Rolex Oyster Army
Why We Love it
Why We Love it–
It's safe to say that we have a special fondness for military watches. While most of the military watches that we find date from the Vietnam War or later, we seldom get our hands on one that predates that period. So it's rare indeed for us to find a military watch from World War II, and a Rolex at that.
During World War II, watch companies rushed to equip timepieces to the Axis and Allied forces. The "Dirty Dozen," which were designed and supplied to British troops according to Ministry of Defense specifications, have attained a kind of sacred status among military watch collectors. Collectors of World War II-era pilot's watches are familiar with the A-11 and its Axis counterpart, the B-Uhren.
All of these watches, with their black dials and luminous hands, are a familiar sight to those in the know. But Rolex -- which was then known primarily for their dress timepieces -- was not to be outdone by their competitors; Rolex supplied over 3000 watches to the Allied troops during the war.
The reference 3139 is perhaps the most famous -- and mythical -- of these. In constructing the ref. 3139, Rolex pulled out all the stops. They used their patented Oyster case, then not even two decades old. The cushion-shaped case, similar to the Rolex bubble-back watches of the period, protected the watch from the dust and moisture that the soldier who wore it would encounter in the field. It's unusual to see a case that's in as good a condition as this one is: the lugs are sharp, and there are traces of the brush finishing that the watch must have borne when it rolled off the assembly line.
Another unusual feature is the color of the dial: a salmon hue that has gained an even patina over time. Most of these watches have unfortunately been lost to the ages, or have undergone such changes--new dials, new case backs or crowns--that they're almost unworthy of the moniker "Rolex Army." But this one bears the name proudly, as a relic of the conflict that birthed it.
The size of the case, at 30mm, is in keeping with men's watches of the period. We think it would look great on smaller wrists, or even as a gift for that special lady. Valentine's Day is around the corner, after all, and what says "I love you" more than a Rolex with a pink dial and a kickass military heritage?
Analog:Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
Since our pieces are vintage or pre-owned, please expect wear & patina from usage and age. Please read each item description and examine all product images.
We back each Analog:Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.
Shipping & Returns
Shipping & Returns+
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states.
Most of our products are on hand and will ship directly from our headquarters in New York City. In some cases, watches will be shipped directly from one of our authorized partners.
We generally ship our products via FedEx, fully insured, within 5 business days of purchase. An adult signature is required for receipt of all packages for insurance purposes. Expedited shipping is available at an additional cost. We are also happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Returns must be sent overnight or by priority international delivery, fully insured and paid for by the customer. A restocking fee may apply. Watches must be returned in the same condition as initially shipped.
We welcome international buyers, please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.
Rolex Oyster Army