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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
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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, 628 views)
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Old 23 August 2018, 01:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
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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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Old 16 January 2019, 01:26 AM   #7
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Impressive research!
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Old 19 June 2019, 05:24 AM   #8
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This seems like a thread that someone may know the answer for me.
My dad has an all gold dressy style Rolex that says Oyster on the front. There is no “Perpetual” at all on it and I cannot figure out what this version is. Everything I see online is of course “oyster perpetual”. The band is all gold and is like a mesh material, so the whole thing flexes. The clasp had a 4 digit number, but I didn’t think to write it down. The back of the bezel doesn’t have anything on it at all.
Thanks for your time.
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Old 13 August 2019, 10:11 PM   #9
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Hello, i discovered another Oyster, the Junior Sport.

I found it beacuse i juste dicovered my grandfather's whatch and it's a Rolex Oyster from 30s.
I can't find a picture of the same model online, but i found the Oyster Juniot Sport on a sale website and it is EXACTLY the same, only the inscriptions on the dial which are "Rolex Oyster" and the Rolex logo on mine and not "Oyster Junior Sport" on the one i found on internet...

I will open a topic on it, but for the moment, i can't post any external link so can't upload photos...
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Old 26 December 2019, 01:50 PM   #10
powerfunk
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Sport Aqua:

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Old 30 December 2019, 04:46 PM   #11
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Great info, thanks for the post
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Old 19 May 2020, 02:34 AM   #12
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great post, thanks a bunch.
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