Rolex. A Stainless Steel and Pink Gold Doctor’s Watch
Mechanical jewelled movement, matte black dial, upper section for hours and minutes with baton numerals and luminous 12, 3, 6, and 9, luminous hands, outer railway minute divisions, lower subsidiary dial for constant seconds, stainless steel case with flared sides, pink gold bezel, pink gold snap back, case, dial, and movement signed
42mm x 25mm
The Rolex Prince model is one of the most recognizable Art Deco style watches ever made, produced from the 1920’s through the 1930’s. While Rolex’s other watch models (the Oyster and Oyster Perpetual) became popular for their water-resistant case and self-winding movement, the Rolex Prince was neither water-resistant nor self-winding – nevertheless, it was in demand for its style and elegance.
The Prince did contain a high-quality movement, but it was the range of cases and dials that made it appear luxurious during a time of economic depression. Featuring a rectangular case with flared sides, it was available in stainless steel, silver, gold, platinum, or a combination of metals. Dial styles also varied widely, but all featured hours and seconds indication that were of equal size.
The movement for the Prince had been developed a few years prior to the model’s introduction. With a winding barrel at one end and a large balance at the opposite end of the rectangular movement, it allowed for the barrel to be larger, which in turn allowed for a longer mainspring and power reserve. Moreover, it increased accuracy, and the Prince was often marketed and sold as a chronometer. This movement layout is what allowed the dial to have the large subsidiary seconds sit below the hour and minutes. Because of the large seconds indication, the Prince also became known as the “Doctor’s Watch” since it allowed for easy timing of taking someone’s pulse.
While the Prince was produced through the 1930’s and even into the 1940’s, the trend of rectangular watches gave way to other styles, and Rolex began focusing on other models, especially circular-shaped and more functional watches. In 2005, Rolex re-introduced the Prince model as part of the Cellini collection, with a very modern and contemporary feel. The original Prince is reminiscent of a time when watches were designed for dress and style. The present example features the combination of rose gold and stainless steel, with crisp hallmarks, and the 42mm length makes this vintage watch an excellent choice for a dress watch today.