These 1940’s vintage watches by Rolex, called the Split-Seconds Chronograph, were not made in bulk. It might surprise you to know that there remain only 8 of these now.
Like a lot of prized watches from the 40’s, this one is known not just for its fashion but for its technology as well: the Rolex Split-Seconds is 44 mm in diameter, outranking all other Rolex chronographs. Its case features a bezel designed as thin as technically possible which impressively makes the dial nearly as large as the case itself. And it is the only split-second chronograph wristwatch ever produced by Rolex.
Split-seconds is another word for double-chronograph, a watch that includes two separate stopwatch mechanisms in order to estimate two separate events of different durations. A watch with a double chronograph has two seconds hands. One hand is superimposed over the other. While one hand moves continuously, the other one can be either stopped, started or reset to zero.
The first push releases both hands. While one continues registering the time, the other hand can be repeatedly stopped. In order to stop and bring both hands to zero a watch has a return pusher. The position of the pusher, controlling the split-seconds function is usually at either 10 or 8 o’clock.
Price for these is kind of prohibitive. At a Christie’s auction in 2011 a RolexSplit-Seconds became the most expensive luxury watch they ever sold at $2.5 million.