Rolex Datejust 18ct Model 6605 Cal.1066 1956
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Restored, Serviced and Guaranteed
A Beautifully Well Cared For And Lightly Used Example
Immaculate Lightly Polished Case in Excellent Condition
Rolex Model Ref.6605, Cal.1066, 25 Jewels, Automatic Movement
Officially Certified Datejust Highly Accurate Chronometer Movement
Fully Restored ‘Sunburst’ Dial with Original ‘Lance’ Hands & ‘Baton’ Indices
Oversize 36mm, 18ct Solid Gold Case, Excluding the Rolex Screw-down Crown
All in Absolutely Top Grade & Simply Stunning Condition
New, Brown Lizard Strap & Rolex Gold-Plated Buckle
VGWL 12 Months Written Warranty Included*
High Quality Hardwood Presentation Box Included
VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee
Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery
Free UK Special Delivery
Out of stockSold Enquire
Founded in 1905 in England by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis as Wilsdorf & Davis, the partnership became known as the Rolex Watch Company in 1915 and moved to its new Geneva headquarters in 1919. The success of the wristwatch can be largely attributed to many of Rolex’s innovations which made the company one of the most respected and well-known of all luxury brands. These have included its famous “Oyster” case — the world’s first water-resistant and dustproof watch case, invented in 1926 — and its “Perpetual” — the world’s first reliable, self-winding movement for the wristwatch, launched in 1933. These would form the foundation for Rolex’s Datejust and Day-Date, respectively introduced in 1945 and 1956. Also and equally importantly, Rolex is known for its sports watches, such as the Explorer, Submariner and GMT-Master launched in the mid-1950s.
During the 1930s and ’40s, Rolex also became quite masterful at courting tremendous publicity and excitement through literally being ‘on hand’ during numerous record-breaking events. These were, for example, swimming the English Channel (1927), breaking the world automobile speed record (300mph, 1935), breaking the sound barrier (1947) and climbing Everest for the first time in 1953. No matter how well orchestrated these events came to be, we have to admire Rolex for becoming masters of self-promotion and capitalising on every opportunity with simultaneous worldwide marketing campaigns.
Of course, Rolex is now so ubiquitous it is almost its own kind of its currency. A Rolex is the watch you want on your wrist when you’re in a Third World country when revolution breaks out and there’s only one seat on the plane – and there’s a guy standing there with a machine gun! You give him a Rolex and he’ll give you the seat!
Launched in 1945, the Rolex Datejust broke new ground by being the world’s first automatic wristwatch with a date function. The fact that this watch was also waterproof and accurate and reliable enough to be Chronometer rated, was nothing short of sensational in 1945!
The Datejust was also one of the first popular watches to possess a central seconds hand, moving away from the more usual subsidiary seconds (small seconds dial) of the time. It was launched in the very large size for the time, of 36mm in diameter, excluding the Rolex screw-down crown. This classic design soon became an icon of style and quality, remaining in continuous production and continuous development, but changing little in design in over 70 years.
The Rolex Day-Date joined the Datejust in 1956 and both have remained Rolex’s range-topping gentlemen’s dress watches ever since. However, early Rolex Datejusts are rarer and more sought after and therefore command higher prices than the Day-Date. Incidentally, the ‘just’ in Datejust, stands for “just in time”, referring to the way the movement advances the date, exactly at midnight without any delay.
The watch seen here is a beautiful restored example of an early Rolex Datejust in 18ct solid gold from within the first 7 years of production. This is Rolex model reference 6605, which has the Rolex Chronometer grade Cal.1066, 25 jewel movement. It was not until around 1953 that Rolex began to promote the Datejust line by using the name ‘Datejust’ on the dial.
This dial is the most iconic of vintage Rolex dial designs, which in essence carries through to this day. The dial carries ‘Lance’ hands and applied ‘baton’ hour indices with, of course, the Rolex Coronet at the very top of the dial.
The dial is signed ‘Rolex Oyster Perpetual’ and ‘Datejust’ at the top below 12, with ‘Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified’ just above the 6 and ‘Swiss’ at the very bottom.
