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Rolex 2940 History

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Rolex Yellow Gold Stainless Steel Ribbed Hooded Bubbleback Wristwatch, 1940s
By Rolex
Located in West Hollywood, CA
A scarce Rolex SS/14K YG ribbed hooded Bubbleback circa 1940’s. Featuring 32 mm diameter tonneau

Vintage 1940s Swiss Wrist Watches


14k Gold, Yellow Gold, Stainless Steel

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Rolex for sale on 1stDibs

While the rise in popularity of vintage Rolex watches is of no surprise to aficionados, collectors and industry experts, when it comes to contemporary luxury wristwatches, Rolex is also often the first brand that springs to mind. Not only is the company revered for its precision timekeeping and impeccable craftsmanship, but its name was designed to be memorable.

Rolex's enviable worldwide recognition can be credited in part to the genius of company founder Hans Wilsdorf. When the German-born watch dealer and his brother-in-law, Alfred Davis, set up their London enterprise, in 1905, they called it Wilsdorf & Davis, according to the traditional formula.

But Wilsdorf was determined to come up with another name that was short, would look good on a watch dial and was easy to say and remember in several languages. In 1908, he trademarked the name Rolex, and by 1920, he had moved the company to Geneva and redubbed it as Montres Rolex S.A.

But the main reasons for the brand’s success are its aforementioned commitment to precision and unflagging pursuit of innovation. In 1926, the company introduced the aptly named Oyster model. With a screw-down crown and case back, both fitted with rubber gaskets, this was the first truly waterproof watch.

Five years later, Rolex upped the ante with the Oyster Perpetual. That model’s patented Perpetual movement contained a rotor mechanism enabling it to self-wind. In another trendsetting move, in 1945, the brand debuted the Datejust, with a date window prominently displayed on the dial.

The company’s two most iconic models are sports watches. Although the Submariner, which debuted in 1953, was developed as a dive watch, its waterproof case, solid construction and good looks made it a favorite of adventurers and urbanites alike, including James Bond, who wore it in classics like Dr. No and Goldfinger. The Daytona, the racing chronograph made famous by Paul Newman, is especially sought after by collectors. Newman’s personal Daytona, which hit the auction block in 2017, sold for $17.8 million.

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Finding the Right wrist-watches for You

Antique, new and vintage wristwatches have captured the hearts and minds of all manner of watch collectors as well as the watchmakers themselves — it's time you found your own.

Certain vintage watches for men and iconic watch designs for women are sought after not only because of their graceful proportions or innovative materials but also because of the illustrious histories of the houses that created them, histories that they stylishly embody.

Bvlgari’s legendary Serpenti watch was on everyone’s list after the collection’s bold bracelet, which technically debuted after the timepiece, graced the wrist of actress Elizabeth Taylor. If anything, elaborately crafted timepieces — the unmistakably boxy silhouette of Cartier Tank watches, the elegant and minimal Calatrava designed by legendary Swiss house Patek Philippe — are even more effective than the shape we associate with traditional wristwatches.

Form watches — the all-encompassing moniker bestowed upon non-round watches — are making headlines and completing contemporary fashionable ensembles the world over. At the same time, both casual fans and careful collectors are drawn to the unbeatable charm of vintage styles, such as the icons designed by Omega that even James Bond can’t resist.

In the early days of watchmaking, watches were fragile enough that they necessitated protection from the elements. Now, wristwatches made of gold and steel can withstand the harshest climates — even 100 meters underwater, in the case of Rolex’s Submariner. Designer Gérald Genta, whose range of clients included Rolex, created for Audemars Piguet the first luxury sports timepiece to be made from stainless steel. First introduced in 1972, the Royal Oak was a perfect choice for blending the form and function that are now synonymous with sports watches.

Are you shopping for a wristwatch? It’s good to keep your needs as well as your specific personal style in mind: A smaller, subtle timepiece is a good fit for small wrists. When will you be wearing your new accessory? There’s a versatile model out there for everyday wear, while a rugged, feature-heavy watch is a safe bet if you’re prone to embarking on all-weather activities in the great outdoors.

