Many Rolex antique watches are full of historical flavor and humanistic value, which is the goal that many people have always wanted to collect. After years of precipitation and baptism of time, through an antique watch, we seem to understand the period of time at that time. Recently, it was stunning by an antique Rolex watch. Rolex Ref.3525, known as PrisonerOfWarwatch, was born during the Second World War, and timed the ‘Great Victory’ of 1943 at the time. So I could n’t help but feel a little bit of blood. What wartime stories did this Rolex Ref. 3525 go through?
During World War II, RAF pilots were captured and sent to prisoner-of-war camps. All their watches were confiscated. On May 28, 1940, a British corporal named Clive Nadine was captured and held in the third concentration camp (the third concentration camp was made into a movie ‘The Great Escape’ by Hollywood after the war) and was also lost. The Rolex watch I wore before. He has been detained there during World War II and has also worked as a shoemaker in prison.
The founder of Rolex, Hans Wilsdorf, heard about the confiscation of the watch of the prisoners of war, and expressed his willingness to contribute to the war and provide watches to the officers of the prisoner of war camp until There is no need to pay for the end of the war. But at that time, supplying watches to these British prisoners of war was actually a very risky business. However, Rolex has its own considerations in doing so, and they also want to test the situation of their watches in some special environments.
For this reason, British officers detained in prisoner of war camps have ordered watches from Hans Wilsdorf by letter. On March 10, 1943, Clive Nadine ordered this Ref. 3525 Oyster chronograph from Rolex. When Rolex received this order, the people in charge believed that they might not be able to deliver the watch to customers in a timely manner, not only because of the war, but also because many officers had booked the watch.
Three months later, Clive Nadine finally received the Rolex Ref. 3525 oyster chronograph booked previously, with an invoice attached to it. On the invoice was the handwriting of Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf: ‘Now this watch is sold for 250 francs in Switzerland, but you don’t need to pay it during wartime.’
Clive Nadin ordered this watch to have its own abacus. He was preparing for the great escape. An accurate chronograph was very important to him because he needed to use this watch to calculate the patrols of the guard Timetable and time to cross the escape tunnel. Unfortunately, when escaped, the prison guards discovered and closed the escape tunnel, and a exhausted escape ended in failure.
After World War II, Clive Nadine was released from prison. But he still remembered the Rolex in his hand, so after returning to the UK, he wrote to Rolex, stating that he wanted to pay for the watch he bought before, and sent the watch back for warranty. At the end, Clive Nadine did not forget to praise the Rolex in his hand, ‘It still runs strong even in extremely cold environments.’
In the third year after the war, in 1948, Clive Nadine received an invoice of 15 pounds, 12 shillings, and 6 pence, the final price he paid for the watch. Before his death he kept this oyster chronograph, which was very meaningful to him. For him, it was a dream, and a fearless resistance to war.
This rare Rolex Ref.3525 chronograph is 35 mm in diameter and has speed and distance measurement functions. The layout of the dial is very clever, and the dials are arranged in an orderly manner. Because the pointer is filled with radium, it can be easily read even at night. The Ref.3525 is equipped with a Valjoux23 column-wheel movement, which is one of the earliest chronographs equipped with an Oyster case.
Every antique Rolex watch once wrote a story. This Rolex Ref. 3525 oyster chronograph writes a heroic struggle, a resistance that is still worthy of our memory today. (Picture / text watch home Wu Fengqi)