Was this jumbo sized dress watch the inspiration for aspects of the new Rolex 1908?  Model reference 4498.


From the serial number on the case back we can accurately date this watch to being made in 1952.


Reference 4498 is not like most Rolex models you think of.  No oyster case, no perpetual movement, nothing more than three hands.  Of course Rolex have always made dress watches, which latterly were called Cellini and the latest incarnation is the 1908.  The latest model is relevant though, as the layout of the 1908 is very similar to the 4498 we have here – sub seconds, numbers at 12, 3 and 9 (including the open nine).  The new watch is bigger, automatic and made from precious metals so will cost £20,000, whereas this vintage watch is stainless steel and manual wind.  It would have been larger than average for the time too, making it very wearable today.  The case is all good with just light marks, and the acrylic glass has some marks to the edges too.  The crown is not signed, but is the original – you can see the distinctive shape on others.  The buckle is the original too, and these are quite rare to have stayed with the watch.  The dial has some patina but is original and not repainted.  The manual wind, 15 jewel movement is all working well and has some shock resistance built in (unlike some of the earlier 4498 models).  The leather strap is new, and could be swapped for a different colour if preferred.

This watch will be supplied with our branded presentation box and our Certificate of Authenticity.

This watch has been checked against the Watch Register and has not been reported as lost, stolen or implicated in fraud, and a copy of that certificate will also be included.

Please see the HD video for more detail.  All photos and videos are part of the description and are of the actual watch unless mentioned.  We do not photoshop any pictures, and the images are copyright of birthyearwatches.com and should not be used without permission.


Width with crown  37.3 mm

Width without crown  34.6 mm

Between lugs  18 mm

Lug to lug length  41.4 mm

Case Thickness  9.4 mm

All sizes are approximate.  The watch is photographed on a wrist of 190mm/7.5 inches.

Included with this watch is a 3 month guarantee and free delivery to UK addresses.  If you live outside the UK we can still deliver to most countries.  Please see our Worldwide Shipping information, or Contact Us.   Payment can be made by most credit or debit cards, bank transfer or PayPal.

From 1st September 2021 we will be planting a tree for every watch we sell, working with the International Tree Foundation (Est 1922) to make this business positive on carbon.  By buying anything pre owned you are effectively reusing what already exists, but this takes it further and makes us feel good.