Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date Ref.1503 18ct 1978
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Inspected, Serviced and Guaranteed
A Beautifully Well Cared For And Lightly Used Example
Officially Certified Date Highly Accurate Chronometer Movement
High Grade Calibre 1570, 26 Jewel Automatic Movement
Incredible Lightly Polished 18ct Yellow Gold Case with Beautiful Plain Bezel
Original, Unrestored and Untouched ‘Sunburst’ Dial with Original ‘Stick’ Hands
Large 18ct Solid Gold Case, 35mm, Excluding the Rolex Screw-down Crown
High Quality Light Brown Leather Strap and Rolex Gold-Plated Buckle
All in Absolutely Top Grade & Simply Stunning Condition
High Quality Rolex Oyster Presentation Box Included
VGWL 12 Months Written Warranty Included*
VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee
Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery
Free UK Special Delivery
Founded in 1905 in England by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis as Wilsdorf & Davis, the company became known as the Rolex Watch Company in 1915, moving 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.
Here we have a truly first-class example of a gentleman’s 18ct vintage Rolex Oyster Perpetual ‘Date’ dress watch from 1978. This beautiful watch has seen very little use and has therefore required very little work to bring it back to its current incredible condition. This Rolex model reference 1503 contains the Rolex Calibre 1570, 26 Jewel, Certified Superlative Chronometer Grade (highly accurate and highly reliable) automatic movement, which has just received a full overhaul and service.
The stunning, completely original unrestored and untouched ‘sunburst’ dial is in the classic Rolex Oyster Perpetual style and simply exudes quality. Furnished with ‘baton’ hour indices and the original ‘stick’ hands, the watch sits beautifully on the wrist and the light catches the dial perfectly, as we have tried to demonstrate in the accompanying images. This dial also carries the perfect date window at 3 which carries the cyclops bubble
The dial carries the perennial Rolex Coronet at 12 and is signed ‘Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date’ with ‘Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified’ below and ‘Swiss Made’ at the very bottom, below 6.
The dial is original and unrestored and has been left untouched by our restoration team due to its superb condition. Usually, we restore the dials of the watches we sell, however we decided in this case to leave it alone, due to its unusually good condition and to retain its originality and charm for those who prefer this. It also helps to contrast with almost all of the other watch dials you see on our website, which have been restored. The hands, likewise, have also been left in their original condition.
Please note, studio lights, professional-grade digital cameras, and macro lenses can be very unkind to an unrestored vintage watch dial. Also the dial here measures less than 1.25 inches across, so the image you’re seeing may be between 5 – 25 times larger than the watch itself. Therefore please keep in mind you are seeing many tiny flaws which cannot be seen, or will be very hard to see with the naked eye, even under close examination. Suffice to say, on the wrist, in natural light, this dial looks much better and carries a great deal more charm than the photographs portray.
The watch carries its original, very high grade ‘Superlative Chronometer’ Calibre 1570, 26 jewel automatic movement which is in sparkling clean condition. The movement has been completely overhauled and serviced which involves fully dismantling, ultrasonic cleaning, inspection under high magnification and replacement new original Rolex parts where required. Then careful reassembly and oiling ready for testing and calibration. The watch is now running perfectly, having been calibrated and timed within +9 seconds per day. This is truly outstanding for any watch of this age and has been confirmed by our electronic timegrapher, making it now ready for many more years of faithful service.
The movement is all correctly signed ‘Montres Rolex SA Geneva Swiss’, and ‘Twenty Six Jewels’ with the Calibre number 1570 and the reference number D167898. These movements are very strong, very accurate and very reliable making this watch particularly suited to everyday use. This particular movement is in superb A1 condition and with regular servicing, say every 4 years, we would fully expect this watch to run very happily for many more decades to come. We are therefore pleased to offer 12 months warranty on this watch movement*.
*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the list price is paid.
The 18ct yellow gold case measures 35mm in diameter, excluding the original Rolex Oyster screw-down crown. The case carries the plain bezel, which along with the rest of the case and case-back, is in incredible condition, with no marks or scratches visible to the naked eye. The watch has only seen light use and has been very well cared for so after close inspection, it has simply required some gentle hand-polishing to bring it to almost new condition once again. Importantly, the case-back has never been engraved and equally importantly, it is of its original thickness.
Inside the case-back, the markings are all correct for a Rolex Swiss-made case and it is signed ‘Montres Rolex SA Geneva Switzerland’ with the correct Swiss hallmarks and the model number 1503. This model number can also be clearly found on the outside of the case between the lugs at 6 o’clock. The case serial number 5122817 is found on the outside of the case between the lugs at 12 o’clock and dates the watch to 1978.
The case has the screw-down Rolex Oyster crown and screw-down case-back, each complete with new rubber seals, however, although the watch was specified as waterproof when new, this has not been tested and it is not guaranteed.
Please note – our standard advice applies: Vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
The Strap & Buckle
A very high quality light brown leather strap has been fitted, along with a 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 18mm straps if you wish here.
The Box and Papers
Although there are no original papers with the watch, the numbers and markings are all correct, dating this watch to 1978.
Detailed particulars will be included with our purchase receipt for your interest and security. A separate insurance valuation for the replacement value of this watch 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 100% genuine, authentic and original, a full refund will be given at any time”.
The watch comes complete with a Rolex Oyster presentation box, as shown in the photographs.
If you wish to pay by bank transfer we will be pleased to assist you with this and pass on a 3% saving to you. Paying by bank transfer for a 3% saving will not affect your 12 months warranty. 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.
Please check the import duties and any taxes your government may apply, these are different for each country and unfortunately out of our control.
We understand there may be some ‘loopholes’ that may help you avoid these charges, however attempting to use these could impact our ongoing ability to serve our growing international customer base.
For those that happen to visit the UK on occasion we are of course more than happy to store your watch until we can meet you in our offices in Kensington, London and deliver your watch directly to you there.
As with all our watches, this watch will be sold under our 14 days no quibble sale or return policy.
This is a truly first-class example of a classic 1978 vintage 18ct Rolex Oyster Perpetual ‘Date’ dress watch 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. It is a highly collectable vintage watch from horology’s most famous name, which is ready to wear, use, treasure and enjoy and one which 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.
Please note, we also welcome part exchanges. If you have a watch or a 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.
If you have any questions please call us on 020 7727 7095 or if calling from overseas on +44 207 727 7095.
Please take a look at our other fine vintage gold watches.