movement in 1931.
Note how many Rolex model names start with Oyster Perpetual and follow with a third specification, such as Datejust or Submariner. The lack of such additional labels indicate we are dealing with a no-complications, time-only Rolex.
A popular OP reference is the 1002. A clean, minimalist every day watch in a 34mm case. Its smooth bezel and Oyster bracelet, combined with a nice silver dial make it pretty much the most timeless and versatile watch you could dream of. A non-chronometer version with a different dial was sold as the Ref. 5500 Air-King.
Up until today, a whole range of different dial colors and sizes are available in the Oyster Perpetual range, so there is likely something to suit you. If it is a timeless, simple watch, made to the absolute highest standards you are after, the OP should not be underestimated.
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