This Rolex comes from an era when watches were tools, not flexes

That said, it looks pretty immaculate for 1965

4w ago

I’ve spent the last week and a bit in Sydney’s inner suburbs, and hailing as I do from the prosperous but non-capitalistically-so national capital of Australia, there’s a few things I found a bit jarring. Mainly, the amount of people poseying their G-Wagons to the curb and swanning out looking like Harrolds vomited on them. Gucci bumbag, Balenciaga sneakers, Burberry Tee, LV bucket hat, Versace jeans - none of it matching, none of it a triumph of individual style, all of it screeching the same thing so loud it ought to be pollution: I’ve got f**k you money.

Which made it strangely refreshing when I wandered my way through Sydney’s Queen Victoria Building into a small reseller of luxury watches, and immediately spotted their oldest offering. It carries a name that today is almost vulgar for everything above, and yet here it was: tiny, elegant, polite.

Obviously I tried it on

Obviously I tried it on

It's a Rolex Oyster Perpetual in 34mm - a size which in today's world of 45mm TAGs, usually means a women's watch, but in the 1960s, was very much a men's size. Were wrists skinnier in the '60s? Or was wearing your grandfather's watch about wearing your grandfather's watch, not about flagging to everyone within 100 metres that you're a property developer.

There's more on that, though. The watch doesn't come with papers as all recent expensive watches on the second hand market must if they don't want to be written off immediately as fakes. But it's common for watches this old - because, as one of the guys at Luxuria tells me, they were bought as tools, not investments. And certainly not as flexes.

After all, let's not forget Rolexes once ascended Mt Everest. IWCs used to be commonly bashed about on pilots' wrists. Jaegar Le Coultres were worn by polo players - hence why they reversed in the gahdamn first place. Omegas went to the moon. Of course they were prestigious. Reputation wasn't built in a day. And of course, you'd have definitely itemised such a watch in the will.

But they just weren't, in a word, w*nker.

Join In

Comments (56)

  • That is an excellent watch. I saw one similar to it not long ago in an antique store. I admire the story behind it and its original intention. It's a tool, not a statement of your own wealth. Certainly, that is not the case today with those who buy a Rolex but the principle still stands. Great article!

      29 days ago
    • The unfortunate thing with vintage pieces in any ole antique store is they can be fakes, or more likely Frankenwatches - only partly original. This one, though, is completely stock and Rolex haven't even polished to remove scratches...

      Read more
        29 days ago
    • I really hope this one is fake

        28 days ago
  • Inherited a couple from my grandpa. Got a blue oyster perpetual

      27 days ago
  • What a gorgeous watch! I completely agree with what you’re saying. It’s so sad that watches had come to this. Love your Rolex!

      29 days ago
  • You are Skinny Coleman.

      29 days ago
  • Dammit this is so beautiful now I need to buy a vintage Rolex

      29 days ago