This is the original dial which has been restored to the very highest standards by our dial restorers who are considered the best in the UK. The lens has also been replaced with a new original and of course, carries the cyclops date window.
The Watch Movement
The original, high grade “Officially Certified Superlative Chronometer”, 25 Jewel, Calibre 1066 ‘butterfly’ movement is highly regarded for being very accurate, reliable and strong. As can be seen in the photographs, it is in sparkling condition and it is working perfectly following a thorough overhaul and service by our vintage Rolex specialist watchmaker. This means the movement has been completely disassembled to each of its component parts, cleaned and inspected under high magnification and then rebuilt using only original Rolex parts where required, before testing and careful calibration. The watch has just been re-tested (as it will be prior to delivery) and is running to within +5 seconds per day, which is outstanding for a vintage watch of this age! The movement also has a 48 hour power reserve when fully wound.
These movements are strong, accurate and very reliable making the watch appropriate for regular everyday use. This particular movement is in top condition and with regular servicing every 2 to 3 years we would fully expect this watch to run very happily for many more decades to come! We are therefore pleased to offer a 12-month warranty on this watch movement* and servicing in the future. Signed ‘Montres Rolex SA Geneva Swiss’ and ‘Twenty Five Jewels’, the movement carries the movement reference number DN910837 and the calibre number 1066.
*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the full list price is paid.
The Watch Case
The 18ct yellow gold case measures 36mm, excluding the Rolex Oyster screw-down crown. The case has been carefully inspected inside and out and then restored to ‘as new’ condition by very gentle cleaning and hand-polishing by our professional watch case restorer. Even though this is an early example, no definition has been lost and all the lines, including the bezel, remain well defined. It is therefore in superb condition with no scratches, dings or similar marks visible to the naked eye.
This watch is also complete with its early shallow fluted bezel, which is much easier on the eye and has more subtle flutes than the later, more heavily fluted bezels. This gives the watch a more refined appearance and defines this watch as an early 1950s ‘Datejust’. As can be seen, the bezel remains in excellent condition and is free from any marks, which is unusual as the bezel is the most prone part of the watch case and most easily damaged through nicks and scratches.
The screw-down case-back is of full-thickness, having never been inscribed. The inside of the case-back carries the Rolex model number 6605 with 18ct Swiss Geneva hallmarks and is signed ‘Montres Rolex SA Geneva Switzerland’. Very importantly, the case also carries its clearly defined serial number, 486604, between the lugs at ‘6’, along with the Rolex model reference number 6605, (again) at ’12’. The case serial number confirms the date of manufacture of the watch, which is 1956.
Please note – although the waterproof seals have been replaced and this watch was originally specified as waterproof when new, this has not been tested and it is not guaranteed. As always, our standard advice applies: vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
The Strap & Buckle
This watch has a new brown lizard strap fitted, in almost unused condition and this watch has also been fitted with a matching gold-plated Rolex buckle. However, 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 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. Please take a look at their huge range of 20mm straps if you wish here.
The Box and Papers
Genuine original documents with a watch of this age are very rare and although there are no original papers with this watch, the reference numbers, markings, signatures and hallmarks are all correct, dating this watch to 1956.
A detailed Particulars document will be included with the receipt, along with our 12 months warranty*. A separate insurance valuation for the replacement value of this watch will also 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 high quality hardwood presentation box shown in the photographs is included in the sale.
This is a truly first class example of a 1950s vintage Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust which is ready to wear and completely practical for everyday use. If treated with care, it will make an excellent investment or heirloom piece and even though vintage gold Rolex prices have risen markedly recently, we still feel good examples such as this are still undervalued. As each year goes by and the world market for vintage gold Rolex watches continues to expand, prices will continue to climb ever higher.
To summarise, this is a truly rare and highly collectable vintage watch from horology’s most famous name, which is ready to wear, use, treasure and enjoy. It will provide excellent reliability and a sound financial investment – as long-lasting as the watch itself!
A word on our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very highest quality watches we can find, before 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 us on our Landline 0207 727 7095 or Mobile 07515 949250 or if calling from overseas, on 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.
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.