On October 7, 1927, English typist Mercedes Gleitze swam across the ice cold waters of the English Channel and she attempted to swim across the English Channel a second time on October 21 in the same year. Wilsdorf, fascinated by her determination, made the masses aware of his new waterproof Rolex Oyster by tying it around Mercedes’ neck the very night before she undertook the grueling swim.
Unfortunately, Mercedes Gleitze did not reach the other side of the English Channel on her second attempt and had to be pulled out of the water due to a loss of consciousness, the Rolex gold Oyster still in full functionality despite being nearly completely submerged in frigid waters for ten long, demanding hours. Mercedes’ unfinished feat did not negatively affect Rolex’s well-earned popularity, however. In fact, on the front page of the London Daily Mail a little over a month after her courageous and outstanding attempt, an advertisement was published showing Mercedes Gleitze with the headline, “Rolex Introduces for the First Time the Greatest Triumph in Watch-making.” Other prominent articles declared supplemental phrases to this great headline, including phrases such as Water Proof, Moisture Proof, Heat Proof, Vibration Proof, Cold Proof, and Dust Proof. Huge amounts of publicity was received from Wilsdorf’s bold advertisement of the gold Oyster during Mercedes’ daring endeavor.
This watch is the first fully water proof watch that Rolex came out with in 1926. Up for sale is a Rolex Oyster Ref 1953 watch in a solid 0.925 Silver case housing a manual wind movement. With just shy of the watch being nearly a century in age, it is in fantastic condition. The case has scratches and wear but this is understandable as being made out of solid silver, the case is very soft.
This is an absolutely stunning piece that any full blooded Rolex collector needs to have in their collection.
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