The "Solar Aqua King of Wings", which was a private label Tudor in a solid gold Rolex Oyster case, sold in the 1951's Eatons Catalog fro $75cdn. The same catalog lists a Hamilton "Myron" for $85, for comparison.
In my school holidays I did jobs for my father including delivering watches to various London Retailers – Mappins, Garrards, Harrods, Camerer Cuss &c.
He once blued 6 months’ import quota on six watches from Vacheron & Constantin which he sold to Mappins. My memory is failing but I have the impression they each cost well into three figures of sterling – and this was in the 1950s.
I arrived at Mappins in Regent Street and Mr Watson, the senior “floor walker” told me to wait in the corner while he dealt with a customer who wanted to buy a Rolex Oyster He had a budget of around £50.00 (this was the 1950s , remember).
The customer was dithering, and Mr Watson said, “come here Paul” and showed him the V & C watches, saying something along the lines of “This is real watchmaking, but you can't afford it” and put the carrying case away under the counter and carried on with the dialogue.
Having told him three times that he couldn’t afford one, Mr Watson sold him a V & C watch.
I don't know about the fifties as Rado only only became Rado (full time) in 1957. I can tell you that this rose gold plated Rado Deluxe, which was available only in 1961 cost 220 CHF. It was hardly their top end watch.
Okay, I'll play. According to this page from the 1955 Benj Allen wholesale catalog shows a 3-subdial EP40 Gallet chrono to be about $94. The numbers and details are hard to see, however I don't see any watch on this page with more than two digits to the left of the decimal point.
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