This extremely niche Oysterdate was commissioned prior to the formation of the joint UAE Armed Forces for the 1970s Abu Dhabi Defence Force. In 1976, the force was joined with the UAE’s Federal Armed Forces, Dubai Defence Forces, and the Ras Al Khaimah Mobile Force to create the joint UAE military Armed Forces. Before that, the Abu Dhabi force was founded in 1965 at the request of Sheikh Shakhbut Al Nahyan and commanded by Major Edward ‘Tug’ Wilson, an officer of the British Army and D-Day veteran. He was also, apparently, famous for his renditions of Vera Lynn in his local English pubs. If you can stand a paywall, I highly recommend this piece on his life by The Times. Both men had style. It suspect it is not difficult to imagine the attraction to Rolex for the pair. And so we were left with this: a wild signature on one of the most restrained and pure Rolex designs of all time.
The Oysterdate debuted in 1953 with the ref 6094, a simpler and smaller case that housed a manual 1215. This latter 6694, introduced in the early 1960s, is the last in a series of Oysterdate references. It featured a manual caliber 1225 (great for a thin wrist presence) with a 21600 vph frequency and a 100m water resistance. The model was a mainstay, running a near three decade production without alteration. The model was 34mm which today would be considered slightly undersized, yet perfect for many of my readership I am sure. Although in period it was an entry level option without an automatic calibre, today it serves a role as a nuanced collector’s manual-wind date of choice. Particularly this one, with its immense history.
Importantly, the signature on this dial is crisp and they come. The Emirate sun has not significantly altered the complexion of the gold and red hues. Its case is remarkably sharp, probably not frequently worn. The bracelet is correct for this model. It sports an overall very honest condition that would make it a very attractive proposition to those willing to look well beyond the President. It comes from a well-regarded London retailer.
Find this Abu Dhabi Defence Force 6694 here from Antiquarius for 6000 GBP.