When launched in 1945, the Rolex Datejust broke new ground by being the world’s first automatic date mechanism in a wristwatch. ‘Just’ stands for “just in time,” advancing the date exactly at midnight without delay. The Datejust also possessed a central second hand, moving from the subsidiary second hand that was the style at the time. The large 36mm size and classic design has become an icon of style and quality, changing very little in the intervening years.
The Rolex ’Datejust’ along with Rolex ‘Day Date’ have remained Rolex’s range-topping, gentleman’s dress watches, for over 60 years! However, early Rolex Datejusts are rarer and more sought after, so command higher prices than the Day Date.
The watch offered here has the Chronometer grade, Cal.1570 26 jewel movement which is in spectacular condition, featuring the improved ‘butterfly’ rotor, so called due to it’s light weight and similarity in appearance to a butterfly wing. The dial has the most wonderful matt, faded lemon/cream look along with the gilt ‘Rolex Crown’ and ’Hearts and Arrows’ indices, around the dial. These, along with the gilt hands catch the light beautifully on the wrist. Vintage Rolex ‘Datejust’ watches of this quality and condition are becoming hard to find, so we are very pleased to offer this watch to you here…
This has to be one the most beautiful vintage Rolex Dials and is certainly one of our favourites. Gilt applied ‘Hearts and Arrowheads’ hours markers with outer minutes track subdivided into fifths of a minute, with gilt Dauphine hands and needle seconds hand. This is the original Rolex dial which has been sympathetically restored to the very highest standards by the best dial restorers in the UK.
The Watch Case
The original 18ct yellow gold case measures 36mm not including the Rolex Oyster screw down crown. The case has been carefully restored with very sympathetic light polishing. It is in immaculate condition with no scratches, dings or similar marks visible to the naked eye. The watch-case has the early shallow fluted bezel as opposed to the later, more dominant fluted bezel. The screw down case-back is high polished and full thickness, having never been inscribed. The inside of the case-back carries the Rolex model number 1601 with 18ct Swiss Geneva hallmarks and signed Montres Rolex SA Geneva Switzerland. The case carries a clear serial number, 2,542,xxx between the lugs at 6’ along with the model number 1601 again, at 12’. The serial number makes the date of the manufacture of the watch to 1968.
The Watch Movement
The original high grade “Officially Certified Chronometer” 26 Jewels, 1570 calibre ‘butterfly’ movement is very highly regarded for being particularly accurate, reliable and strong. Here, it is in sparkling condition and it is working perfectly following a thorough overhaul and service by our vintage Rolex specialist watchmaker. This movement is known as a ‘butterfly’ movement because the lightened rotor resembles a butterfly wing. It is signed MONTRES ROLEX SA GENEVA and TWENTY SIX JEWELS, ADJUSTED to FIVE POSITIONS. The movement carries the movement reference number D291538 and the Calibre number 1570. The movement has been very carefully calibrated and it is running strongly and accurately within +4 seconds/day! This is no exaggeration and is outstanding for a watch movement of this age. This watch movement is now ready for many more years faithful service and it is perfected suited for everyday use. The watch is offered with 12 months warranty on the movement*.
The Strap and Buckle
A new very high quality brown ‘croc’ leather strap is fitted, along with a matching gold plated Rolex buckle. Note, if a different colour or style of strap is preferred, please let us know and we will do our best to provide one free of charge.
The Box and Papers
Original paperwork for a watch of this age is very rare and although there are no ‘papers’ with this watch, the numbers and markings on the watch are all correct indicating the age of manufacture of the watch to be 1968. A detailed written receipt, with a 12 month warranty* and a separate insurance valuation for the replacement value will be provided at the time of sale. The Rolex presentation box shown in the photographs is included in the sale.
This is a beautiful example of an iconic vintage watch from horology’s most famous name and if treated with care it will remain an excellent investment as well as something to treasure and enjoy. Even though vintage Rolex prices have risen considerably in recent years, we still feel good examples such as this are undervalued. As the world market for vintage Rolex continues to expand, this means prices are likely to climb ever higher.
We are happy to accept Paypal as this is the quickest method of payment. However if you would like to pay by UK cheque or by bank transfer, we will be pleased to assist you with this and pass on a 3% saving to you.
* Note – 12 Month warranty only included if the list price is paid.
If you have any questions please call on Landline 0207 727 7095 or Mobile 07515 949250
Or if calling from overseas on Landline +44 207 727 7095 or Mobile +44 7515 949250
We are able to accept part exchanges and part payment to reserve this watch.