Up for grabs is a stunning and rare 18kt yellow gold Rolex chronograph, the reference 2508, circa 1930s. This particular 2508 is a “first generation” example, denoted by its larger, 36mm case size and use of oval pushers, which was later replaced by a smaller, 35mm case with square button pushers. Further, this example features a highly desirable black “gilt” dial, believed to be made for military use. In fact, this particular shows some neat provenance, through an engraving on its caseback. The insciption reads in Italian: “To my Commander – I give you this watch to count the hours of glory and victory. A.OJ. 1936-1938”. Based on the date of the inscription, this watch was likely given by a soldier to his Commander to commemorate Italy’s colonization of Ethiopia, which occurred during these years.
This Rolex chronograph is in very nice vintage condition for its age. The case appears unpolished, with thick and even lugs. The original dial shows light aging/wear, consistent with the aging of these dials, and remains extremely attractive.
Early gilt-dial Rolex chronographs are some of the most collectible watches out there, and coupled with the provenance and history of this piece, this watch is a true rarity and an amazing addition to any collection.