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Questions About Rolex
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Most Rolex watches use a Perpetual rotor which means that they do not need winding if worn regularly. If you have not worn your watch in some time, you can manually wind it by unscrewing the crown to the winding position and turning it clockwise about 20 times. Make sure to screw the crown back into place after winding to reestablish its waterproof qualities. Shop a collection of authentic Rolex watches from some of the world’s top boutiques on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Yes, you can wear a Rolex every day. This durable and high-quality timepiece is meant to withstand everyday use and wear. Shop a large collection of authentic Rolex watches from some of the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Yes, Rolex made the Oysterquartz watch starting in the 1970s. Not many were made, with around an estimated 25,000 models making it to market. Shop a range of expertly vetted Rolex watches from top boutiques worldwide on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Yes, Rolex joined the quartz movement popular in the 1960s and 1970s. The first Rolex quartz watch was the Date 5100. The company then released the Oysterquartz Datejust and the Oysterquartz Date-Date models. Very few Date 5100s were released, and the Oysterquartz models were only produced for 25 years. Find a collection of expertly vetted Rolex watches, including rare Oysterquartz models, from some of the world’s top reputable boutiques on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Yes, all Rolex products have a serial number. You can find it engraved along the side closest to the six o’clock mark. If your Rolex is missing a serial number, it is likely not authentic. On 1stDibs you can shop a wide range of expertly vetted Rolex products from some of the best boutiques around the world.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    A Rolex watch is powered by a Perpetual rotor that captures the energy of your body’s movement and uses it to keep your watch running. You can also wind up a Rolex if you haven’t been wearing it for a while. Shop the collection of authenticated Rolex timepieces available from some of the world’s top boutiques on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Most Rolex watches work thanks to a perpetual rotor found inside. Every time you move your wrist, this rotor glides back and forth, creating kinetic energy. That energy moves into the mainspring of the watch to power the timepiece, eliminating the need for winding as long as the watch is being worn. You’ll find a large selection of Rolex on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 22, 2021
    A contemporary Rolex Yacht Master costs around $11,000. However, a vintage model can cost up to $30,000.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    To clean a Rolex watch, wipe it all over periodically with a soft, dry microfiber cloth. For deeper cleaning, you can wash their metal bracelets and cases with warm water and mild dish or hand soap. Use a leather cleaner product to clean leather straps on Rolex watches. On 1stDibs, find a variety of Rolex watches.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Rolex made its mark on the world in 1910, and in the 100-plus years since, the Bienne, Switzerland-based brand has focused on making some of the highest quality watches in the world, with trademark chronometric precision. Find authentic vintage and new Rolex watches on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    How you adjust a Rolex band depends on the style. Submariner and SeaDweller watches feature Glidelock clasps that allow you to adjust the size 2 mm at a time simply by opening the bracelet and sliding it back and forth. Other watches use an Easylink comfort extension link which allows you to adjust the length by 5 mm without any special tools. Check the user manual of your specific watch for more detailed instructions. You’ll find a large collection of Rolex watches on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Adjust a Rolex by twisting the crown at the side counter-clockwise to unscrew it, then gently pull it out three notches to its third position. Twist it clockwise to set the time. Push the crown in until it clicks to its second position. Turn it clockwise to set the date. Push it all the way back in and screw it in in a clockwise direction to secure it and re-waterproof the watch. Browse a range of Rolex timepieces from top sellers on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Insert a Rolex spring bar tool into the lug holes, or alternatively, the gaps for the spring bars at the end of the band. Gently retract the spring bar by pressing it with the tool until the band dislodges. Put the new band onto the spring bar. Line up the spring bar with the lugs and use the tool to navigate it into place until it clicks securely. Browse for authenticated Rolex timepieces and bands on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Designed with world travelers in mind, the Rolex Sky-Dweller can be purchased through Rolex directly as well as through authorized retailers and resellers, including 1stDibs. It’s important to purchase from a vetted seller or vendor to ensure authenticity. While Rolex has at times inspired knockoffs, 1stDibs partners with only top-vetted sellers to offer authentic pieces that come with a buyer protection guarantee.
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 22, 2021
    One of the cheapest Rolex watches is the Oyster Perpetual, which usually costs around $5,000. This model is made of oystersteel, an affordable type of steel.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    The way a Rolex bracelet fits is a matter of preference. For a comfortable fit, Rolex recommends leaving the bracelet loose enough to allow for the wrist expansion that comes with warmth but snug enough to avoid sliding. Shop a collection of authentic Rolex pieces on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Presidential Rolex is a nickname for the Rolex Day-Date watch. When it debuted in 1956, the timepiece stood out as the only one that showed both the date and day of the week on its dial. The watch got its nickname when President Lyndon B. Johnson wore a Day-Date watch made of yellow gold in 1965. You’ll find a large selection of Rolex Day-Date watches on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    The Paul Newman Rolex is a Rolex Daytona 6239 that was owned by Paul Newman, who wore it many times during his racing career — Newman began racing professionally in 1972 and is said to have worn the watch every day, both on and off the track. The ruggedly handsome star was captured in countless paparazzi and publicity photos seemingly never without the same beloved Daytona. The back was engraved with the phrase, “Drive Carefully Me.” Search a collection of authenticated Rolex watches from top boutiques worldwide on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    A Rolex Daytona is a wristwatch designed with race car drivers in mind. Named after the Daytona 500, the watch measures elapsed time and calculates average speed. Find a selection of Rolex Daytona watches and other styles on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    A Rolex Masterpiece is a special-edition Rolex Day-Date with a larger face. Due to their exclusive nature, the Rolex Masterpiece is one of the most coveted styles of watches. Find a selection of Rolex Masterpiece watches and other styles on 1stDibs.