ON HOLD – 1973 Rolex Oysterdate Ref. 6694 Abu Dhabi Defence Force
This rare Rolex Oysterdate was made specifically for the Abu Dhabi Defence Force featuring the Defence Force emblem on the dial. These watches were commissioned prior to the formation of the United Arab Emirates joint military armed forces and presented to top military personnel.
The original “logo” dial is in excellent condition. The case back is signed C.R.S. (Charles Renee Spielman case makers) and has the serial number 3,30x,xxx which dates the watch to 1973. The original manual wind cal. 1225 movement is clean and in full working order. The watch features its original Rolex Oyster folded link bracelet, ref. 7835 19 with ‘357’ end links. Overall the case and bracelet are in honest original condition that appeals to collectors of these watches.
This watch has one of the most sought-after dial types that were commissioned for the UAE emirates and produced in fewer numbers than other special commissioned Rolex watches.
Rolex Arab Special Commissions
Within the fairly eclectic world of watch collecting, there exist groups of timepieces that harbour additional desirability thanks to specific details that delineate them as unique. For example, the ‘flat four’ Submariner Kermit, Paul Newman Daytonas and so on are all examples of watches that feature something that makes them unique. In recent years, special order timepieces have begun to gain traction and become extremely desirable for the very same reason, with Arab special commissions becoming incredibly sought-after.
Made on special order for governments, government officials or prominent royals to mark important events, milestones or celebrate political relations, these timepieces were gifted to specific individuals and thus never available for public purchase. Since so few are available to buyers on the open market, these timepieces have become highly collectable. They are inherently rare, visually unique and often tied to important people, geopolitical events and so on. Over the last decade, the value of watches connected to Gulf royalty or bearing a logo of the armed forces or a national symbol have soared in value thanks to their rarity and provenance – the two of the most important aspects of watch collecting.
The Rolex Oysterdate
Released in the mid-1950s, the Rolex Oysterdate followed on from the template that the iconic Datejust model had set out in 1945 when it was released to celebrate Rolex’ 40th anniversary. Housed in a 34mm case, the Oysterdate was 2mm smaller than the Datejust and catered to most of the popular aesthetic demands at the time. Sized like most watches on the market, the Oysterdate married the Datejust’s design with the Air-King model to create a halfway house between the two models. Smaller like an Air-King and functional like a Datejust, the Oysterdate hit all of the right notes and proved to be a rather popular model. Following on from its release and initial success, Rolex grew the collection by adding new material choices, bezel options and dial designs while also periodically improving the movement it used.
Today, the Rolex Oysterdate exists as a wonderful entry-level option for collectors seeking to dip their toes into the Genevan brand. But, like most watches, not all Rolex Oysterdates are born equal, and the example we have here speaks to that in abundance.
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