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, gentlemen’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 we have here is a fully restored Rolex Datejust in 18ct yellow gold from 1952. This is Rolex model reference 1601, which has the Rolex Chronometer grade Cal.1560, 26 jewel movement. Early Rolex Datejust watches of this quality and condition are very rare and hard to find, so we are very pleased to offer this watch to you here…
This beautifully clean White dial with applied gilt batons and original early ‘Leaf’ hands are the epitome of style and elegance. The simplicity of this dial design has also become a timeless and contemporary classic. 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 professionally cleaned and restored through very careful and sympathetic light polishing and is in immaculate condition with no scratches, dings or similar marks visible to the naked eye. The watch has the early shallow fluted bezel which is much easier on the eye than the later more heavily fluted bezel. 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 the external serial number 937,695 between the lugs at 6’, along with the model number 1601 again, at 12’. The serial number indicates the date of manufacture of the watch as 1952.
The Watch Movement
This watch is fitted with the high grade “Officially Certified Chronometer” 26 Jewels, 1560 calibre ‘butterfly’ movement which 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. The movement carries the movement reference number D40036 and the Calibre number 1560. The movement has been very carefully calibrated and it is running strongly and accurately within +8 seconds/day which is outstanding for a watch movement of this age! This watch movement is now ready for many more years of faithful service and is perfectly 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
The strap fitted is a new very high quality Tan crocodile leather strap with a Rolex gold plated buckle. Please note if a different colour or style of strap is preferred, please let us know and we will do our best to oblige free of charge. We carry tan, conker, dark brown and black in stock and in plain padded leather, or crocodile skin or lizard skin. Please do let us know if you have unusually large or small wrists, to enable us to match the strap accordingly,
The Box and Papers
Although there are no original papers with the watch, the numbers and markings are all correct, dating this watch to 1952. 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”.
A matching Rolex presentation box will be included in the sale.
This is a truly first class example of a 1952 vintage Rolex Datejust which is ready to wear and completely practical for everyday use. If treated with care, this watch will make an excellent investment or heirloom piece. Even though vintage gold Rolex prices have risen markedly recently, we still feel good examples such as this are still undervalued and as each year goes by and the world market for vintage gold Rolex watches continues to expand, prices will continue to climb ever higher.
This is a highly collectable vintage gold watch from horology’s most famous name which will provide an excellent financial investment as well as something to treasure and enjoy!
A word on our prices… We always try our hardest to acquire the very highest quality watches we can find, before then restoring them to the highest possible standards. We then offer these at the fairest prices we can, taking into account our pre and post sales care and service. This approach means we will never be the cheapest, but nor will we be the most expensive. Indeed there are some well known stores in West London which are highly successful charging between two to three times the price you see here. We therefore consider our prices to be fair, given the quality of watches we have to offer.
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.