The average person is very likely unfamiliar with the term “Rolex Khanjar,” and even a more seasoned collector may not have heard of this particular type of timepiece. Because the story behind them is rather intriguing, we believe that it is worth spending a few moments to further look into what a Rolex Khanjar is, and how they came to be. In order to fully do this, however, it is essential to learn more about Qaboos bin Said, as he is an integral part of the narrative in question.
Who Was Qaboos bin Said?
Qaboos bin Said was the ruler of the Sultanate of Oman from July 1970 until his death from colon cancer on January 10th, 2020, at the age of 79. His story is one of both familial and geopolitical strife, and the intersection between the two would rewrite the history of an entire country, and to some extent, the modern Middle East as we know it today.
Qaboos bin Said was the only child of Said bin Taimur, who had been named Sultan with the help of the British Empire at the age of 21 in 1932. Oman was heavily in debt to the British Empire at that time, and Said bin Taimur began to take control of the country’s finances in an attempt to gain financial and legal independence from Britain, which he would successfully accomplish in 1951.
Over the next several decades though, support for the Sultan began to change both from within the country and abroad. Though he had managed to successfully liberate the country from British rule and paid off all of its outstanding debts, Said bin Taimur was very isolationist in his worldview. He had no interest in using oil proceeds to help modernize the country and improve the lives of its citizens.
In 1965, Said bin Taimur had changed his mind slightly with regards to the sale of oil, agreeing to sell oil only to Iraq, Iran, and Britain. His hardline political views, combined with a failed assassination attempt the following year, would result in him becoming increasingly paranoid and erratic. This would include keeping his own son under de facto house arrest and limiting him to interaction with a very small group of advisors and friends.
How Did Qaboos bin Said Come to Power in Oman?
Qaboos bin Said would eventually come to realize that his father was no longer capable of carrying out his duties as a leader, and that the people of Oman were suffering as a result of his increasing mental instability. In 1970, Qaboos bin Said led a successful coup d’etat, with the help of the British government, and became the new sultan of Oman.
While Qaboos bin Said was still a conservative Muslim throughout his lifetime, his governance of Oman was considerably more progressive than that of his immediate predecessors. Among his more notable achievements were the development of national schools and hospitals, the construction of a desalination plant, and the abolishment of slavery in Oman.
What is a Khanjar, and Does it Have Any Significance?
In January of 2020, Qaboos bin Said passed away due to complications from colon cancer. He named his cousin, Haitham bin Tariq, as his successor in a letter he wrote before his death.
One thing that Qaboos bin Said became well-known for during his reign was giving luxury timepieces to foreign dignitaries. Although he did so with a number of different watch brands over the years, he was most well-known for giving out Rolex Khanjar watches to visiting heads of state and diplomats.
The Khanjar is the official royal crest of Oman. It consists of a J-shaped dagger with two swords in the shape of an X over it, with the flag of Oman in small print on either side of the dagger. This symbol is engraved on the case back as well, underneath a pictogram of the royal crown.
Rolex Khanjar watches are extremely rare, and as such, are of great interest to collectors of luxury timepieces who may be aware of them. They occasionally come up for auction at reputable auction houses, and less often are seen on the gray market, where they are likely to fetch tens of thousands of dollars, if not more.
One of the most coveted Rolex Khanjar watches is any timepiece that belongs to the set originally presented by Qaboos bin Said to the British SAS soldiers who were involved in the 1970 coup. These are particularly prized by European collectors, especially British ones.
While these watches are very rare, it is not impossible to find one if you are persistent and diligent in your inquiry. As always, be sure that any luxury timepiece you plan to purchase has the appropriate providence first.
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