?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 6,000 - $ 9,000
ROLEX OYSTER PERPETUAL / RADIUM DIALS. Circa 1942.
25 1/2x17 1/4 inches, 64 3/4x43 3/4 cm. Haefeli & Co., Switzerland. Condition A-: minor restoration at edges and along creases in image.
Rolex's original patent for their "Error Proof Radium dials," which became known (in the 1980s) as the 'California Dial,' was granted on June 15, 1942. Ironically their proof-reading was not error-proof, as the word 'Radium' is misspelled here where it first appears. The design of the face of the bubble-back watch features a combination of bold Arabic and Roman numerals. The patent states, "that this particular arrangement will give a clear view of the hours, will be easy to create with luminous materials, and will allow easy reading of the time – especially within wristwatch cases, where the dials are relatively small." The dial is a significant milestone in Rolex history, as it became the basis for the dials on the company's Submariner, Sea-Dweller and GMT Master watches. Rolex purists have also pointed out the unusual crown logo on this poster. Rolex ceased use of radium in 1963, due to the cancer-causing nature of the element. Rare.