It is very hard for us to not get excited about this watch! A stunning Rolex Oyster Perpetual, model 1003, from 1972. Not only is the graphite grey colour a rare colour for a dial but it is also a Sigma dial, which means the batons and hands are made from white gold!
The stainless steel, screw-back case is complemented by an engine-turned bezel, drawing your eye to that gorgeous satin silver dial! Inside is the chronometer rated , automatic Rolex caliber 1570, fully serviced by us and running strongly. The watch sits on a stainless steel, Oyster bracelet and has a screw-down, Oyster crown.
Sigma dials can be found on Rolex watches dating from the early 1970s until the latter part of the decade; however they can sometimes be found on Rolex watches from the late 1960s, as the “Sigma” symbol was being used by certain dial manufacturers before it became officially adopted in the early 1970s . Rolex Sigma dials have two σ marks surrounding the “T SWISS T” signature just under 6 o’clock marker on the dial (“T” refers to the use of tritium as luminescence on the dial). Therefore, Rolex Sigma dials denote that the hand-applied indexes and hands are craft from 18k gold.
Hans Wilsdorf founded Rolex in 1905 at the age of 24, along with Alfred Davis in London. In 1919 they moved their operation to Geneva, Switzerland. This move was brought about by high wartime taxes on Gold and Silver in the UK after the Great war 1914-1918. They were now closer to their suppliers in Bienne. The Rolex Oyster case was released in 1926. Marketed as the world's first “waterproof” watch. The notches on the bezel and case back meant they could be screwed down to the middle case with a special tool invented and manufactured by Rolex to hermetically seal the case. In 1927 a young swimmer Miss Mercedes Gleitz swam the English channel wearing the “Oyster”. Later in 1933 the team of the first expedition to fly over Everest wore them. It was also famously worn by Sir Malcolm Campbell, “King Of Speed”, on the 4th September 1935. An advert of the time made a big splash with him saying “The Rolex watch is still keeping perfect time- I was wearing it yesterday when Bluebird exceeded 300 mph.” He broke the world land speed record 9 times between 1924 and 1936. 1931 saw the debut of the Rolex Oyster Perpetual, their first self-winding watch that was also water-resistant and dustproof.
During the 1970s, a group of Swiss watchmakers, known as The Association for the Industrial Promotion of Gold (APIOR), formed an initiative to highlight the use of gold on watches, which was especially important on stainless steel watches as they are similar in colour to white gold. The Greek letter Sigma, σ, was chosen and the first recorded use of it was on the 25th February 1970. The Sigma mark was used on dials, bracelets and casebacks to signify the presence of gold and was used by brands such as Rolex, Patek Philippe, IWC and Vacheron Constantin, but only for a handful of years in the 1970s so they are a rare find!
This watch has been fully serviced with our on-site workshop and comes with a 12 month, non-waterproof service cover.
What we think
Sitting elegantly on its Oyster bracelet, this rare watch pushes into the sporty category while maintaining all the classic style of a Rolex. It's a comfortable wear on both male and female wrists and would make a stunning addition to any respectable collection.
Age : 1971/1980
Specific Age : 1972
Case Size : 34mm
Case Thickness : 12mm
Lug to Lug :
Lugs : 19mm
Condition : Pre-Owned
Box & Papers : No
Case Material : Stainless Steel
Service History : 12-Months NON-Waterproof Warranty