OceanicTime Archives


Rolex U.S. MARINE Prototype

By TLex Here's a really cool watch that has continued to intrigue me since I first discovered it. The Rolex U.S Marine Prototype watch that was allegedly produced by Rolex in 1982 for the U.S Marines. Rolex say it never went into production and in fact deny its existence.

What is certain though, is that a watch collector paid a small fortune for it at auction. It is an exceptionally rare watch nevertheless and of a very cool design. It features a rather unique way of locking its bi-directional timing bezel. The large detachable lug hoods lift up to allow manipulation of the bezel, and lower down again to securely lock it in place.

The recessed crown guard is so cool. There's some lovely beveling at the top, but what I really like is how it extends out and down from the middle of the case to meet the top of the right lug. The watch was generously proportioned for its day, too. It measured 44mm with a lug to measurement of 58mm. The example featured here was sold at auction by Antiquorum in 2004 for 72'000USD! 

From AQ U.S. Marine Prototype" Rolex, Oyster Perpetual Date, U.S. Marine, Superlative Chronometer, Officially Certified, Ref. 1690, movement No. 024510. Prototype made in few examples in 1982 for the US. Marines, production was never undertaken. Exceptionally rare and very fine, tonneau-shaped, asymmetrical, center-seconds, self-winding, water-resistant, stainless steel military wristwatch with U.S. Marine logo in red and a stainless steel Oyster expansion bracelet.


Three-body, polished and brushed, screwed-down case back and crown, 12-hour graduated bi-directional revolving steel bezel protected by the hooded lugs, "Triplock" winding-crown at 4 protected by a "crown guard", domed crystal, elongated lugs with detachable hoods, the screw-down case back engraved "U.S. Marine", and twice engraved with the Rolex crown.D. Black with tritium-coated round and triangular indexes outer red Arabic five minutes, aperture for the date, "U.S. Marine" in red writing.

Tritium coated steel "skeleton" hands. M. Cal. 1570, rhodium-plated, "oeil-de-perdrix" decoration, 26 jewels, straight line lever escapement, monometallic balance adjusted to temperatures and 5 positions, shock-absorber, self-compensating free-sprung Breguet balance-spring, Microstella regulating screws, hack mechanism.Dial, case and movement signed.Dim. 58 x 44 mm.


  1. The recessed crown guard is so cool. There's some lovely beveling at the top. Sell Rolex Watch

  2. It will always be a myth unless tgere is tge person whi do this step out to verify. I had tried to clear this myth for many years with no avail. Anyone who wanted to have a look i am vwey glad to show them the watch in Singapore.

  3. Well, the Baselworld 2019 release of the Black Bay P01 might change a lot of people’s opinion on this.