Steel Tudor / Rolex Oyster “Elegante” Ref. 7960 vintage wristwatch, dated 1958
A stylish stainless steel manually wound centre seconds wristwatch
This is an early example of the “Elegante” Ref. 7960 that features highly unusual, ‘futuristic’, numerals that would not look out of place in the pages of a 1950s Dan Dare comic. The way in which the numerals have been laid out is also unusual. Three styles are used with the ‘space’ style 12 and 6 o’clock numerals interspersed by straight batons for the hours immediately to their left and right; then 2, 3 and 4 o’clock and 7, 8 and 9 o’clock mirror one another with stylised rocket shaped numerals. Although symmetry in numeral placement is, of course, common on watch dials, the mirroring of the numerals at 2, 3 and 4 with 7, 8 and 9 is especially unusual and greatly adds to the dial’s unique appearance.
Ref. 7960 is a slim Oyster model with a less pronounced profile than the majority of Oyster models of the period, indeed, the model can sometimes be found with the model name “Oyster Thin” rather than “Oyster Elegante”. The movement is a calibre 2402 with a depth of just 3.6mm. During the period of this model’s production, Rolex was also offering the Rolex Oyster Ref. 6512, which they called the “Oyster Veriflat”. The “Veriflat” was reputedly only available in gold and the proportions of its case (most notably its depth) appear to be very similar to those of the Tudor Oyster “Elegante” / “Thin”. As the 1950s advanced towards the 1960s, slim dress watches were becoming increasingly popular. Clearly both the Tudor Oyster 7960 and Rolex Oyster 6512 were intended to offer the option of a classic model with a slimmer profile, yet with all the advantages of the robust and iconic Oyster case.
Tudor calibre 2402 manually wound movement, lever escapement, 21 jewels, compensation balance, 18,000 BPH, recessed regulator arm, Kif shock absorber; silvered dial, raised stylised Arabic, baton and rocket shaped numerals with luminescent dots above, luminescent ‘Alpha’ shaped hands, centre seconds; polished stainless steel Rolex Oyster case with chamfered bezel, the tops of the lugs with satin finish, screw-down case back and Rolex Oyster crown; case, dial, movement and crown signed.
Diameter excluding winding crown: 34.5mm
Length including lugs: 41mm
Depth to centre of crystal: 8mm
Lug gauge/strap width: 19mm
All Black Bough watches have been fully serviced and overhauled and are sold with a one year guarantee, Black Bough fitted presentation box and detailed Black Bough certificate. This Rolex watch has been serviced by a Rolex trained and accredited watchmaker.