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Old 23 August 2018, 04:37 AM   #1
powerfunk
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Every model name released under the "Oyster" brand

During the 1930's-40's, when Rolex still had an agreement with Gruen not to sell Aegler-based watches in North America, the Rolex Watch Company was doing some interesting branding experimentation in Canada. All the watches sold in Canada during this time had a "Rolex Caliber 59" movement, which is actually just a finished Fontainemelon FHF30 movement.

The watches were almost all 30-32mm, and despite there only being a handful of references (3478 and 3121f were the most common, along with 3136, 3351f, etc.) there were countless names used. Brands used included Rolex, Tudor, Neptune, Aqua/Solar Aqua/Lund & Blockley Aqua, and Oyster.

This post is about the models released under the Oyster brand. Note that the model names don't exactly correlate to a reference; they seemingly put whatever dials into whatever cases they felt like.

The 21 brand names I came across are: Marconi, Rolco, Unicorn, Essex, Explorer, Lincoln, Edison, Grenfell, Centregraph, Lipton, Lady Dudley, Junior Sport, Raleigh, Commander, Recorda, Chester, Regent, Shipmate, Pioneer, Extra Prima, and simply Oyster.

Princeton Oyster
and Oyster Birks etc. I believe are co-signed by retailers; those aren't model names. "Extra prima" is also arguably not a model name and is akin to, say, "Super Precision" branding but I'll count it. The most confusing to me are the Marconi, Rolco, and Unicorn--all 3 of those names were used as brand names by RWC as well. Is it an Oyster Marconi or a Marconi Oyster?

Anyway, click here for the imgur album or scroll for pics of all these models:

Plain Oyster:


Oyster Extra Prima:


Oyster Marconi:


Oyster Rolco:


Oyster Unicorn:


Oyster Explorer:


Oyster Essex:


Oyster Lady Dudley:


Oyster Pioneer:


Oyster Shipmate:


Oyster Regent:


Oyster Chester:


Oyster Recorda:


Oyster Commander:


Oyster Raleigh:


Oyster Junior Sport:


Oyster Lipton:


Oyster Centregraph:


Oyster Grenfell:


Oyster Edison:


Oyster Lincoln:


If I've overlooked any Oyster watches please let me know.
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Old 23 August 2018, 08:46 AM   #2
yoniman
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Wow!
Thanks for posting.
Are some of these for sale?

cheers
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Old 23 August 2018, 09:01 AM   #3
powerfunk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yoniman View Post
Wow!
Thanks for posting.
Are some of these for sale?

cheers
I believe at least a few are still on edmontonwatchclub.com or watchestobuy.com
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Old 23 August 2018, 01:02 PM   #4
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Thanks for another great thread Rob. I shouldn't have sold my Chester www.rolexforums.com/showthread.php?t=477498

Oyster watches were on sale in Singapore and probably elsewhere in Asia too. in the 1930s and 40s.

Here's an ad from the Straits Times from 1937...note the name on the dial.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg Tudor Oyster, Straits Times, April 23 1937. P.10.jpg (114.2 KB, 68 views)
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Old 23 August 2018, 01:35 PM   #5
powerfunk
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Thanks for another great thread Rob. I shouldn't have sold my Chester www.rolexforums.com/showthread.php?t=477498

Oyster watches were on sale in Singapore and probably elsewhere in Asia too. in the 1930s and 40s.

Here's an ad from the Straits Times from 1937...note the name on the dial.

Thanks; that's awesome! Looks like "Extra Prima" to me. I didn't realize they were in Singapore too, interesting
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Old 23 August 2018, 01:42 PM   #6
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Singapore must have been one of the first Empire outposts to get Rolex watches. The oldest mention I found in the news archives there was from 1923: https://www.rolexforums.com/showthread.php?t=478802
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