Rolex 3525 ‘Barilotto’ in Yellow Gold & Steel
How good does this look? If you’re anything like me, the only valid reply is ‘quite’. In fact, I’ve said before that the two-tone Barilotto is perhaps the only Rolex which is simultaneously very conspicuous and very tasteful. The tones are loud, the profile is discreet. The manufacture is Rolex, but there’s very little branding. Catch my drift?
This beautiful WWII-era chronograph was Rolex’s first in an Oyster case, at 35mm. To some, that’s important. I tend to prize the 3525 for its lack of superfluous detail. Everything on this chronograph is purposeful. The blue steel hands, brevet crown, and double tachy/tele scales scream practicality. Moreover, I’m not the only one who sees things this way. The watch was worn by many of the higher-ranked Officers of the British military in period. There aren’t many references that can make a latter Daytona look bland. By comparison, a 16520 or even 6263 seems almost childish. I can’t quite articulate why. It may be the history, it may be the subtlety (subtlety has been lost on our generation). If forced, I’d say it’s because the two-tone creates a conspicuously tasteful bit of wrist candy.
This 3525 weighs in with a dial to envy. The multiscale, multi-colored tracks are visible and undegraded. Its two-tone case with correct matched crown sports unpolished lugs as far as I can discern. It is likely that the case back was either polished or this watch has been scarcely worn across its eighty-some year life. The watch is said to be running well. No note of service history or papers are known. It comes from a well-regarded retailer out of Singapore.
Find this 3525 here from 2Tone Vintage listed as POA.