Despite years of trying, Rolex and dress watches are not commonly associated with one another. That isn’t to say that Rolex hasn’t produced some amazing dress watches in the past, including this piece. One could say that the Prince model introduced in 1928 was the start of the Rolex dress watch, but I think that the Kind Midas in the late 1960s is really the first meaningful push by Rolex to associate their name with high quality dress watches. This is thanks to the efforts of Rolex CEO André Heiniger, who took control of the company after the passing of Hans Wilsdorf, and Rene-Paul Jeanneret, Rolex director of marketing. Heiniger along with Jeanneret was dead set on making Rolex a luxury brand, and a key to this strategy was to move the company into luxury dress watches. In 1964, Rolex introduced the King Midas and boy did the watch have a lot going for it. At the time is was the heaviest solid gold watch that you could buy, featured an avant-garde design by Gerald Genta, was the first watch to have a synthetic sapphire crystal, and was a limited numbered run of 1000 pieces (Elvis owned number 343). Rolex was not messing around and though the original King Midas was not a Cellini it certainly created the mold for the generation of Cellini watches that would follow.
The Cellini line was named after 14th century master sculptor and goldsmith Benvenuto Cellini. Cellini was considered one of the greatest artisans of his time and his works were heralded by royalty and dignitaries alike. The early history of the Cellini line is a bit murky, but as mentioned above the line really came into its own during the late 1960s and 70s. The watch for sale here, a reference 4127, although produced in 1989 features many of the hallmarks we come to expect from a Cellini of this era. These include a geometric case in a solid precious metal, decorative bezel, hand-wound movement, and a simple and clean dial layout. As classic dress watches from the ’70s and 80s come back into vogue with watch collectors so has interest in the Cellini line.
The 24mm by 33mm 18 karat gold case is in excellent condition with no major flaws to note. The hobnail finishing on the bezel is incredibly sharp and shows no evidence of a previous polish. The caseback, which features the reference number, case number, and hallmarks, also has a lovely inscription that reads “I love every second with you XO 3-19-16”. The watch comes on an original Rolex brown crocodile strap with an 18k gold Rolex buckle.
The Dial and hands
The dial and hands are also in excellent condition with no flaws to note. All of the components are correct and thought to be original and there is no lume, as it should be for a dress watch, to worry about.
This watch features a manually wound Rolex calibre 1601. The watch is running and the service history is not known.
|Location||New York City|
|Movement||Manual, Rolex Cal. 1601|
|Case Material||18k Yellow Gold|
|Band Material||Crocodile Leather|
|Clasp Type||18k Yellow Gold Rolex Buckle|