SOLD – Solid Gold Ladies Rolex Datejust Turquoise Khanjar Dial Signed Asprey

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DETAILS

Presented in honest original condition, this possibly unique ladies 26mm Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust in solid 18k yellow gold features a “Tiffany” turquoise stone dial with Omani Khanjar. This reference 6917 from 1975, was commissioned by HRH Sultan Qaboos Bin Said of Oman through famous London retailers Asprey. The case back is signed Asprey and bears the Rolex serial number on the inside case back, a feature of special orders such as this. The 3.8 million serial number dates the watch to 1975, which is supported by the Khanjar type on the dial. The watch presented is a true rarity, the case and bracelet are in excellent condition with little signs of wear. The watch is powered by the Rolex cal. 2035 and has just been serviced by our Rolex authorised watchmaker. This example has its original solid 18k gold Rolex President bracelet dated 1.76 (first quarter 1976), signed Rolex SA with gold hallmarks and Swiss hallmarks. One of the special features of this watch is the stunning dial, made from “Tiffany” turquoise stone which is amongst the rarest stone dials introduced in the early 70s by Rolex. With only a few examples known that use this type of stone, none of which feature the Khanjar, makes this example so incredibly rare, leading us to believe that this is a unique order. The flawless dial is in excellent condition. These stone dials have a gold surrounded date aperture, as the aperture is cut out of the stone. Stone dials are very hard to cut and with that were reserved for pieces made from solid gold or platinum. Due to complex cutting process many Rolex stone dials have few or no numerals on the dial, and no luminous material is used as the hands are made from 18k solid gold. This example has the original dial signed “T Swiss T” the “T” standing for Tritium although no tritium is used which is correct for this period.

STORY BEHIND

The Omani Khanjar Royal Crest was introduced by the late Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, to appear on the new country’s flag in 1970. Sultan Qaboos is remembered for creating a new Oman through his diplomatic prowess that for years helped defuse some of the region’s most intractable conflicts.

It would also act as an influential piece of advertisement for his newly formed country and would act as a symbol of legitimacy having the Royal crest alongside and sometimes even above the prestigious brand names. This was a first in the watchmaking history where a Nations crest was added to the dials of these brands. Although not confirmed it is believed that many of these Khanjar crests were applied by the Retailers themselves, or by approved workshops of the watch brands. Asprey signed Khanjar watches are amongst the most sought after, all Asprey Khanjars dials are signed with “Asprey” on the case back. Due to the number of Royal Warrants Asprey had and the connections Asprey had with these luxury brands it meant the Sultan was able to order large batches of these watches, and in some cases was able to get the brands to even move their logo to another part of the dial to make space for the printing of the Khanjar. The Sultan Qaboos had a special relationship with John Asprey

The Sultan who was known for being an avid collector with impeccable taste was also known for being extremely generous and gifted many of his watches to people in a reward for their “service”. The Sultan didn’t just gift to high ranking aristocrats but to anyone he believed who had done a great service. It is even said that waiters in restaurants or staff in hotels he stayed in could be gifted these watches. That anyone could have been gifted one of these precious watches, which makes these watches so interesting as the stories that emerge from people that have received them have received them for all sorts of reasons.

The Sultan often travelled with these watches and presented them without the original boxes or paperwork. There are many stories and controversy surrounding who and why these, now, historically important watches were gifted, especially when looking at the history of the British involvement in Oman during the 1960s/1970s and the British interest in the oil reserves in Oman at the time. Sultan did gift many to British Military personnel who helped the Sultan Qaboos to take power, put down the Dhofar Rebellion, and then modernise the country’s military.

Following the death of HRH Sultan Qaboos of Oman beginning in January 2020 they have become even more sought after. They are certainly some of the most historical and interesting watches in the world of watch collecting.