Rolex launched the Ref.3525 chronograph in 1939 and has been producing until 1945. Ref.3525 equipped with Valjoux 23 column wheel movement, is one of the first equipped Oyster case chronograph Rolex watch.Watches were made available to Allied POWs by many brands but Rolex is one of the best known for this service. Prisoners of war may order the watch by mail and receive it in a prison camp held in custody. Repayment of the purchase money until the end of the war, the Rolex's move to prove the brand's trust in the Allied prisoners of war (mainly British prisoners of war).
The founder of Rolex Hans Wellsdorf although born in Germany, but at the age of 24 moved to the United Kingdom, and where laid Rolex became the world's most famous watch brand foundation, I believe this experience for Rolex Allied prisoners of war to provide booking services, as well as the refusal to sell watches to the Nazi army has a great impact.
This particular style of early Rolex Oyster chronographs (Oyster was the designation for all Rolex waterproof watches) dating to the 1940s is called the "Monoblocco" or "one block," as the solid steel case including its bezel was made out of one solid piece of metal. Most cases at the time had a removable bezel piece. Two-tone steel and gold reference 3525 examples are also typically called Monoblocco chronographs, even though that is technically incorrect. Monobloccos are excellent little chronographs featuring Valjoux movements (typically the Valjoux 23) with a dedicated following in the Rolex collector community.
The information about the the reference 3525 comes from Rolex replica: The History, Icons And Record-Breaking Models from Osvaldo Patrizzi and Mara Cappelletti; it estimates the total production of steel reference 3525 chronographs at around 200 pieces, and features an outstanding example of this chronograph on the cover. In November 2016, the watch was shot by Fu Encyt and the price was 62,500 Swiss francs (valued at 50,000 to 80,000 Swiss francs). Considering its rare rarity, the watch was a very affordable deal.
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