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Old 5 May 2020, 06:18 AM   #1
powerfunk
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Icon1 Rolex branding chaos pre-1960: A look at references with several different names

While Rolex is nowadays regarded as a master of branding, until about 1960 they were throwing all kinds of branding against a wall to see what stuck. They frequently used the same model name for multiple totally different watches, or conversely, several model names for the same reference.

Some rather egregious examples of branding chaos I can think of are Rolex references 4365 and 4220 (each released under at least 7 model names), Tudor reference 4540 (released under at least 9 model names), and "Canadian Oyster" models 3478 and 3136 (both released under several Rolex, Tudor and Oyster model names). On the flip side, the name "Centregraph" appears on 6 different references. Feel free to share any other ambiguously-branded Rolex models you know of!



Centregraphs

3346 Centregraph monopusher chronograph with rotating bezel (Rolex's first rotating bezel and first in-house chronograph movement):


3462 Centregraph monopusher chronograph:


3462 Centregraph released under the Oyster brand:


2940 Centregraph Oyster Perpetual (Bubbleback):


3372 Centregraph Oyster Perpetual (Bubbleback):


978 Centregraph Oyster released under the Tudor brand:


3478 Centregraph Oyster released under the Tudor brand:


3478 Centregraph Oyster released under the Oyster brand:





Rolex reference 4220

Speedking (most common):


Elegante:


Majestic:


Pall Mall:


Royal:


Royalite:


Plain old Oyster:



Rolex reference 4365

Many collectors are aware of the 4 "Air" names Rolex tried out: Air-Giant, Air-Lion, Air-Tiger, and of course Air-King:


But it was also made under a few other names, such as Speedking Elegant:


Elegante:


And plain old Oyster:





Tudor reference 4540

London, Kent, Devon, Sussex, Yorke, Brock, Athlete, Air-Tiger, and plain old Oyster:




Rolex/Tudor/Oyster reference 3136

Rolex Oyster, Rolex Oyster Standard, Oyster Lipton, Oyster Sport Aqua, Oyster Junior Sport, Oyster Recorda, Oyster Tudor, and Tudor Oyster Commander (click here for larger pic):




Rolex/Tudor/Oyster/Neptune reference 3478

Oyster Raleigh, Oyster Lipton, Oyster Royalite, Oyster Recorda, Oyster Commander, Oyster Centregraph, Tudor Centregraph, plain old Oyster, Rolex Victory, and Neptune Waterproof (click here for larger pic):




Miscellaneous models with 2-6 names

Ref. 1016 Space-Dweller and Explorer:


Ref. 3139 Royalite, Speedking, Everest, Army, Elegante, and plain old Oyster:


Ref. 4647 Everest, Air-Lion, Royal, Elegante, and plain old Oyster (click here for larger pic):


Ref. 5500 Air-King, Explorer and Metropolitan:


Ref. 5504 Explorer, Everest and Air-King:


Ref. 1573 Oyster, unnamed (just Rolex Geneve) and Imperial:


Ref. 3359 Elegante, Viceroy, Imperial, Speedking and plain old Oyster:
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Old 5 May 2020, 07:21 AM   #2
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Great post. Thank you.
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Old 5 May 2020, 12:23 PM   #3
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Great post. Thank you.

Agreed. Outstanding research effort went into this post.

Reminds me of a comment recently—“welcome to antique Rolex, where anything is possible”.
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Old 6 May 2020, 06:21 AM   #4
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Great information. Thank you for the post!
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Old 6 May 2020, 02:53 PM   #5
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Great information
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Great post
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Outstanding research effort
Thanks guys
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Old 7 May 2020, 07:04 AM   #6
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Wow, I had to double check the date of your post, OP. This feels like the sort of unique and informative post I would find on TRF 10 years ago. Thanks much!
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Old 7 May 2020, 09:14 AM   #7
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Wow, I had to double check the date of your post, OP. This feels like the sort of unique and informative post I would find on TRF 10 years ago. Thanks much!


Good point.

Cheers to the OP for bringing us a welcome, educated, informative, interesting post.


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Old 7 May 2020, 08:06 PM   #8
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Awesome thread as always Rob. Thank you very much
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Old 7 May 2020, 11:33 PM   #9
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Fascinating, Thanks Rob.


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Old 8 May 2020, 05:33 AM   #10
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Fascinating, Thanks Rob
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Awesome thread as always Rob. Thank you very much
My pleasure guys
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