60's WATKINS Rapier 44 LEFTY Red Color- This is the top of the
Watkins Rapier range - the 44 with four pickups. The tremolo and tuners work fine.
The bridge is metal - simple and adjustable and the tailpiece is the HiLo
tremolo model, complete and working. The switching and electronics system is slightly complex,
and I’d bet many a beginning guitarist was more than confused by the tonal
options! The switching runs down like this:
R switch is neck pickup only, with its own volume
S switch engages all the other pickups and has its own volume
Postion A uses (bridge) #1 and #2 pickup
Position B uses bridge pickup #1 and
Position C uses pickups #1, #2, and #3
Position D uses pickups #1 and #3
A Rapier logo was inscribed into the scratchplate on the right hand side of the pickups and would have been originally gold but this has worn away on most guitars.There was also a decal of the Watkins logo on the headstock in later models. Early knobs were black or white with a concave chrome top. The Rapier model was produced from late 50s to late 70s. Most variations occurred after 1968 with the brand change to Wilson. THE RAPIER HISTORY: http://www.vintageguitar.com/14766/watkins-rapier-33/ THE WATKINS HISTORY: http://www.watkinsguitars.co.uk/history.htm
All of these WEM/Watkins guitars came from the UK production of Charlie Watkins, and his brothers Sid and Reg. These are the same fellows who made the WEM amps, and the Watkins Copicat! Needless to say these brothers and their company had a HUGE impact on the UK guitar scene (after 1968 this was Wilson).
Jim Baldwin with his Rapier first 60s