AUSTIN HEALEY FOUNDER’S ROLEX

Plaza Watch International - - News -

read­ing “For Don­ald Healey, Per­ran­porth”.

“The Bon­hams Bond Street Mo­tor Car Sale presents a fan­tas­tic se­lec­tion of mo­tor cars, in­clud­ing two of the most im­por­tant AustinHealeys ever of­fered. We’re de­lighted to an­nounce the in­clu­sion of Don­ald Healey’s per­sonal Rolex to this ex­cit­ing sale.” said James Knight, Bon­hams Group Mo­tor­ing Di­rec­tor. “To of­fer the Rolex Striped Prince, worn by the great man him­self, plus his much loved ev­ery­day car – the 1953 Austin-Healey 100/’100S’ Coupe, and the 1959 Works Rally 3000 ‘SMO 746’ – is sim­ply ex­tra­or­di­nary.” Jonathan Dar­ra­cott, Bon­hams UK Head of Watches, also com­mented on the spe­cial rar­ity of this unique watch say­ing, “By pay­ing homage to the art deco style of the 1920s and 1930s, Rolex Prince watches be­came an in­stant hit. Only a small num­ber of the lat­terly de­vel­oped ‘striped’ Prince watches, also known as the ‘Tiger Stripe’, were pro­duced, mak­ing this model ex­tremely rare. It’s un­sur­pris­ing Healey chose to re­ward him­self with such a time­piece, as th­ese par­tic­u­lar wrist­watches were an ex­cel­lent, but re­fined, state­ment of one’s suc­cess.”

The Prince model was in­tro­duced by Rolex in 1929 and con­tin­ued un­til 1935. With a rel­a­tively short pe­riod of pro­duc­tion, not many were pro­duced and, as such, they were as ex­clu­sive in pe­riod as they are to­day. Each watch was sup­plied with a rat­ing cer­tifi­cate of Ac­cu­racy from the Swiss govern­ment Ob­ser­va­tory. It was un­af­fected by po­si­tion or changes in tem­per­a­ture, prob­lems that plagued lesser watches. Rolex say of the Prince that it was “lim­ited to a rel­a­tively small num­ber as such fine watches can­not be pro­duced quickly or in large quan­ti­ties”. This was the most ex­pen­sive Rolex that was pro­duced at the time ex­cept for the pure plat­inum. In con­tem­po­rary ad­verts it was in­tro­duced as a watch for men of 'out­stand­ing merit and dis­tinc­tion'. Qual­ity did not come cheap and it re­tailed for £21.00 in 1929, a con­sid­er­able sum in those days.

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