Steel Tudor / Rolex Oyster Prince Ref. 7809 vintage wristwatch, circa 1952
A rare steel automatic centre seconds wristwatch
The reference 7809 is a rare Tudor model. Interestingly, examples of this reference were used during the British North Greenland Expedition of 1952-1954. The expeditionary team consisted of 30 members, all of whom were sponsored by Rolex with a Tudor Oyster Prince which Hans Wilsdorf (Rolex’s founder) had especially chosen for the mission. On 24th November, 1953, J. D. Walker, Captain of the Royal Engineers, wrote to Rolex to express his gratitude and admiration for his Tudor Ref. 7809 which he said had been highly reliable and accurate throughout the expedition, despite being exposed to extremes of temperature from +70°F to -50° F, heavy daily use and immersion in water. A copy of Walker’s letter to Rolex and illustrations of one of the Ref. 7809 Tudors used during the expedition can be found in Isnardi, A., Tudor Anthology, 2013, pp.232-235.
This watch is in lovely original condition and incorporates Tudor’s automatic calibre 390 movement. The dial has full applied gilt Arabic numerals and an even patination across the surface. The blued steel centre seconds provides a handsome contrast to the gold coloured hands. The robust stainless steel Oyster case has combination satin and polished finishes and the patented Oyster screw-down crown and case back.
Tudor calibre 390 automatic movement (made for Tudor by FEF), lever escapement, 17 jewels, compensation balance, 18,000 BPH, shock absorber, pierced and signed Tudor rotor; metal dial with applied Arabic numerals, feuille hands, blued steel centre seconds; stainless steel Oyster case with screw-down crown and case back; case, dial, movement and crown signed.
Diameter excluding winding crown: 34.5mm
Length including lugs: 40mm
Depth to centre of crystal: 12mm
Strap width/lug gauge: 19mm
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