Rolex, officially born in 1915, made some of its biggest breakthrough during the late 1920’s and 1930’s, such as its famous “Oyster” case — the world’s first water-resistant and dustproof watch case, invented in 1926 — and its “Perpetual” movement — the world’s first reliable, self-winding movement for the wristwatch, launched in 1933.
It was also at this time that the Manufacture initiated its communication and marketing strategy around the “testimonee concept”. Rolex promotes its watches by asking sportsmen and women, explorers, car racers... to wear one of their watches while they accomplish a challenge. For instance, this was the case with Mercedes Gleitze (1900-1981) who swam across the English Channel in 1927, and Malcolm Campbell (1885-1948) who broke the speed record of 445 km/h on the Daytona Beach circuit in 1935.
The Rolex ref. 3667 is one of the rarest gentleman’s dress watch. Launch in the 1940’s, it is known as one of the most elegant vintage wristwatch produced by Rolex with a beautiful Art Deco design inherited from the 1930’s. The hour-hand on this specific model, called “pontife”, is a fairly rare shape found mostly on clocks and watches from the previous decade. It named after the shape of the seal at the bottom of a papal bull, hence the name “pontife” (French for pontiff). It is exceptionally rare to find this configuration or a ref. 3667 with such hour-hand.