The Rolex Veriflat: A Rare 1950s Wristwatch
The Swiss watchmaker company Rolex is arguably the most fashionable in the world and its watches sell for some of the highest premiums in the world. Founded in London in 1905, the company moved to Switzerland and has been based in Geneva since 1919. In 2016 Forbes ranked the company 64th on its list of the world’s most powerful global brands. Indeed, it is the largest luxury watch brand in the world and produces about 2000 watches every single day. Given how much they sell for, it equates to a significant turnover. In 2016 their turnover stood at $4.6 billion.
The Veriflat trademark was registered by Rolex on November 26 1954 and it is a classic and rare watch. It has a caliber 1000 movement which was the first movement to be made by Rolex from the ground up. This is a high grade 18 jewel movement and can be adjusted to temperature and positions. This is particularly useful as temperature can have immense effects on the way that the watch functions. You should be careful when carrying your watch from place to place that you are aware of the specific climatic conditions and be prepared to alter your watch as necessary.
The watch has hand styles of dauphine and alpha and there are several variations to the dial. These include a minute track, a tall Rolex Crown, an Officially Certified Chronometer, a Precision dial and others. The chronometer is essential for timing accuracy. In order for a wristwatch to achieve chronometer certification it must be tested and accredited to independent industry standards, normally associated with an observatory that constantly measures the movement of the earth through space. The variety of the hand styles give the watch a variety that is unique and well prized by collectors. Indeed, even though it was launched in the 1950s it could be said that it is more suited to the fashions of today’s market.
In its day the watch was not very popular in terms of sales as it couldn’t compete with the similar automatic model, which was much less expensive. It is one of the thinnest Rolex watch designs ever created and has a manual wind up – its flatness gives it the name ‘Veriflat’ Its production was part of a period in the 1950s when Rolex was experimenting with several different designs, and flatness was certainly a trait that they wished to experiment with. Its oyster case is only 9mm – really small! Some of the early watches even come with a chronometer certificate.
It is certainly a rare watch – in fact only about twenty or so watches have been traced in terms of sales in the last twenty or so years. Of course, as it was not a popular watch in its day means that there are not as many watches on the market. Nonetheless, its rarity gives it interest for collectors and it can attract high prices. Occasionally you will see it come on the market but when it does, there are often many collectors who want to get their hands on it. Watch collectors are often looking for various things and the Rolex Veriflat fulfills most, if not all, of these.
Firstly, it is stylish and will look good when it is worn on the wrist. Secondly, it is a conversation piece. Thirdly, it is rare. Rarity is often a vital point of interest for many collectors. Fourthly, it is unique in terms if the setting of its casing. It is very unusual to find a watch that is quite so thin. Obviously all of these things come together to mean that the watch itself is highly collectable but some collectors might be priced out by the fact that it is highly attractive for a number of reasons.
The Veriflat is a very beautiful watch, this cannot be denied. It has an elegant design, including its famed oyster style case. As dress watches go, this should be high up there in terms of having a watch that will impress. Its beauty is down to many factors but principally its slimness, its casing and motions. The casing and gold lettering is particularly beautiful and attracts buyers principally because of the way it sits on the watch.
There is also the Rolex Verislim which is related to the Veriflat but rather than the oyster style case it has a 14 karat yellow and rose gold case of 34mm in size and a snap on caseback. It was similarly not very popular in its day and is also highly prized by collectors, especially collectors of Rolex watches, or those who are interested in wristwatches of this period.
You should probably expect to pay anything up to £5,500 for the Rolex Veriflat, although you should not be surprised if you see it in a dealers store for more than this. As has been said earlier in this article, because it is so rare this can massively affect the pull of this watch and therefore the prices paid can be extortionate. Sometimes you can even see them up for sale for over ten thousand dollars worth (which in today’s climate is significantly more than tyhe £5,500 price mark.
In conclusion, the Rolex Veriflat wristwatch is a rare specimen that can be incredibly popular in the market today. It was unpopular in its day but as fashions have changed it has come to be seen in the light that it should be. It is a beautiful watch with a fine casing and a snap on caseback. It has varied hand styles and it is a fashionable item which will be a fine conversation starter. If you can find one at auction you should expect to set a high potential hammer price but you may be fortunate and not have to pay too much. It all depends on who else is buying and what the dealer knows about the watch. You should be aware of counterfeit watches. They vary in quality but some can be very difficult to tell apart from the real thing. If you at all concerned make sure you check the watch with an independent expert before making your purchase.