A Rolex pocket watch that will appeal to Rolex collectors, military watch collectors and pocket watch collectors.


There doesn’t seem to be a way to accurately date these watches, save for knowing they were used in WW2.  In Z.M Wesolowski’s book Military Timepieces 1880-1990 they show similar watches (with a Caliber 526) credited at circa 1939, and the same type of Rolex pocket watch also appears in the book Rolex – 3,621 wristwatches but without a production date quoted.  Given that our watch has a serial number much higher that the caliber 526, circa 1940 is a likely production date.


There were a variety of different watches used during The War.  After researching the Rolex pocket watch models you will find that some have bows, like this one, and others never had a bow fitted – these were to use in instrument panels, whereas the ones with bows were for individual use and are easier to use today.  The two main dial patterns are black with lume and white, non lumed like this example.  These were issued to the Royal Air Force, whereas the black dialed versions are usually marked GSTP on the back and these were issued to the Army.

Inside this watch is a 15 jewel, Calibre 548 movement that is working beautifully.  The case is made of gunmetal (steel was hard to come by during wartime) and the back is chromed.  Both the front and back of the case are screw off.  Inside the case back is marked Rolex, 31 Records Universels, Geneve, Suisse.  The back of the case is marked B 12183 – B indicates Back Up Timepiece, so this was not a chronometer but was set and checked against a chronometer.  Also stamped is the Broad Arrow / Crows Foot (which is officially called a Pheon), which indicates this was issued by the military.  The bottom of the case has the number 12183, matching the case back.

The dial is quite clean but not perfect.  The enamel is cracked coming down from 12, and there is a brown stain near 10.  We have taken a photo without the acrylic crystal to show how white the dial is.  The crystal is yellowed with age, as some collectors like it.  We can have the crystal changed for a clear one should the buyer prefer this, but for now we have kept everything original.  The case is worn, but this watch has seen action so we can forgive this.  The onion crown is original and a pleasure to use, winding and setting positively.  We have fitted a leather thong, as would have originally come with the watch.

This watch will be supplied with our Certificate of Authenticity.

Please see the HD video for more detail.


Width with crown  65.2 mm

Width without crown  52.1 mm

Case Thickness  14.1 mm

All sizes are approximate

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.