A Rolex with two crowns? It seems odd, but they do exist. These quirky “Double Crown” Rolexes were gifts from Hallmark to their employees to celebrate 25 years of employment with the company. They feature the Hallmark logo engraved just above the 6-hour marker, mirroring the iconic Rolex 5-point coronet ever-present at 12 o’clock, and are common on many of Rolex’s dress models, including the Oyster Perpetual and Date. They’re a bit of an oddity coveted for their fascinating history and charming dual crowns.
I have an example of the Oyster Perpetual ref. 1024 on hand to review. Since they don’t pop up on the secondary market very often, I figured it would be nice to share this watch with you all and explore its fascinating history.
What Are Double Branded Rolex Watches?
Coca-Cola Rolex, Tiffany & Co. Rolex, Domino's Pizza Rolex. Photo Credit: Christie's & Bob's Watches.
Hallmark isn’t the only company to bestow Rolex watches upon their employees decorated with their own logo. Examples of the Oyster Perpetual Date, Air-King, and other Rolex models, are also available on the secondary market with Coca-Cola, Winn Dixie, and other company logos emblazoned on the dial. These watches were often gifts to their most loyal employees to celebrate years of service to each company.
Of course, we can’t talk about double-branded Rolexes without also mentioning the revolutionary “Rolex Challenge,” an initiative dreamt up by Domino’s Pizza founder Tom Monaghan. The rules were simple, hit a certain level of sales and receive a Rolex decorated with the Domino’s Pizza logo on the dial or attached to a bracelet link. Domino’s Rolex watches are easier to come by on the secondary market than the Coca-Cola, Hallmark, and other double-branded Rolexes because they were given away as a sales incentive earned over months, not after decades of service. Still, the Domino's Pizza Rolex often trades hands for a higher premium than its non-double branded counterparts and is a polarizing collector’s item.
Another common double-branded Rolex is the famous Tiffany & Co. Rolex, which features the jewelry retailer’s logo stamped on the dial. Before Rolex shifted to maintaining very strict control of every aspect of their watch production, they used to allow Tiffany & Co. to stamp the dials of the watches sold in their stores with their own logo. The practice ended in the 1990s. However, Tiffany & Co. Rolex watches are relatively easy to find on the secondary market today and include nearly every Rolex model, from the Explorer and Submariner to the Oyster Perpetual.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 1024
The Double Crown Rolex I have is a classic Oyster Perpetual ref. 1024 from the mid-1960s. Rolex released the Oyster Perpetual in the 1950s, ref. 1024 hails from the first 10XX generation. It has all the classic traits of a vintage Oyster Perpetual, including a boxier acrylic crystal, older-style hour markers, and charming tapered dauphine hands. The Tritium lume has even aged to a deep patina. Ref. 1024 is also characterized by a striking gold shell case surrounded by a smooth bezel. The distinction “Oyster Perpetual” signifies that ref. 1024 sports a waterproof Oyster case and Perpetual mechanical movement. Another feature that makes this Double Crown Rolex so unique, aside from the dial, is the case back engraved with a special message thanking the original owner for 25 years of service.
It’s fascinating to think that this Double Crown Rolex Oyster Perpetual was gifted to the original owner nearly sixty years ago and is now appreciated by a new generation of horology enthusiasts.