CIRCA: 1945
CASE MATERIAL: 18k yellow gold with screw-down crown
DIAMETER: 35 mm.
BRACELET: 18k yellow gold expanding riveted Rolex Oyster bracelet and links stamped 57, overall length approx. 180 mm. (Approx. 7 inches)
DIAL: Silvered dial
MOVEMENT: manual
FUNCTIONS: Time, chronograph
CLASP: Rolex deployant clasp, stamped 3 57

Phillips Watch Auction: One, Lot 170, Geneva Auction, 10 May, 2015
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Lot Essay

The present reference 3525 is doubtlessly one of the most charismatic, exclusive and well-preserved examples of the legendary chronograph to be offered at auction. From the last production of the reference, the watch features the reference and serial number engraved between the lugs as opposed to the outside of the case back found in early models. The unpolished case shows excellent proportions, the original Oyster Patent crowns is still present. The numbers are crisp, clearly readable and retain the untouched grain finish between the lugs. The silvered dial is free of any signs of restoration.

Introduced to the market in 1939, Ref. 3525 was made for the duration of the Second World War with production ending in 1945. Available in pink gold, yellow gold, stainless steel or steel and gold it was an important landmark model for Rolex, the reference being the very first chronograph wristwatch to be fitted with a water-resistant “Oyster” case with screw down crown.

Ref. 3525 has the further distinction of being known as the “POW” or prisoner of war watch since it was the model supplied directly by Rolex to captured Western Allied airmen incarcerated in German camps, including Stalag Luft III made famous by the movie Great Escape starring Steve McQueen.

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