It is said that “You never forget your first Rolex” and it is true. It was 1996 and I was at the Munich Watch Show looking for timepieces that I could resell. A fellow dealer offered me a few watches and I was looking at a nice package deal.
I asked him about one particular watch I fancied - a 1961 Rolex Oyster Precision Reference 6426 in mint condition, silver dial, Oyster bracelet. It was as good as new. The dealer wasn’t interested because he wanted it for himself, such was the mint quality of the watch. Now, I really wanted this watch; not to resell, but for myself. I pushed hard for a deal but he wouldn’t budge. Fortunately, I had a watch he wanted for his girlfriend so we were able to make a trade. I had put a little cash on top of the exchange.
All in all, the watch cost me something like $400. The seller, who was also a friend, had one final condition - I would sell it back to him, and him only if I ever want to let it go. Unfortunately that’s not going to happen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tariq Malik is the managing partner of Momentum Dubai, the city’s preeminent vintage watch boutique. Originally from Aachen, Germany, Malik first started collecting Swatch models before he became a vintage watch dealer. He is today considered one of the leading experts on vintage Rolex.
Eds Note: The Rolex Oyster Precision – with its modest 34-mm-wide case, smooth bezel and understated style – has always lived in the shadows of its more famous siblings in the Rolex portfolio. However, it’s hard to find a more wearable, robust and more importantly affordable vintage Rolex than an Oyster Precision from the 1960s. The watch is powered by a hand-winding movement and was fitted with a 19 mm steel bracelet.