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 the Rolex Day Date have remained Rolex’s range-topping, gentlemens’ 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 be able 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 an 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 and 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 of full thickness, having never been inscribed. The inside of the case-back carries the Rolex model number 1601 with 18ct Swiss Geneva hallmarks and is 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 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 and carries the movement reference number D291538 and the Calibre number 1570. The movement has been very carefully calibrated and is running strongly and accurately to 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*.
* Note – 12 Month warranty only included if the list price is paid.
The Strap and Buckle
A new very high quality Brown Crocodile leather strap is fitted, along with a matching gold plated Rolex buckle. 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. We carry tan, conker, dark brown and black in stock, in plain padded leather, crocodile skin or lizard skin. We can also obtain most types and colours from our partners at ‘Watch Obsession’ within 48hrs.
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 12 months warranty* and a separate insurance valuation for the replacement value will be provided at the time of sale along with our unique ‘Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee’ which states: “If this watch proves to be anything less than totally authentic, or not as described, Vintage Gold Watches of London will offer you a full refund at any time”.
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 be 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 UK bank transfer we will be pleased to assist you with this and pass on a 3% saving to you. Similarly, if you wish to pay by International SWIFT or Bank Wire Transfer we will provide you with our BIC / Swift number and our IBAN number.
If you have any questions please call on our Landline 0207 727 7095 or Mobile 07515 949250 or if calling from overseas please call us on our Landline +44 207 727 7095 or Mobile +44 7515 949250.
Please note we welcome part exchanges. If you have a watch or small collection for sale, please contact us as we will be happy to discuss this.
We will also be happy to Service your watch, Repair your watch or Restore your watch, all at ‘sensible’ prices. Please see here.
Please take a look at our other fine vintage gold watches.